Moviegoers usually take it for granted but Cinemalaya is not just about watching films.
Fortunately, for those who are interested in learning more about the industry, there is the Cinemalaya Independent Film Congress.
Local and foreign speakers, all knowledgeable and competent in their fields, talk about their personal experiences and share their observations on various trends happening in their own national cinema. Touching on a wide range of topics from politics and entertainment to culture and economics, the Congress offers a venue for progressive and academic discourse.
On its seventh year, the Congress continues to raise the concerns of independent cinema to help it gain a wider audience not only in the country but also across the world. This year’s forum focuses on Asian national cinemas and their dynamics,particularly how filmmakers work to have their films produced and screened at local theaters and festivals. Guided by the theme “Building Bridges for Indie Filmmaking in Asia,” the Congress will be held from July 19 to July 20 at the Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino (Little Theatre) of the Cultural Center of the Philippines.
The first day of the Congress concentrates on the state of filmmaking in East Asia and Southeast Asia. It is moderated by Jag Garcia from the College of St. Benilde and film critics Mario Hernando and Francis Joseph Cruz. Included in the panel of distinguished speakers are Xie Fie, Max Tessier, Cho Young Jung, Philip Cheah, Pantham Thongsang, Wong Tuck Cheong, and Rolando Tolentino.
On the other hand, the second day gives more attention to the practices involved in independent filmmaking and the importance of marketing and distribution of movies. Moderators at the forum are Flordeliz Abanto from the Philippine Association of Communication Educators (PACE), Libay Cantor from the UP Film Institute, and Cinemalaya Festival Programmer Ed Cabagnot. Invited to speak at the forum are Aditya Assarat, Yoon Sunghyun, Raymond Lee, Arleen Cuevas, Martine Thérouanne, Azel Estein, Jacob Wong, Max Tessier, and Nestor Jardin.
Header image photographed by Ian Marasigan.