10 Films You Shouldn’t Miss at Cinemalaya 2019

The Philippines’ biggest independent film festival is set to roll out the red carpet at the Cultural Center of the Philippines and at selected cinemas again from August 2 to August 13, 2019. Now on its 15th year, the Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival aims to promote local independent films or “indie films.” This is one of the most anticipated events every year, especially by film enthusiasts. For more than a week, you’ll get to watch different stories that might touch your heart, and witness the talents of independent filmmakers and actors/actresses. Each year, the Cinemalaya Foundation releases 10 full-length films and short features.

Here are some of the must-watch films that will compete this Cinemalaya 2019:

ANi (The Harvest)

Directed by: Kim Zuñiga and Sandro del Rosario

Set in the year 2050, an orphaned boy named Mithi moves to a farm to live with his grandfather. When his grandfather falls ill, Mithi embarks on a quest with his malfunctioning robot in search for magical seeds that he believes will save his grandfather.

Belle Douleur (Beautiful Pain)

Directed by: Joji Alonso

Elizabeth, a self-made woman in her late 40s, is bent on spending the rest of her days alone. She meets Jon, a 20-year old man who convinces her that love knows no age and it’s not too late to enjoy her life. They start having a love affair, which starts out well until Elizabeth realizes that she cannot be part of Jon’s life and dreams.

Children of the River

Directed by: Maricel Cariaga

Childhood friends Elias, Pepsy, Agol, and Robin swear to look out for each other. As they enjoy the calmness of the river, an unexpected phone call leads their friendship to a tragic halt. This film is about friendship, family, acceptance, peace, and hope.


Directed by: Thop Nazareno

A young boy is left no choice but to get stuck in a public hospital to take care of his ailing father. The hospital grounds become his playground, and his source of liberation in the end.


Directed by: Eduardo Roy Jr.

Ace and Miko desperately want to become famous actors, but it seems like they are on the wrong path and the universe has a different plan for their lives.


Directed by: Theodore Boborol

A woman who works as a photocopier in a university by day and a loving but impoverished grandmother of an autistic child by night loses everything and turns into someone the society thinks her to be after being accused of mistreating her grandson.

John Denver Trending

Directed by: Arden Rod Condez

Grade 8 student John Denver Cabungcal aims to do well in school in order to show his mother good grades. One day, a classmate accuses him of stealing an iPad and the continuous allegation provokes John Denver to snap and assault his classmate. His world turns upside down as someone records the incident and posts it on social media.

Malamaya (The Color of Ash)

Directed by: Danica Sta. Lucia and Leilani Chavez

At 50, Nora Simeron is beginning to feel old-fashioned. She has unsatisfactory sex, wrinkles, and opposing views on art and creativity with the younger lot. Until she finds a spark with Migs, an aspiring photographer who helps her reignite her forgotten passions, awaken her senses, and appreciate her art and body.

Pandanggo sa Hukay

Directed by: Sheryl Rose Andes

A small-town midwife’s preparation for a job interview is interrupted by a series of unfortunate events.


Directed by: Xian Lim

A man’s beliefs of reality are tested when he is accused and punished for crimes he didn’t commit.

Which films are you most excited to watch? For more information, you may visit cinemalaya.org.


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