Philippine Premiere of Jericho Rosales’ ‘Basurero’ in Cinemalaya 2020 is Not to be Missed

Basurero—a poetic, neo-realist, short film plunging viewers into the complex world of a Filipino fisherman who finds himself embroiled in a dangerous undertaking—will continue its critically acclaimed festival run with its Philippine premiere at the annual Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival this August.

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The Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival continues to sail on its 16th year with its digital edition slated on August 7 to 16, 2020 to be screened via Vimeo. Established in 2005, the film festival is co-produced by the Cultural Center of the Philippines and the Cinemalaya Foundation Inc. Cinemalaya continues to discover, encourage and support the cinematic works of upcoming and veteran Filipino filmmakers who boldly articulate and freely interpret the Philippine experience with fresh insight and artistic integrity.

Starring Filipino film and television leading man Jericho “Echo” Rosales (Alagwa, Baler, Siargao) as “Bong,” Basurero marks the directorial debut of Filipina-American filmmaker Eileen Cabiling, who also penned the original short screenplay. Manila/Los Angeles-based Cabiling is a Screenwriting Fellow graduate of the prestigious American Film Institute who has worked as a writer for Disney and as a story development producer. Born to immigrant Filipino parents in the U.S., Cabiling is drawn to the subject matter by a desire to explore the psychology of her ancestral home. Currently, Cabiling is set to make her feature-length directorial debut with her original screenplay, Manhid, starring and produced by Rosales.

Basurero made its world premiere in competition in October 2019 at the 24th annual Busan International Film Festival in South Korea where Asian Film Festivals named it one of “10 short films you cannot miss.” Said Asian Movie Pulse in its review, “… bound to leave a strong impact on any viewer and push towards deeper conversation. The way in which director Eileen Cabiling weaves the story of human atrocities while focusing on the plights of one individual elicits a strong emotional connection … boasts an eye for visual storytelling and a strong performance from Jericho Rosales. Simply put, Basurero is a must watch in the realm of short films.”

Basurero then made its European competition premiere at the 50th annual Tampere Film Festival, March 4-8, in Tampere, Finland. One of Europe’s most-important short film festivals, attracting more than 30,000 attendees, Tempere’s international competition is Oscar-, BAFTA- and EFA-qualifying.

Basurero was also an Official Selection and slated to be in competition at the 34th edition of the Fribourg
International Film Festival Switzerland and was a nominee for The Golden Gate Award at the 63rd edition of the San Francisco International Film Festival. Due to COVID-19, however, the two festivals were cancelled. Basurero did screen online at the Hollywood-centric Sun Valley Film Festival in Idaho and is slated to screen at The MINIKINO FILM WEEK in Bali in September.

Basurero follows the story of Bong, an urban Manila fisherman, who struggles to survive amid the dwindling number of fish left in the sea. Desperate for cash, he finds himself embroiled in a dangerous undertaking. Wracked with guilt and fear, Bong feverishly seeks a way out.

A fictional expose inspired by actual events—and a story anonymously related to Al Jazeera by Filipino fishermen, who told of widespread human rights abuses among the nation’s most vulnerable. Rather than serving audiences a high-octane expose of the violence, Cabiling renders a more nuanced portrait, taking viewers inside the psychology of a man trapped by impossible circumstances.

Watch the official trailer below:

Basurero will premiere on August 10, Monday, at 6 PM to 7 PM with Live Talkbacks with the Director, Producer, and Cast.

Visit Cinemalaya 16’s Vimeo page for more details.

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