Sunday, November 06, 2011

Cinemanila 2011 (11.11.11 to 11.17.11), Market! Market! Cinemas, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig

It's that time of the year--Cinemanila. Some announcements: 

Wim Wenders’ Pina & Ridley Scott/Kevin Macdonald’s Life in a Day are Opening & Closing Films at Cinemanila 2011

Two documentaries by three great European filmmakers -- the 3D film Pina (2011) by New German Cinema master Wim Wenders, and Life in a Day (2011) by Ridley Scott & Kevin Macdonald (Oscar-winning director of films such as The Last King of Scotland, Touching the Void, and One Day in September) -- will be the Opening and Closing Films, respectively, at the 2011 Cinemanila International Film Festival at Market! Market! in Taguig City.

Behold magnificent dancing in 3D on 11.11.11, when Cinemanila screens on Opening Night Wim Wenders’ 3D dance documentary, Pina, about one of the most influential modern dance choreographers, German Philippina "Pina" Bausch. The film was a hit when it premiered Out of Competition at the 61st Berlin International Film Festival, and has been selected as the German entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 84th Academy Awards.

Moviegoers who enjoyed excerpts of Pina Bausch’s work in Pedro Almodovar’s Talk to Her (2002) will be delighted as some of the most noted dance pieces by Bausch in the Tanztheater (“dance theater”) style appear in the film.

Bausch was preparing the documentary with Wenders when she unexpectedly passed away. Wenders cancelled film production, but the other dancers of Tanztheater persuaded him to make the film anyway. The result is a work that has been described by critics as “Thrilling and revelatory.” (Nick James, Sight & Sound Editor, writing for The Observer), a “Must-see.” (Leslie Felperin, Variety), “Beautiful and moving.” (Dave Calhoun, Time Out), and “Beguiling magic.” (Tim Robey, The Telegraph).

This is the first time the 13-year-old festival will screen a 3D film.
Meanwhile, Life in a Day by Ridley Scott (producer) & Kevin Macdonald (director), a crowdsourced documentary showing respective occurrences from around the world on a single day, July 24, 2010, will bring Cinemanila to a close on 11.17.11. The film is an arranged series of video clips -- with Scott, Macdonald, and film editor Joe Walker as editors -- selected from 80,000 clips (4,500 hours of footage from 140 nations) to the YouTube video sharing website.

The film, which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival, earned generally rave reviews: “Moving and insightful.” (Helen O'Hara, Empire); “A profound achievement.” (Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post); “Undeniably real and incredibly inspiring.” (Peter Howell, Toronto Star,); “Brims with intimacy and urgency.” (Angela Watercutter, Wired); “The best time capsule in the history of the world.” (Josh Levs, CNN Newsroom); and “Breathtaking…riveting.” (Ian Buckwalter, Washingtonian).

But perhaps CNN's Mark Rabinowitz articulated best the critics’ sentiment: “A rousing success of an experiment: quite possibly the first large-scale, global use of the Internet to create meaningful and beautiful art.
 Superstar Nora Aunor to Receive Cinemanila’s Lifetime Achievement Award on 11.11.11

The 2011 Cinemanila International Film Festival, in cooperation with the City of Taguig under the leadership of Mayor Lani Cayetano, will pay tribute to one of the Philippines' most accomplished actresses, Nora Aunor (born Nora Cabaltera Villamayor on May 21, 1955 in Iriga City, Camarines Sur), by bestowing her with the Lifetime Achievement Award on 11.11.11, during the festival’s Opening Night. Aunor is popularly regarded as the Superstar for her stellar achievements and enormous contribution -- as actor, singer, TV host, and producer -- to the entertainment industry.

As part of the homage to the multi-awarded Aunor, a short video tribute will be shown during the presentation of the award. And throughout the festival, Cinemanila will screen (with English subtitles) classic films showcasing Aunor's legendary acting talent, including Tatlong Taong Walang Diyos (1976), Minsa'y Isang Gamu-Gamo (1976), Bona (1980), and Himala (1982), winner in 2008 of the CNN APSA (Asia Pacific Screen Awards) Viewers Choice Award for Best Asia-Pacific Film of all Time.

Indeed, Nora Aunor is a world-class artist as shown by the list of international organizations which gave her a Best Actress award, including the Cairo Film Festival (The Flor Contemplacion Story, 1995), East Asia Film and Television Festival (Bakit May Kahapon Pa?, 1997), Brussels Festival of Independent Films (Naglalayag, 2004). She was also nominated in the Berlin Film Festival for Himala and awarded the Certificate of Honor in the Cannes Film Festival for Bona.

With the Cinemanila Lifetime Achievement Award, Aunor will join an exceptional group of individuals who received the same award, such as US filmmakers Quentin Tarantino (2007) and Paul Schrader (2009), Indonesian actress and filmmaker Christine Hakim (2003), film programmers Aruna Vasudev and Philip Cheah (2006), Pusan International Film Festival founding director Kim Dong Ho (2005), and fellow Filipino artists Vilma Santos (2003), Eddie Romero (2004) & Dolphy (2010). Aside from these personalities, other special guests who graced Cinemanila in the past include Jafar Panahi (The Circle, 2000) and Fernando Meirelles (City of God, 2002).

Cinemanila’s Horror Picture Show: Halloween in November

The 2011 Cinemanila International Film Festival extends Halloween when it screens from 11.11.11 to 11.17.11, at the Market! Market! Cinemas in Taguig City, four horror/thriller films guaranteed to scare the wits out of you in its Horror Picture Show program.

Grab on to your theater seats as filmmaker Kim Jee-Woon tells you a violent tale of murder and revenge in I Saw the Devil (Akmareul boatda, South Korea, 2010). Find out what happened to a teenage girl and a 7-year-old girl who both disappeared in the woods in Ryuta Miyake’s Vanished: Age 7 (Nanatsu made wa kami no uchi, Japan, 2011). Try and hide in The Tunnel (Australia, 2011) by Filipino director and Cannes Film Festival winner Carlo Ledesma. And if you haven’t had enough spooks, startles, and screams, investigate the mysterious goings-on in a dance academy in Suspiria (Italy, 1977), the surreal horror classic by the Master of Horror himself, Dario Argento, one of this year’s Cinemanila Lifetime Achievement awardees.

Cinemanila Launches New Section: The Beautiful Game

For cinephiles and sports fans alike, the 2011 Cinemanila International Film Festival, happening from 11.11.11 to 11.17.11 in Taguig City, is an event not to be missed. The 13th edition of Cinemanila will inaugurate a new program called The Beautiful Game, featuring the world's most popular sport -- now played by around 250 million players in over 200 countries -- football or soccer. To be screened in this new section of Cinemanila are films as diverse as the nationalities and styles of the athletes playing the game.

This year’s cinematic line-up will include documentaries about the world’s football heroes. Journey with a young American who struggles to reach his dreams of playing in the elite European leagues and the World Cup in Rise & Shine: The Jay DeMerit Story (2011). Immerse yourself in the intensity and flow of a single soccer match as 17 synchronized cameras follow French footballer Zinedine Zidane in Zidane, A 21st Century Portrait (2006). Then open your eyes to the relationship of crime, sports and politics in the gripping The Two Escobars (2010), the intertwined story of drug kingpin Pablo Escobar and Colombian football star Andres Escobar who paid dearly for scoring an “own goal” in the 1994 World Cup.

Of course, soccer has always been great fodder for fiction as well, and Cinemanila has a feast of films to offer depending on your mood. Get a dose of social reality in Jafar Panahi’s Offside (2006), about Iranian girls attempting to watch a World Cup qualifying match despite their country’s law forbidding them to do so because of their sex. Then laugh as two young football-crazed Tibetan refugee novice monks in a remote Himalayan monastery in India desperately try to obtain a TV for the monastery to watch the 1998 World Cup final in The Cup (1999) by Bhutanese director Khyentse Norbu. And if you want drama, witness the rise and fall of a football star in The Striker with Number 9 (1989) by Greek filmmaker Pantelis Voulgaris. But if you fancy a combination of comedy and drama, enjoy -- in one of the festival’s outdoor screenings -- the critically-acclaimed and international hit Bend It Like Beckham (2002) by Gurinder Chadha, and starring Parminder Nagra & Keira Knightley. Finally, if you like coming-of-age stories, watch Happyland (2010) -- by the Philippines’ very own Jim Libiran (with a cameo by Azkals star Phil Younghusband) -- about a group of street kids who form a soccer team.

Taguig is no stranger to banner headlines about football in their city, as the popular Azkals team has a close relationship with Taguig, and its leader Mayor Lani Cayetano, having trained and having held football clinics there in the recent past. With Cinemanila’s new The Beautiful Game program, the TaguigeƱos -- together with the rest of their countrymen and international visitors -- will have another soccer event, certainly as exciting as the World Cup, to look forward to.

Cinemanila 2011 Announces Young Cinema Short Films (Competition and Exhibition)

The 2011 Cinemanila International Film Festival recently announced the finalists for its Young Cinema program, which is divided into two categories: Shorts in Competition and Shorts in Exhibition.

Cinemanila’s Young Cinema is one of the centerpieces of the festival, showcasing short films from up-and-coming filmmakers. Two awards will be given: the Ishmael Bernal Award for Most Outstanding Young Filmmaker, and Best Short Film. Filmmakers who screened their first or early shorts in Cinemanila and won the Ishmael Bernal Award include Mes de Guzman (2001), Raya Martin (2004), John Torres (2005), and Remton Siega Zuasola (2009). They have since done films that have been shown and won awards in prestigious festivals abroad like the Cannes, Rotterdam, Pusan and Berlin International Film Festivals.

123 by Carlo Obispo
Ang Gugma ni Olivia (Olivia’s Love) by Christian Linaban
Canto III by Keith Sicat
Inosensya (Innocence) by Mikhail Red
Kapatid (Brothers) by Steven Flor
Saranghae My Tutor by Victor Villanueva
Sirip (Glimpse) by Kim Camelo

Agos (Waves) by Samantha Lee
Bleached by Jess dela Merced
Dadi by Ilsa Malsi
Huling Araw ng Pagsisilbi (Last Day of Service) by Bienvenido O. Ferrer III
Leaving Home by Epoy Deyto
Manenaya (Waiting) by Richard Legaspi
Pangako (Promise) by Sari Raissa Lluch Dalena
Sydney-Manila Express by Bor Ocampo

Cinemanila 2011 to Hold Short Film Seminar by International Short Film Festival Oberhausen Programmer

The 2011 Cinemanila International Film Festival, in cooperation with the Goethe-Institut Manila and Taguig City under the leadership of Mayor Lani Cayetano, will hold at the Bonifacio Global City on 11.14.11, from 4 to 6 pm, a short film seminar by Herbert Schwarze, programmer and member of the selection committee for the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, one of the largest short film festivals in the world. The seminar will precede Young Cinema Night, which is the premiere of the films in competition and exhibition of Cinemanila’s own short film program, Young Cinema.

Schwarze will screen 90 minutes worth of some of the best and prize-winning shorts in Oberhausen’s International Competition, including works from Uganda, South Africa, Portugal, Canada, France, and Poland. He will then talk about the Oberhausen Festival and its history. The following day, on 11.15.11, Schwarze will participate in a meet and greet with the participating Young Cinema filmmakers.

The International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, founded in 1954, is one of the oldest short film festivals in the world, and one of the major international platforms for the short form. It is unique in the range of forms and genres it presents to the public, and particularly well-known for its spotlight on experimentation. In the course of more than five decades, filmmakers and artists ranging from Roman Polanski to Cate Shortland, from George Lucas to Pipilotti Rist, have presented their first works in Oberhausen.

The festival organizes an International Competition, German Competition and International Children’s and Youth Film Competition as well as the MuVi Award for best German music video and, since 2009, the NRW Competition for productions from the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Oberhausen is also known for its strong line of thematic programs such as “From the Deep” in 2010, which presented early films from before 1918, or “Shooting Animals” in 2011, a program about the history of the artistic and scientific animal film. The festival also operates a well-stocked Video Library, a non-commercial short film distribution branch, and a unique archive of short films from more than 50 years of festival history. The 58th edition will take place from April 26 to May 1, 2012 with the big thematic program focusing on the 50th anniversary of the Oberhausen Manifesto from 1962.

Herbert Schwarze is one of the program curators and members of the selection committee for the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen since 1997. He is also a filmmaker, dramatic adviser, script consultant, and author.

This is the first collaboration of Cinemanila and Oberhausen. 

Cinemanila 2011 Launches Moonlight Series with Soccer Film Bend It Like Beckham

The 2011 Cinemanila International Film Festival, in partnership with the City of Taguig, will launch the Cinemanila Moonlight Series on 11.14.11 with the screening of the critically-acclaimed and international hit Bend It Like Beckham (2002) -- by British filmmaker Gurinder Chadha, and starring Parminder Nagra & Keira Knightley -- on the lawn of Bonifacio High Street at Bonifacio Global City in Taguig.
The Cinemanila Moonlight Series are twice-a-week (Thursdays and Fridays) outdoor film screenings taking place from 7 pm onwards at the cozy green spaces of BGC. Scheduled to coincide with the Philippines’ dry season, the series will run from January to May, starting in 2012.

The Moonlight Series will bring together contemporary, classic, and cult films from all corners of the globe to entertain and delight the entire family. Before each screening, there will be DJs or musicians to set the mood as well as competitions with prize giveaways. And to make sure no one goes hungry, there will be on-site food vendors.

Joining the ranks of other international film screening events such as the NoMa Summer Screen festival in Washington D.C., the Cinemanila Moonlight Series aims to become Southeast Asia's premier outdoor cinema event. In this regard, Taguig Mayor Lani Cayetano expressed their city’s enthusiasm for the project: “The government and people of Taguig are delighted and honored that Cinemanila has chosen our city as the venue for the Moonlight Series, which is aligned with our thrust to promote education, culture and the arts.”

And what exciting and enjoyable education the citizens and visitors of Taguig are going to get. So on 11.14.11, get a taste of the fun and the Philippines’ new and unique outdoor screening season. Just bring your blankets and low lawn chairs, and picnic with friends and family under the moon and the stars. 

Cinemanila 2011 Announces Finalists for Digital Lokal

The 2011 Cinemanila International Film Festival recently announced the finalists for Digital Lokal, its competition for Filipino feature-length films in digital format:

  1. Sakay sa Hangin by Regiben Romana
  2. SeƱorita by Vincent Sandoval
  3. Sa Kanto ng Ulap at Lupa by Mes de Guzman (Philippines)
  4. Lawas Kanpinabli by Christopher Gozum

The following prizes will be awarded:

Digital Lokal Lino Grand Prize
Digital Lokal Best Director
Previous winners of the Lino Grand Prize include Manoro by Brillante Mendoza (2006), Autohystoria by Raya Martin, Imburnal by Sherad Anthony Sanchez (2008), Anacbanua by Christopher Gozum (2009), and Di Natatapos ang Gabi by Ato Bautista (2010). Most of these works went on to win more awards here and abroad.

Cinemanila 2011 Announces Finalists for its International & Southeast Asian Competitions

The 2011 Cinemanila International Film Festival recently released the list of finalists for its International & Southeast Asian (SEA) Competitions.

International Films in Competition:
  1. Gangor (2010) by Italo Spinelli (Italy)
  2. If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle (2010) by Florin Serban (Romania)
  3. Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (2011) by Nuri Bilge Ceylan (Turkey)
  4. Poetry (2010) by Chang-dong Lee (South Korea)
  5. Siglo ng Pagluluwal (Century of Birthing) (2011) by Lav Diaz (Philippines)
  6. Sun-Beaten Path (2011) by Sonthar Gyal (China)
  7. Toomelah (2011) by Ivan Sen (Australia)

Southeast Asian Films in Competition:
  1. Boundary (2011) by Benito Bautista (Philippines)
  2. Eternity (2010) by Sivaroj Kongsakul (Thailand)
  3. The Mirror Never Lies (2011) by Kamila Andini (Indonesia)
  4. Water Hands (2011) by Vladimir Todorovic (Singapore)
  5. Golden Slumbers (2011) by Davy Chou (Cambodia)

The following awards will be given in the International Competition:
Lino Brocka Prize
Grand Jury Prize
Best Director
Best Actor
Best Actress

Previous Lino Brocka Prize winners -- since Cinemanila’s inception in 1999 -- include Garin Nugroho (Indonesia), Colour of Paradise by Majid Majidi (Iran), Firefly Dreams by John Williams (Japan), Atanarjuat by Zacharias Kunuk (Canada), What Time Is It There? by Tsai Ming-liang (Taiwan), Uzak (Distant) by Nuri Bilge Ceylan (Turkey), Vibrator by Ryuichi Hiroki (Japan), The President's Last Bang by Im-Sang Soo (South Korea), Kubrador by Jeffrey Jeturian (Philippines), The Edge of Heaven by Fatih Akin (Turkey), Hunger by Steve McQueen, Sketches of Kaitan City by Kazuyoshi Kumakiri (Japan).

In the Southeast Asian Competition, a Best Film prize will be awarded. Past awardees of this relatively new category -- launched in 2007 -- include Mukhsin by Yasmin Ahmad (Malaysia), Confessional by Jerrold Tarog and Ruel Dahis Antipuesto (Philippines), Talentime by Yasmin Ahmad (Malaysia), and Ang Damgo ni Eleuteria by Remton Siega Zuasola (Philippines).

Shutter Star Ananda Everingham Back in Cinemanila

Fans of Ananda Everingham, best known for his lead role in the 2004 horror film Shutter, will be delighted to learn that the Thai actor will be arriving on 11.11.11 to attend once more the Cinemanila International Film Festival. Last year, Everingham was at the 2010 edition of Cinemanila for the screening of Wisit Sasanatieng’s The Red Eagle (2010) in which Everingham played a Thai superhero. This time, he is back in support of his film Eternity (2010) -- directed by M.L. Pundhevanop Dhewakul -- a story about a young man having an adulterous affair with his uncle's wife.

Aside from Shutter, Everingham also starred in 2007 in the romantic dramas Me...Myself, and Bangkok Time. In 2008, he was cast in Nonzee Nimibutr’s Queen of Langkasuka and in Sabaidee Luang Prabang, the first Laotian commercial film shot since it adopted communism in 1975. Everingham’s mother is Laotian and his father is Australian.
Oldboy Director’s iPhone Film Night Fishing to Screen at Cinemanila 2011

The 2011 Cinemanila International Film Festival will screen the 31-minute fantasy-horror iPhone film Night Fishing (2011) by South Korean Park Chan-wook, famously known for his The Vengeance Trilogy -- Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002), Oldboy (2003), and Sympathy for Lady Vengeance (2005). Park, co-directing with his younger brother Park Chan-kyong, shot the film entirely on the Apple iPhone 4. It was financially supported by KT, South Korea's current exclusive distributor of the iPhone, which supplied the duo with US$133,447.

Released in January 2011, Night Fishing went on to win the Golden Bear for Best Short Film at the 61st Berlin International Film Festival. It was then invited at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival because the organizers “recognized the significance” that the film -- the world's first iPhone film ever released in theaters -- held “as a marketing campaign” for KT’s iPhone 4.

Night Fishing will be screened at Cinemanila 2011 as part of the festival’s focus this year on South Korean Cinema.

The 13th Cinemanila will be held from November 11 to 17, 2011 at the Market! Market! Cinemas in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig City. Around 80 international and local films will be screened in a span of 7 days, from the current toasts of the local indie scene to the award-winners and favorites of prestigious festivals such as Cannes, Berlin, Rotterdam, Sundance, and Pusan. The festival will also feature workshops, seminars, and master classes. For more info, or jpegs for a release, please contact and or go to

For updates, join the Cinemanila International Film Festival Facebook Group at and follow Cinemanila on Twitter at .

The 2011 Cinemanila International Film Festival is presented by the City of Taguig under the leadership of Mayor Lani Cayetano, and the Cinemanila International Film Festival Foundation, together with Market! Market! Cinemas, in cooperation with Fully Booked, Bonifacio Global City, Cinema One, Manila Bulletin, Business World, TBWA\Mangada Santiago Puno, Outpost Visual Frontier, Solid Video Corporation, Scenema Concepts International, Click the City,,, Web Philippines, Goethe Institut, the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, the Embassy of Italy in Manila, the Australian Embassy, the Film Development Council of the Philippines, Jeonju Film Festival, Asiatica Mediale, and Murray n D’Vine.

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