Cinemalaya 2015 Broadening Horizons: Independent Films to Watch & Reminiscing Cinemalaya


Cinemalaya 2015: Broadening Horizons will be having its awarding ceremonies for the Gawad Alternatibo tonight, August 11, Tuesday starting at 6:15pm at the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ (CCP) Dream Theater (Tanghalang Manuel Conde).

Also the Cinemalaya Awards Night 2015 will be held on August 15, Saturday at 6:00pm at the CCP Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino. The winners and finalists of Cinemalaya Film Festival 2015 will be announced while the FullLength Feature category of Cinemalaya 2016 will be announced at the same night.


The awards will be given to the best feature shorts A & B, animation shorts, experimental shorts and documentary shorts which were presented at Cinemalaya from August 8 to 15, 2015. Here are the list of all the independent films during Cinemalaya 2015. If you’ve watched some of them, there are still a few more to see and if you haven’t, it’s not too late as the film festival is also showing at Greenbelt and possibly after will be also shown in Trinoma and University of the Philippines.




Nenok, a nine-year-old street kid in Malolos, Bulacan adopts the city’s historic Barasoain Church as a temporary home and his personal space for mischief to the distress and annoyance of Mang Johnny, the stern parish groundskeeper.

Apasol (Chasing Sun)

An afternoon of love and farewell as Mark and El spend their last afternoon together wishing on a tree, waiting to fade with the sun.

Gatilyo ng Baril

Year 1983:  Ms. Estrella investigates the case of Carlito Dimahilig, the assassin who attempted to kill Imelda Marcos.


Marisa lives alone in the dark with an even darker secret.


A troubled man finds his own cure in the vast darkness of his room.  Trying to persuade his lover to come back, he discovers a new form of therapy– his greatest ordeal, a terrible encounter he has to escape from.


During a performance, a ventriloquist suddenly finds himself talking with his past.  Will he continue the conversation or remain tight-lipped from a voice long kept?

Pusong Bato (Stone Heart)

Cinta Dela Cruz, a middle-aged faded actress tries to relive her glorious days as a movie star in the 1970s by watching films at home every day.  One day during an earthquake, something breaks into her window and wakes her up from her Hollywood.


When extreme devotion and unconditional love collide, a mother and her daughter find their escape out of the loophole that binds them together.

Lisyun qng Geografia (Geography Lessons)

Tib chances upon an old map that triggers him to retrace the places that are special to him and his high school best friend, Tric.


Manila is besieged by the worst typhoon to hit the country. Talk of the world coming to an end hangs in the air. And five men find themselves stranded inside a police station with a prisoner who may or may not be the devil.

Ang Kubo sa Kawayanan (The House in the Bamboo Grove)

Michelle lives in her own special world. Everyone is trying to convince her to abandon the house by the bamboo grove: her boyfriend trying to look for work in the city or abroad, a nosy neighbor trying to make ends meet by working as a teacher.


When Rachel and her parents took her aunt Mara to their hometown, they thought the trip would help Mara deal with the early onset of Dementia.  But as Mara begins to recall places and faces, something else has returned. Is it just her illness.

Magkakabaung (The Coffin Maker)

A hard-working father tries his best to raise a young daughter alone in a rural area, but he is ill-prepared for what fate throws their way.


Imbisibol is a gripping tale of undocumented Filipinos living in Japan. It depicts the struggles of Pinoy workers as they try to make a living while evading the authorities.
  1. Ang Di Paglimot ng mga Alaala (The Unforgetting)

  2. Pagpag (The Refuse)

  3. Bambanti (Scarecrow)

  4. Esprit De Corps

  5. Little Azkals

  6. Da Dog Show (The Dog Show)

  7. Above The Clouds

  8. In Darkness We Live

  9.  Balut Country

  10.  Esoterika: Maynila

  11.  The Truth as Told in Lies

  12.  Kinabukasan (The Day After)

  13.  Lorna

  14.  The Gift

  15.  Anatomiya Ng Pag-Ibig




11831687_837208846374841_8661301978518879975_nFor the complete detailed description of of Documentaries and Asian Films, please visit the Cinemalaya website. All film descriptions and photos are courtesy of Cinemalaya.


For 15 years, it promoted the local Philippine film industry and proved the numerous Filipino talents winning in Philippines and around the world. I began watching Cinemalaya in college when I was studying Journalism in a school specializing in Journalism situated near the CCP. It continued as I fell in love with independent films and found myself immersing myself for five years before I had to leave the country in 2011.

34862_423290663656_5773749_n The author at Cinemalaya Film Festival’s awards night a few years ago

Though every time I come back I still try to watch independent films from Cinemalaya in other theaters where they are still showing. It became one of my favorite things to do back then. I got the chance to interview the actors, directors or producers because my former job as a reporter at The Manila Times newspaper and also for my own website, The HodgePodge Lifestyle.


Awards night with veteran actors, directors and young actors from the local industry

During the first few years, not many attended but it grew recognition and now it’s well-known for film lovers. I remember attending speeches of some of the directors or producers at my Journalism school and some invited students to audition even. It also became my thesis for college before graduating. We had media passes and immersed ourselves in independent films, critiqued and wrote about them. It was a great topic which my groupmates loved and thankfully passed once presented to the panel during the thesis presentation with our college professors.2

The actors and directors present at Cinemalaya 2010

It was in 2007, one of my classmates decided to join and I tagged along with him to CCP. From there, he convinced me to also audition and funny as I passed the first screening for one of the indie’s which will be shown that year. But as my experience lacked compared to other actors and as nervousness set in, I wasn’t quite lucky with the second screening as my theater or film experiences were limited to a Repertory summer class after graduating high school and another acting workshop lesser known to singing onstage for University of the Philippine’s Voice department for summer or weekends whenever I didn’t had classes. But those were merely for hobbies and doing something in between studying and never led to practicing acting or singing professionally.

166996_485433361451_3013038_nBehind the scenes of Cinemalaya audition

167001_485433301451_4410955_nThe author, actor CJ Ramos, line producer Krisma Maclang Fajardo & Director Lawrence Fajardo

Photos courtesy of Edward Delos Santos Cabagnot

Suddenly in 2010, I found myself meeting the cast, producer and director of Rekrut for an interview with The Manila Times. It was amazing to interview them and learn the filming process. The film won awards locally and abroad. Some of them became friends while others kept in touched until now.

Afterwards in 2011, came Cuchera when I was working for a company involved in the entertainment industry and one of the actors I worked with auditioned and bagged the role. This film also won a lot of awards locally and internationally. I got to meet again some of the people from Rekrut who were auditioning that day for another year of Cinemalaya independent film and it was good to reconnect even for a day or two at CCP.

So this was probably the last year after five years of attending Cinemalaya before I left the country and stopped watching every year because of conflict of schedules or being in and out of Philippines for the next few years.

But independent films remain close to my heart and these memories were highlights that I remember vividly until now. So yes, I still support the local film industry and hope that Filipino talents will be recognized more around the world. Cheers to the 15th year of Cinemalaya and good luck to all deserving winners tonight!

For more info about Cinemalaya 2015, please visit their website at

Website: CCP

Facebook:  CCP