|Since its successful inauguration last March 2015, the first set of featured films have debuted in various international film festivals. “The exposure of the filmmakers in other countries brings pride and honor to Sinag Maynila and to the Filipino Filmmakers,” says Festival Director Brillante Mendoza. The independent film festival Sinag Maynila line-up of films will be shown at SM Cinemas Megamall, Aura, Mall of Asia, North EDSA and Manila from April 21 – 26.
Conceptualized and helmed by its CEO and Founder Wilson Tieng, together with world-renowned and internationally acclaimed film director Brillante Mendoza, Sinag Maynilagives grants to independent filmmakers so they can develop their individual material to a full-length film for public exhibition. For 2016, the festival has been opened to any Filipino independent filmmaker who wish to apply for a film grant.
The opening film for this year’s festival is the 2015 French documentary film “Human” from director Yann Arthus-Bertrand. It’s a collection of stories about and images of our world, offering an immersion to the core of what it means to be human. The screening will be on April 21 at SM Aura Premier Cinema 1. The screening will be by invitation only.
The closing film will be Mike van Diem’s “The Surprise.” A romantic comedy film from the Netherlands which stars Jeroen Van Konningsbrugge and Georgina Verbaan. The film is about an eccentric multimillionaire signs an agreement to have his life ended. While selecting his coffin he meets a young woman who has signed up for the same arrangement. Trouble ensues when the couple falls in love and wishes to get out of the contract. It will be screened at SM Megamall, 7PM on April 26.
Five chosen filmmakers closely collaborated with Tieng and Mendoza. This collaboration resulted in stories that reflect the Filipino culture while illustrating messages that will resonate globally. Here are this year’s Sinag Maynila 2016 official entries:
MRS. by Adolf Alix Jr.
Behind the Scenes of “Mrs”
70-year-old Virginia shares the old ancestral house with Delia, her ever-loyal maid. Delia is marrying her long-time boyfriend, Rene, and tearfully confides to Virginia that she wants to go home to her parents in the province to start a new family life with him. Haunted by a past that Virginia tries to conquer—her only son Sonny Boy who disappeared years ago, what follows shows a portrait of a woman and a mother trying to juggle the sad realities of life in a cycle of life and death.
EXPRESSWAY by Ato Bautista
Trailer for “Expressway”
A syndicate old-timer named Ben needs to do one last assignment before the boss he works for grants him his much delayed retirement. Assigned to be his partner is the neophyte Morris, a trigger-happy, sadist who yearns to impress the syndicate boss. For Ben, this last assignment turns out to be a journey of introspection, self-healing and redemption. With this awakening, he takes it upon himself to pull Morris out of the eventual hell-of-a-life he says he has lived as a hitman.
DYAMPER by Mes De Guzman
Trailer for “Dyamper”
Three friends wait along Dalton Pass every dawn to jump at the back of rice delivery trucks to steal the goods and sell it at the wet market as their means of income. One of them accidentally gets a pack of drugs in one of the trucks they jumped and finds themselves in jeopardy when its owners track them down to retrieve the stash, and gives them a chance to get off the hook by means of taking on a risky mission.
Trailer for “T.P.O.”
Teresa is a battered mother in the hands of her husband, Miguel. When their son Miguelito starts to get hurt as violence erupts at its worst, Teresa will seek Temporary Prtotection Order (TPO) against her husband. Meanwhile, Miguel, together with their son, goes through the same long and arduous process of applying for the custody of their son on the town’s most festive and busiest day. When they see each other in the middle of the road, an accident will ensue leaving them both destroyed and at the losing end. The narrative will start repeating backwards, the truth will be revealed with scenes that have yet to unfold.
LILA by Gino Santos
Trailer for “Lila”
Jess is a young woman running from her past and moves into the house of a warmhearted landlady. She finds a diary in her room that belonged to an old tenant. As days pass, strange occurrences ensue and the diary’s words take an eerie turn when Jess finds herself in the middle of a malevolent turn of events from a dark past not entirely her own.
The Sinag Maynila Independent Film Festival 2016 will be taking place from April 21-26 at selected SM Cinemas. Mainly: SM Cinemas Megamall, Aura, Mall of Asia, North EDSA and Manila.