Sinag Maynila, the independent film festival established by Solar Entertainment head Mr. Wilson Tieng and Cannes Film Festival Best Director Brillante Mendoza, is half a decade old.
What began as a foray to help local indie filmmakers has now grown into a festival with three competition sections, noteworthy international exhibition films and a variety of cinema-related activities.
Heading the list of Sinag Maynila competition films are five full-length features: “Akin ang Korona” directed by Zig Dulay, “Jesusa” directed by Ronald Carballo, “Jino To Mari” directed by Joselito ‘Jay’ Altarejos; “Pailalim” directed by Daniel Palacio; and “Persons of Interest” directed by Ralston Jover.
Competing in the short film category are “Bisperas” by Ralph Quincena, “Dana Jung” by John Rogers, “Dude Pare Bro” by Lora Cerdan, “Kiss” by Harlene Bautista, “Kilos” by Marjon Santos, “Marian” by Brian Patrick Lim, “Memories of the Rising Sun” by Lawrence Fajardo, “Nagmamahal, Sal” by Jeff Subrabas, “Ngiti ni Nazareno” by Louie Ignacio, and “Panaghoy” by Alvin Baloloy.
Meanwhile, those competing in the documentary category are “At Home” by Arjanmar H. Rebeta, “Entablado” by Lie Rain Clemente and Nori Jane Isturis, “Hope Spots” by Joseph Dominic Cruz, “Hyatt: Mga Kuwento, Lihim at Katotohanan” by Jayvee V. Bucsit, and “Tata Pilo” by Dexter Macaraeg.
Sinag Maynila 5 opens on April 3 with “Lakbayan” a three-part omnibus film by Brillante Mendoza, Lav Diaz and National Artist for Film Kidlat Tahimik — all of whom are awardees at the Berlin International Film Festival and have made their marks in several international filmfests.
The Sinag Maynila Festival proper starts on April 4 in select cinemas. There will be a forum on April 6 with speakers Joanne Goh, Chairman of the Malaysia International Film Festival, and Young-woo Kim, Programmer for the Busan International Film Festival.
Winners of the Sinag Maynila 2019 competition will be announced at the Gabi ng Parangal on April 7. During the week, FDCP will be hosting a Fellowship Night for all the filmmakers and Sinag Maynila guests.
There will also be an environmental film screening and forum with resource speaker Fiona Faulkner, Environmental and Community Development Officer of The Plastic Solution. This year, there will be a Film Editing workshop to be conducted by John Anthony Wong, Managing Director of Edge Manila Creatives.
Sinag Maynila closes with the film “Journey”, an Asian Three-Fold Mirror project by the Japan Foundation.