LOOK: 12 Short Films to Compete at Cinemalaya 2017

IT’S an exciting time for Pelikulang Pilipino this August as a wealth of local films opens in nationwide cinemas thanks to upcoming festivals, one of which is the Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival.

Themed “See the Big Picture,” Cinemalaya XIII is definitely going big this year with nine full-length entries and, for the first time in its history, 12 short films from the original nine entries in previous editions. These will add to the pool of films it has supported, co-produced, promoted and showcased: a total of 127 full feature independent films and 106 short films so far.

As a look back, this author remembers 2015 when Cinemalaya showed only short films to restructure its full-length competition. In the past, filmmakers and producers competed in New Breed and Director’s Cut categories. After that year, the two categories were combined into one. However, many were surprised by the move and were disappointed to catch only short films.

I admit I felt the same in the beginning but toward the end, that Cinemalaya edition made me appreciate short films because these can be as complex, technical, beautiful and powerful just like full-length films. They too have a message to tell.

As such, let’s take a look at the competing short films at Cinemalaya 2017:

Aliens Ata (Maybe Aliens)

In the absence of their OFW mother, two young brothers have to deal with the sudden loss of their father. Directed by Glenn Barit.

Bawod (Bent)

Stressing over whether she would be able to perform in the school’s annual Talent Show because her family could not afford to rent a traditional costume, twelve-year-old Thirdy starts having visions of a mysterious man. Everything seems to unravel as village problems and family secrets finally collide. Directed by TM Malones.

Fatima Marie Torres and the Invasion of Space Shuttle Pinas 25

Set during the launch of the first space shuttle of the Philippines, an ordinary old couple living in the suburbs attempts to go about their life during this strange day. Directed by Carlo Francisco Manatad.

Hilom (Still)

The film follows the journey of twin brothers, Andres and Gael, living in a fishing village ravaged by strong typhoon, as they find healing against the harsh landscape of an island. Directed P.R. Patindol.

Islabodan (Free Men)

The film tells the story of a lone, apathetic plastic bottle collector named Caloy, who gets caught in the middle of two warring gangs. That incident changes his disposition in life forever. Directed Juan Carlo Tarobal.

Juana and the Sacred Shores

The beautiful maiden Juana lives peacefully in an island until she realizes that she is alone. To satisfy her longing, she dances and prays for a companion. Suddenly, a man arrives. Directed by Antonne Santiago.

Lola Loleng (Grandma Loleng)

A young woman returns to her hometown to meet her Grandmother Loleng who suffers from dementia. Together, they will unearth the old lady’s innermost secrets and wartime experiences. Directed by Che Tagyamon.

Manong ng Pa-Aling (Man of Pa-Aling)

The film revolves around the incredible story of man and his natural relationship with the ocean. Because of his old age and physical frailty, Manong decides what he will do next after retiring from the only profession he knows, a fisherman. Directed by E Del Mundo.


Silence pierced the chaos inside Maria’s home when she confirms that she is pregnant with her 22nd child. Conflict ensues when her 14-year-old daughter is suspected to be pregnant, which angers the firstborn of the family. Amidst the chaos, Maria's water suddenly breaks. Directed JP Habac.

Nakauwi Na (Home)

Amidst the grief, anger and injustice, Mang Jerry works frantically to find enough money to get his son who is a victim of extra judicial killings out of the funeral home. Directed by Marvin Cabangunay and Jaynus Olaivar.


The film tells the story of Bateng, a boy who triggered a series of life-changing events when he stole an old woman’s purse. Directed by Arvin Belarmino and Noel Escondo.

Sorry for the Inconvenience

After he was bullied one night, Joshua decided to take matters into his own hands. But things don't go as planned, so he is left with no choice but to seek help from his policeman father. Directed by Carl Adrian Echavez. 


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