Now on its 12th year, the Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival is bringing back full-length films in the main competition. Instead of having 12 films, the 2016 competition will have nine participating films.
The number of mainstream stars crossing over into the independent film scene is continuously growing. With that, Push lists down the first-timers in this year’s Cinemalaya Festival who are exploring indie territory.
1. Alex Diaz
Alex is part of this year’s period love story Dagsin by director Atom Magadia, which tackles love, loss, and acceptance. Although it wasn’t Alex’s first time to delve into doing a B Film (he has done college culmination projects), he considers Dagsin as his first full-length indie. The MYX VJ said the movie has allowed him to push his boundaries and to widen his understanding of his craft.
2. CJ Navato
After focusing on his singing career of late, CJ admitted that he somewhat misses getting into different roles. This is the reason he opted to try his luck in auditioning for Kusina. CJ plays the role of young Joem Bascon who takes on the role of Juday’s husband Peles. The YouTube star admitted that he had a grand time on the set of the David Corpuz and Cenon Palomares film even if he only had one taping day for his first ever indie and Cinemalaya entry.
3. Thou Reyes
Although it might seem quite surprising to know that I America was his first indie, Thou, fresh from yet another success of his international indie Toto, claimed that such is the case. While he has participated for a bit in the 2013 film Dance with the Steel Bars he still considers the Bela Padilla-starrer indie as his first local independent film. The Ang Probinsyano guest star couldn’t be any more grateful when he was personally tapped by Ivan Payawal to join the cast.
4. Matt Evans
Like Thou, Matt is also part of I America as Boyet, who is one of Bela Padilla’s best friends in the film. While it wasn’t really his first indie since he has previously done three others, The Greatest Love star proudly shared that it was his first ever Cinemalaya entry.
For Pokwang, Mercury is Mine is dream come true. The Banana Sundae
host admitted that she has long wanted to have her very own Cinemalaya entry. Now, thanks to her dear friend Coco Martin, she can now cross-off “doing an indie film” off her bucketlist. Pokwang plays the role of Carmen, an almost bankrupt carinderia owner who eventually meets Mercury, played by Bret Jackson.