Sinag Maynila shines on Independent Filmmakers

Internationally acclaimed film director Brilliante Mendoza and Solar Entertainment CEO Wilson Tieng worked together to launch a new local film festival Sinag Maynila.11025203_360618714141038_1534492613892045122_n

SINAG MAYNILA is the country’s newest independent film festival that showcases quality and thought-provoking movies from young, non-mainstream Filipino filmmakers.

Conceptualized and helmed by its CEO and Founder Wilson Tieng, together with world-renowned and internationally acclaimed film director Brillante Mendoza as Festival Director, SINAG MAYNILA gives grants to independent filmmakers so they can develop their individual material to a full-length film for public exhibition.
As a festival that seeks to inspire, educate and enlighten the viewing public, SINAG MAYNILA will feature films that reflect Filipino culture, while presenting social issues deserving of discussion among audiences here and abroad.
What makes Sinag Maynila different from other independent film festivals in the country?

The presence of SINAG MAYNILA in independent cinema will allow filmmakers to showcase more of their work. It’s another venue and opportunity for them to gain greater exposure and be more competitive.
“Mas maraming festivals, mas maraming pagkakataong makapaghatid ng marami pang kwento, lalo na ang mga independent filmmaker,” Mendoza said.

But unlike the rest of independent film festivals in town, SINAG MAYNILA is committed to pushing boundaries.
For Tieng, the festival “does not only up the ante. Working with Brillante Mendoza, we hope to give our homegrown filmmakers the chance to tell the stories of Filipinos in the most compelling visual narrative possible.”
This early, Tieng commends the five feature films “for showing great promise of high recognition not just locally but in international independent film festivals as well.”

How are the films selected for the festival?
For the inaugural year of SINAG MAYNILA, both Tieng and Mendoza personally handpicked five of the country’s reputable independent filmmakers with whom they collaborated in producing this year’s selection of definitive films.
From story concept, to scripts, filming and editing, Tieng and Mendoza have worked closely with the directors so audiences are assured of world-class pieces from the festival.

“We don’t want to just produce films. We want to produce good films. Gusto namin panonoorin ninyo hindi lang isa kundi lahat ng limang pelikula,” Mendoza said.

Such will be the goal of SINAG MAYNILA in the succeeding years when the festival opens itself in 2016 to any Filipino independent filmmaker who wishes to apply for a film grant. Details of the mechanics will be announced soon.

What are the five films to be featured in SINAG MAYNILA?

Sinag Maynila Balut Country
BALUT COUNTRY, a film by Paul Sta. Ana (Oros), follows the journey of Jun, an heir to the duck farm left to him by his late father. He must decide whether to sell the property to secure his future, or spare the land’s loyal caretakers of inevitable displacement.

BAMBANTI, a film by Zig Dulay (Huling Halik, M), questions the prejudice of the rich towards the poor when a son of a househelp is suspected to have stolen the employer’s missing golden watch.

IMBISIBOL, a film by Lawrence Fajardo (Amok, Posas), tells the tale of illegal Filipino immigrants in Japan and their plight to evade authorities.

Sinag Maynila Ninja Party
NINJA PARTY, a film by Jim Libiran (Suntok sa Buwan, Happyland, Tribu), is a coming of age story of two teenage coeds who find themselves in a comprising situation when they get involved in secret debauchery.

Sinag Maynila Swap
SWAP, a film by Rempton Zuasola (To Siomai Love, Ang Damgo ni Eleuteria, Soap Opera), takes us to the internal conflict of a young father, torn between solving a crime and committing another crime when one day his only son is kidnapped and the criminals demand him to steal another kid in exchange of his son’s life.
When and where will the films be screened?
The films are scheduled for screening on rotation basis daily from March 18 to 24, 2015 in a designated SM Cinema in SM Megamall, SM North Edsa, SM Manila, SM Fairview, SM Southmall, SM Mall of Asia and in SM Aura Premier, where the red-carpet opening ceremonies will be held.

After the festival period, SINAG MAYNILA plans to screen the films in other SM Cinemas as well as in universities and colleges.

The SINAG MAYNILA Awards Night will be held on March 21, 2015 at SM Aura Premier Sky Park. In a rather intimate evening, the festival will be recognizing excellence in Film, Direction, Performance, Screenplay, Cinematography, and Production Design. SM will be giving a special citation to the People’s Choice movie.
For inquiries, visit the Sinag Maynila’s Facebook page at Follow Sinag Maynila on Twitter: @sinagmaynila and on Instagram: @sinagmaynila.

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