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CineFilipino Film Festival announces 2019 finalists for Feature Length, Shorts, and Series Categories


The CineFilipinoFilm Festival, a celebration of Philippine cinema and of young and aspiring Filipino filmmakers, has officially released the full list of finalists for its Feature Length, Shorts, and Series categories in its 2019 competition.

Feature-length finalists (from left to right)Jose Javier Reyes the Competition Head, Jopy Arnaldo, CharlsonOng, Sarge Lacuesta, Sue Aspiras, Cristopher GozumChristopher Novabos, Steven Evangelio, JP Habac, Rob Hara, Dolly Dulu, Madonna Tarrayo the Festival Director and Guido Zaballero the First Vice President and Head of Marketing of Cignal


For the Feature Length film category, eight finalists were selected from over 100 entries and have each merited a PHP 2,000,000.00 grant, allowing them the amazing opportunity to produce their films and bring their cinematic visions to life. These talented finalists are: 


1. Jopy Arnaldo, 27 EXP – A story about a boy who uses a disposable camera to move on from a love lost 

2. Charlson Ong and Angelo R. LacuestaCargo – A Tausug fast-boat pilot finds himself involved in a murder, and must choose between escape and surrender 

3. Sue AspirasHomecoming – A young diwatagets a dazzling homecoming 

4. Christopher GozumIlikdem Mo So Matam – A Filipina filmmaker in Seoul, South Korea gets entangled in a forbidden relationship between two other OFWs in the city 

5. Steven Paul EvangelioMaya-maya Paparito Na – A family’s Christmas reunion is ruined by a devastating storm, leaving them with no way out 

6. JP HabacOlsen’s Day – A production assistant goes on a trip with a strange old man and his son who threatens him but at the same time, gives him the answers he seeks 

7. Rob JaraOuroboros – A coming-of-age vengeance drama about a young man who waits 20 years to avenge his father’s death at the hands of his own mentor 

8. Dolly DuluThe Boy Foretold by the Stars – A gay high school student, driven by a fortuneteller’s predictions, attempts to prove to a boy that they are destined to be together

Shorts finalists (from left to right): Jose Javier Reyes the Competition Head, Dolly Dulu, Noel Tonga, Zsarina Mae LacumbaElaiza Rivera, Ronald Dulatre, James Hermoso, Lorys Plaza, Redeen Fajardo, Producer Precious Flores,Madonna Tarrayo the Festival Director, and Guido Zaballero the First Vice President and Head of Marketing of Cignal

For the Shorts category, the nine finalists who rose above dozens of submissions are: Dolly Dulu with 7-Year Itch; Dexter Paul de Jesus with Alex & Aki; Claudia Fernando with Ang Alamat ng Sari-SaringSari StoreZsarina P. Lacumba with Ang’gulo(Unclear)Eluigi Macalintal and James Garcia with Delta; Lorys Plaza and James Hermoso with Kita (nalng) Duha; Noel Tonga, Jr. with Memento Mori; Ronald Dulatre and Elaiza Rivera with Tayo (Stand Up); and Reeden Fajardo Quing Lalam Ning Aldo (Under the Sun).

Series finalists (from left to right): Jose Javier Reyes the Competition Head, Jeremy Luke Bolatag, Christian Mark Vidallo, Rob Jara, Kris Ulrich, Maze Miranda, Ronald Van Angelo A. DulatreEfren Malabanan, Dustin Celestino, Ronald Batallones, Jelani Maniago, Carlo Obispo, Madonna Tarrayo the Festival Head, and Guido Zaballerothe First Vice President and Head of Marketing of Cignal

And for the Series category, the 10 chosen finalists are: Jeremy Luke Bolatag with B124; Christian Mark Vidallo with Balete: The Animated Series; Rob Jara with Delikado; Kris Ulrich and Maze Mirada with Life After College; Ronald Van Angelo A. Dulatre with Manila Encounters; Dustin Celestino with Philippine Gothic: Habang Buhay; Ronald Batallones with Raket; Efren P. Malabanan with Sa Pusod ng Dagat; Carlo Obispo with The Junkyard Hippies; and Jelani Maniago with Tindero. These finalists will be pitching their stories to a selection panel comprising established industry personalities, namely: SM Lifestyle Entertainment SAVP of Ad and Corporate Sales Isabelle Santillan; filmmaker and producer Perci Intalan; Viva Communications Producer and AVP for TV Production Tess Fuentes; and screenwriter and filmmaker Wanggo Gallaga. The selection panel will choose five of the ten finalists to greenlight for production.

During the program Q&A: Jose Javier Reyes the Competition Head, Guido Zaballero the First Vice President and Head of Marketing of Cignal, and Madonna Tarrayo the Festival Director

“We’re looking forward to all the works of art our finalists are bringing to this year’s CineFilipino Film Festival,” said Competition Head Jose Javier Reyes. “We believe we’ve chosen the best of both professional and aspiring Filipino filmmakers—in the end, it’s not just about good stories, but also about storytellers.” 


“We may find the next great Filipino filmmaker, as well as the next great Filipino film, in the festival”, added Festival Director Madonna Tarrayo. “CineFilipino supports the celebration of 100 years of Philippine cinema, and we’re always on the lookout for exceptional talent that can help drive the art and the industry in the present and future.” 



The CineFilipino Film Festival, organized by CignalTV and Unitel Productions, Inc., is a showcase of stories from Filipino filmmakers that are worth watching and celebrating, helping local talent achieve higher commercial success. This year’s festival theme, Buhay ang Kuwento, means two things: 1) “The Story is Life”— life itself is a collection of stories which gives emphasis on the universality of human experiences as told in film; and 2) “The Story is Alive”— writers, directors, cinematographers, actors, and producers keep these stories alive by producing films and creating shared cinematic experiences in the big screen for everyone to enjoy


For more details, visit the official website and follow CineFilipino on Facebook (@CineFilipino), Instagram (@CineFilipinoOfficial), and Twitter (@CineFilipinoPH).

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