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SINAG MAYNILA: Complete list of entries, trailers and info

A new festival for filmmakers in the Philippines is expected to give both the directors and audiences a beaming venue to experience creative spirit at its most independent form. Enter SINAG MAYNILA.

What makes SINAG MAYNILA different from all the other grant-giving independent film festivals in the Philippines? Based on the lineup, the filmmakers selected have already created films that are critically acclaimed here and abroad. But that's just one criterion. The main thrust is for these filmmakers to deliver materials that are committed to push boundaries. Meaning, there are no restrictions that can hinder their creativity. As an example, one of the contending films attempts to cross the inevitably controversial path of sexual awakenings among teenagers.

Aside from making efforts to produce feature films that reflect Filipino culture, while presenting social issues deserving of discussion among audiences globally, the organizers avowed that the festival is going to be about the filmmakers and the inviolability of their cinematic freedom. For one, they get to enjoy a good portion of the film’s total ownership.

According to Solar Entertainment CEO and Founder Wilson Tieng, the festival does not only raise the stakes but it is also given higher traction with Brillante Mendoza acting as the creative director. This will give homegrown filmmakers the chance to tell compelling Filipino stories in the most creative way. It is expected that the existence of SINAG MAYNILA will enable filmmakers to showcase their work on more venues, open more opportunities for exposure, and challenge them to be more competitive. During the recent media conference, it was revealed that Tieng and Mendoza worked closely with the filmmakers - from polishing story concepts and writing screenplays, to actual filming and editing. Mendoza emphasized that the quality of the films to be presented have been carefully ensured. “We want the audience to watch all five of them,” the Cannes Film Festival 2009 Best Director added.

The films are scheduled for screening on rotation basis daily from March 18 to 24, 2015 in a designated 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.

Here are the five films to be presented in the first ever Sinag Maynila Flm Festival, including synopsis and the director’s profile:


Top female students of an elite Catholic high school discover their identities and sexualities amidst clashing values. Conflicts between themselves, their families, and their school forces them to grow up and grow in friendship. They face slut­shaming when a rumor spreads about their participation in a secret orgy.

Directed By: Jim Libran
Written By: Jim Libiran, Dominic Lim, Iris Lee
Cast: Annicka Dolonius, Julz Savard, Bea Galvez, Elora Espano, Mariz Reyes, Japo Parcero, Odette Khan, Teresa Loyzaga and Denise Marasigan

Co-Writer | Director

Jim Libiran made his directorial debut in 2006 with PANCIT CANTON, a short film which his wrote and produced. In 2007, he came up with his first full-length film TRIBU and followed it with HAPPYLAND in 2010. He also wrote and directed the short film Batch 2011, a feature in the ABS-CBN News KINSE Human Rights Film Anthology. His latest works include his contribution as creative producer to the film SUNTOK SA BUWAN directed Bianca Catbagan, and ARAW, a short film produced by SunLife Financials Asia and KymeChow Media.


Jun, an heir to the duck farm left to him by his late father, must decide between selling the property to secure a future with his partner, or sparing the family of the land’s loyal caretakers of inevitable displacement.

Directed By: Paul Sta. Ana
Written By: Paul Sta Ana and Rona Lean Sales
Cast: Rocco Nacino, Ronnie Quizon, Vincent Magbanua, Archi Adamos, Angela Cortez, Jelson Bay, Leo Sarmiento, Denise Jewel Alfonso and Ms. Nanette Inventor
Also Starring: Archi Adamos, Jelson Bay, Leo Sarmiento, and Denise Jewel Alfonso

Writer | Director

Paul Sta. Ana graduated from the Ateneo de Manila University with a degree in Philosophy. Currently, he is a writer and director of GMA Network. As a screenwriter, Paul has received a Balanghai trophy from the Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival for the film, Mayohan in 2010. He has since then garnered several nominations from the the Young Critics’ Circle, Star Awards for Film and the Gawad Urian for his screenplays (Mayohan, Bisperas, Oros) and direction (Oros). 

In 2013, his film Oros (The Coinbearer) was the opening film of the 2012 Asiatica Filmediale in Rome, Italy. It also won Best Film in the DC Independent Film Festival. The film and its supporting actor (Kristoffer Martin) also garnered honorable mention awards in both the Landlocked Film Festival (Iowa) and Long Island Film Expo (New York) respectively.

BAMBANTI (Scarecrow)

The search for a missing watch instigates the painful quest for the truth in Belyn’s and her son’s life.

Directed By: Zig Dulay
Written By: Zig Dulay
Cast: Alessandra de Rossi, Micko Laurente, Julio Diaz, Shamaine Buencamino, Lui Manansala
Also Starring: Delphine Buencamino, Erlinda Villalobos, Celio Aquino, Abegail Edillo and Kiki Baento.

Writer | Director

Zig M. Dulay began his career as a filmmaker in 2011 when he directed his first full-length film Huling Halik (The Last Kiss), a NETPAC entry in 2011 Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival. In 2012, he started to write screenplays for various directors. His screenplays include; Posas (Shackled) directed by Lawrence Fajardo (Best Picture in 2012 Cinemalaya Film Festival and 2012 Hanoi International Film Festival); QWERTY by Ed Lejano (Special Jury Prize in 2012 Sineng Pambansa Film Festival); Ad Ignorantiam by Armando Lao (Jury Prize in 2012 Metro Manila Film Festival, New Wave); Ekstra (The Bit Player) directed by Jeffrey Jeturian (Jury Prize in 2013 Cinemalaya Film Festival and this is also the film in which he bagged the Best Screenplay; and Kasal (The Commitment) directed by Jay Altarejos (Best Film in 2014 Cinemalaya Film Festival). His short film ‘Missing’ was included in the official selection of 2013 Cinemalaya Film Festival, short film category. The film won the Best Short Film in 2013 URIAN Awards. His latest full-length film ‘M. (Mother’s Maiden Name) won Special Jury Prize in 2014 Metro Manila Film Festival - New Wave Section.


The film follows the lives of four Filipino migrant workers in Japan - Linda, Benjie, Manuel and Rodel - who, amidst their individual struggles, are suddenly caught together in an even more complex game of hide and seek where staying invisible is the only way to survive.

Directed By: Lawrence Fajardo
Written By: John Paul Bedia, Herlyn Gail Alegre
Cast: Allen Dizon, Ces Quesada, Bernardo Bernardo and JM De Guzman
Also Starring: JC Santos, Onyl Torres, Naoki Takai, Shinpei Suzuki, May Alleman, Kaz Sawamura, Masaharu Iwamoto, Oyee Barro, Ms. Cynthia Luster and Mr. Ricky Davao


Lawrence Fajardo hails from Bacolod City, Negros Occidental where he finished Masscommunication at the University of St. Lasalle Bacolod.
His most prominent works to date are Amok, a finalist in the New Breed Category of the Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival in 2011 where it won Best Sound and Editing, followed by Posas in 2012, which won Best Film in the Director’s Showcase Category. Both of which competed in countless prestigious film festivals around the globe. Amok was shown in South Korea, the United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, France, USA, Canada and Italy. Amok won Best Sound and Editing in the Natatanging Gawad Urian in 2012 and bagged the Special Prize of the Jury Award at the Detective Fest in Moscow, Russia in the same year. Posas even became even more successful as it was shown in 12 festivals, spanning 5 different continents around the globe. It brought home pride as it won Best Film in Hanoi International Film Festival in 2012.In 2013, Lawrence rekindled his love for theater when he directed the play “Imbisibol”, which was staged at the Cultural Center of the Philippines as part of the Virgin Labfest 9. It was restaged the following year as part of Virgin Labfest 10.


A young father is 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 for the life of his son.

Directed By: Remton Siega Zuasola
Written By: Remton Siega Zuasola
Cast: Dionne Monsanto, Matt Daclan, Mon Confiado
Also Starring: Publio Briones, Ramon Bagatsing, Jesus Mendoza, Genica Ines Mijares, Charisse Mari Fonacier, Natileigh Sitoy, Maria Cristina Mondragon, Eli Razo, and Ronyel Compra.

Writer | Director

A Filipino film director dedicated to the cultivation of modern Cebuano cinema. A receptient of the Ani ng Dangal award for his outstanding contribution to National Cinema. The province of Cebu awarded him with a Governor's Citation of the Garbo sa Sugbo Awards (pride of Cebu) for his contribution to Cebuano Cinema.

He first caught the attention of the Philippine film scene with his short film "To Siomai love" which won for him the 2009 Ishmael bernal award for most outstanding young Filipino filmmaker from Cinemanila international film festival. In 2010 his first feature length film "Ang Damgo ni Eleuteria".  It garnered top awards from Gawad Urian such as best picture, best cinematography, best musical score and Remton became one of the youngest recipient of the Gawad Urian Best Director Award. Remton has recently finished his 2nd feature "Soap Opera" under Cinema one Originals.

by Archie del Mundo

Dale Bacar
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