International filmmakers, members of the diplomatic corps, the local Indie community, and corporate executives recently gathered together to celebrate the Sinag Maynila 2017 Film Festival at the Samsung Hall of SM Aura Premier.
A joint project of Solar Entertainment, Centerstage Productions, and SM, the festival seeks to inspire, educate, and enlighten the viewing public. Now on its third year of providing independent filmmakers a brand-new platform to showcase their stories, Sinag Maynila featured films that reflect Filipino culture, while presenting social issues deserving of discussion among audiences here and abroad.
These were showcased at SM North EDSA, SM Megamall, and selected cinemas. With its new tagline “Sine Lokal, Pang-Internasyonal” the festival lives up to its core with finalists are handpicked by Sinag Maynila CEO and Founder Wilson Tieng and world-renowned and internationally acclaimed film director Brillante Ma Mendoza. “The upgraded mechanics for this season may have been a risky move, but we are very happy with the outcome,” says Tieng. “We are looking forward to the reception of these films here and of course, internationally.”
With the tremendous success of Sinag Maynila’s debut in March 2015, more talented filmmakers took their chance in getting a nod to be part of the competing roster as it has been closely associated with the opportunity for international recognition.
At Sinag Maynila 2017’s opening film The Asian Three- Fold Mirror: Reflections featuring the films of three Asian directors: Isao Yukisada of Japan, Sotho Kulikar of Cambodia, and our own Brillante Mendoza: Japanese programming director, film critic, producer and professor of Japan Institute of Moving Image Mr. Kenji Ishizaka, Japanese actor Masaya Kato, Cambodian film director Sotho Kulikar, and Director Brillante Mendoza with Mr. Wilson Cheng and Millie Dizon.
This season, five films have been selected for Full Length, Short Film, and Documentary categories. The finalists for the Full- Length films included Bhoy Intsik by Joel Lamanga, Kristo by HF Yambao, Beyond the Block by Ricardo Carranza, Ladyfish by Jason Orfalas, and Tu Pug Imatuy by Arbi Barbona. During the festival, guests had the rare opportunity to view two internationally acclaimed films.
These included the opening film The Asian Three-Fold Mirror 2016: Reflections series, a co-production by TIFF and the Japan Foundation Asia Center, a triptych of compelling stories featuring Director Brilliante Mendoza’s Shiniuma, Japanese director Isao Yukisada’s Pigeon and Sotho Kulikar’s Beyond the Bridge.
The closing filmwas Korean filmmaker Sang –Woo Lee’s Walking Street (2016). Sinag Maynila is a partnership between Solar Entertainment, Centerstage Productions, and SM. Event sponsors also include Metrobank, SM Aura Premier, 2nd Avenue, CT (City Television), and Jack TV.