The Cinemalaya Dokyu Section screens seven documentaries that will take viewers on a journey to different lives from the regions and share eye-opening perspectives on social truths.
A major component of the country’s biggest independent film festival, the Dokyu Section features:
ARUNA VASUDEV: MOTHER OF ASIAN CINEMA by Supriya Suri from India. A documentary about Aruna Vasudev, founder of NETPAC, Cinemaya, and Cinefan Film festival, and how she has touched the lives of many in the world of cinema. The documentary traces her roots, from her humble origins in an undivided British India to the corridors of cinematic universe. It brings together her journey as a film critic, cinema activist, and an impresario, weaving a tapestry that connects the dots that make the large canvas that we know as Asian Cinema Renaissance. This film explores her dynamism painted through a narrative of unfolding lives of critics, filmmakers, curators and programmers. The hidden maestros that largely make the cinephilia culture and by large remain unsung in histories of cinema.
POWERNAPPER’S PARADISE by Samir Arabzadeh from Sweden. People from all social classes do it. From those working at the bottom of the social hierarchy, the taxi-drivers, guards and cleaners all the way to the well-paid office workers and in government institutions. Everyone is asleep. But why? A cultural phenomenon, a silent protest against the capitalist system or a way to find inner harmony? The answer varies depending on who you ask.
BACKSTAGE PASS: LIFE BEHIND THE CURTAINS EPISODE 1 AND 2 by Filipino filmmaker Joseph Mangat. This film provides a glimpse of backstage work of the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ theater crew. The first episode, a 30-minute documentary, covers the back-of-house activities of the CCP Theater Crew in the lights, fly, and stage areas with featured crew members sharing their unique backstage stories. The second episode provides a glimpse of the backstage work of the Center’s draftsman, modelmaker, and scenic painter. The 32-minute documentary features CCP’s master scenic artist, tracing his early beginnings up to his retirement through conversations with his mentees.
KAPWA TEXAS by PJ Raval from the USA. Kapwa Texas follows three Filipino women each coming into their political consciousness and discovering themselves during a pivotal moment in their lives. During times of crisis triggered by the emerging COVID-19 pandemic, blatant racial injustice, and a Trump presidency, Lauren, Monica, and Jenah give audiences an honest and intimate look into kapwa. Through self-documented intergenerational conversations and resilience, Kapwa Texas demonstrates the unbreakable bond of Filipino family and community.
SEGUNDA PULO: FILIPINO HERITAGE THROUGH THE ARTISANS’ HANDS by Seth Gagahina from Philippines. The documentary is about terno artisans, focusing on Filipino traditional clothing, and why Filipinos nowadays are forgetting it. The 25-minute film will show how the people do not have enough resources of information about traditional clothing, the process of how it is made, and when do we really use it. The film’s goal is to inform every Filipino how terno is made and let everyone know that we can wear it every day like the good old days. If we don’t value the importance of it, eventually, we will all forget the real purpose of the terno and the Barong Tagalog that symbolizes us as Filipinos.
LOCKDOWN DIARIES: COVID 19 by Avic Ilagan from the Philippines. Ten theater artists took the challenge to record their daily lives by making video diaries and conversations during the pandemic lockdown. Despite how bleak the pandemic was, it brought them to listen to their bodies, minds and hearts. This documentary is a tapestry of video snapshots from the lives of 10 Filipino theater artists during the height of the pandemic lockdown. The artists tell their stories mostly through video diaries using phone cameras to record their daily lives, their feelings and thoughts, while locked in their homes with no work, no income, and with a sense that their country is going to pieces. Conversations with the filmmaker via Zoom were also recorded. It provides a perspective on how theater artists found ways and means to survive, to take care of their mental health, and even break protocols to persist in their advocacies.
Catch these documentaries at the Cinemalaya International Film Festival, slated on August 4 to 13, at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), Tanghalang Ignacio B. Gimenez (CCP Blackbox Theater), and selected Ayala Malls Cinemas. For more info, check the CCP website (www.culturalcenter.gov.ph) and the official social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tiktok, and Youtube.