Lights, Camera, Panalo: Puregold CinePanalo Film Festival Introduces Finalist Directors

Puregold CinePanalo Film Festival, the much-awaited event set to hail a new generation of outstanding Filipino films, officially introduced the recipients of its coveted film grants during a press conference held at the Artson Events Place, Quezon City.

Attended by representatives from Puregold, the film directors, their respective producers, and other key members of their teams, the press conference highlighted Puregold’s primary objectives: to provide a platform for both well-known and emerging filmmakers and to showcase narratives—collectively called Kuwentong Panalo—that can touch the heart and remind us of the indomitable Filipino spirit.

From hundreds of CinePanalo applicants, only thirty-one of the very best were selected as finalists. They were formally presented during the event, which also marked the beginning of the final stage of the Puregold CinePanalo Film Festival.

Among the full-length film finalists named during the press conference were Kurt Soberano, a newcomer with his entry, "Under the Piaya Moon," and Eugene Torres with "One Day League: Dead Mother, Dead All". These earned the "Producer's Choice" title, expanding the initial five grant slots to six.

Accompanying them were renowned directors Sigrid Bernardo for "Pushcart Tales," Raynier Brizuela for "Boys at the Back," Joel Ferrer for "Road to Happy," and Carlo Obispo for "A Lab Story”.

Full-length film directors Kurt Soberano, Raynier Brizuela, Sigrid Bernardo, and Eugene Torres; producers VJ Mendoza, Mina Cruz, and Thirdy Rivera; and actor Elora Espano before the official press conference.

Several of the lucky student directors together before the start of the event.

Some other student directors posing for a photo with festival director Chris Cahilig before the program started.

Ivy Hayagan-Piedad, senior marketing manager of Puregold, shared inspirational opening remarks to begin the day.

25 student directors were selected from all over the Philippines to participate in the first-ever Puregold CinePanalo Film Festival.

Promising new student directors who were likewise introduced are as follows:

● Jenievive B. Adame - "Smokey Journey" (STI College Cubao)

● Ma. Rafaela Mae Abucejo - "Saan Ako Pinaglihi?" (Polytechnic University of the Philippines)

● Alexa Moneii Agaloos - "Ka Benjie" (Polytechnic University of the Philippines)

● Kent Michael Cadungog - "Text FIND DAD and Send to 2366" (University of the Philippines)

● John Pistol L. Carmen - "Repeater si Peter" (Bicol University)

● Chrisha Eseo Cataag - "Hallway Scholar" (Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng San Pablo)

● Patricia W. Dalluay - "Lola, Lola, Paano ba 'Yan?" (Polytechnic University of the Philippines)

● Joanah Pearl Demonteverde - "Kang Pagpuli Ko" (University of the Philippines – Visayas)

● Joshua Andrey A. Doce - "I Am Mutya And I Thank You!" (Bicol State College of Applied Science and Technology)

● Neil M. Espino - "Sa Hindi Paghahangad" (De La Salle Lipa)

● Terrence Gale Fernandez - "Kaibigan ko si Batman" (Polytechnic University of the Philippines)

● Daniel Gil - "Distansya" (Ateneo de Davao University)

● Alexandra Lapid - "Queng Apag" (Mapúa University)

● Reutsche Colle Rigurosa Lima - "Tiil ni Lola" (University of San Carlos)

● Dizelle C. Masilungan - "Kung Nag-aatubili" (University of Santo Tomas)

● Jose Mikyl Medina - "Lutong Bahay" (De La Salle University)

● Ronjay-C Mendiola - "Last Shift" (Polytechnic University of the Philippines)

● Mark Terence Molave - "Paano po gumawa ng collage college?" (Polytechnic University of the Philippines)

● Jhunel Ruth A. Monterde - "Si Mary May Crush Kay Tess" (De La Salle College of Saint Benilde)

● Doxford D. Perlas - "Naduea Eoman Si Brownie (Brownie's Lost Again!)" (University of the Philippines – Visayas)

● Andrea S. Ponce - "Layag sa Pangarap" (Polytechnic University of the Philippines - Sta. Mesa)

● Edz Haniel Teñido Purificacion - "Dzai Dzai Dzai Delilah" (Mapúa Malayan Colleges Laguna)

● John Wilbert Llever Sucaldito - "Tambal nga Sabaw" (Far Eastern University)

● Tyrone Lean J. Taotao - "Abandoned Lullabies" (Polytechnic University of the Philippines - Sta. Mesa)

● Marian Jayce R. Tiongzon - "May Kulay Rosas Ba Sa Bahaghari?" (University of the Philippines – Visayas)

The six full-length film directors received a substantial grant of Php 2,500,000 each, while 25 short film student directors were granted Php 100,000 each. On top of the film grants, all finalists also received complimentary color grading from Optima Digital for their respective films and essential groceries from Puregold to further support them during the production phase.

Puregold CinePanalo’s student filmmakers and Puregold senior marketing manager, Ivy Hayagan-Piedad; festival director Chris Cahilig; representatives from the festival’s partners Optima Digital and Mowelfund; and members of the festival’s Selection Committee. 

Direk Sigrid Bernardo, whose feature length film “Pushcart Tales,” will be part of the Puregold CinePanalo.

Direk Raynier Brizuela will be joining the festival with his film “Boys at the Back.”

Producers Mina Cruz and VJ Mendoza came on behalf of Direk Joel Ferrer, whose film “Road to Happy” will feature at the Puregold CinePanalo.

Direk Carlo Obispo secured a spot in the festival by pitching his film, “A Lab Story.”

Direk Kurt Soberano’s “Under a Piaya Moon” is part of the inaugural Puregold CinePanalo line up.

Direk Eugene Torres’ film “One Day League: Dead Mother, Dead All” was added to the line up as a Producer’s Choice selection.

The full-length filmmakers standing alongside Puregold senior marketing manager Ivy Hayagan-Piedad, festival director Chris Cahilig, representatives from festival partners Optima Digital and Mowelfund, and the Selection Committee. 

The finished Puregold CinePanalo full-length and short films will be viewed at a premiere at the Gateway Cinemas in Cubao from March 15 to 17, 2024, followed by potential regional screenings. Short films will also be available on Puregold's official social media channels on YouTube and TikTok.

The distinguished selection committee, comprising veteran film and television director Jeffrey Jethurian; film critic Tito Valiente; award-winning filmmaker Victor Villanueva; Puregold senior marketing manager Ivy Hayagan-Piedad; Lyle Gonzales of Republic Creative; and Puregold CinePanalo festival director Chris Cahilig, played a crucial role in shaping the festival's trajectory.

With the CinePanalo Film Festival, Puregold further strengthens its commitment to fostering local talent, bridging gaps, and bringing authentic Filipino stories to the forefront of the cinematic landscape. The Puregold CinePanalo Film Festival promises to celebrate creativity, diversity, and the vibrant spirit of the Filipino people.

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