The Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival 2019 to be held from August 2 to 13 is doubly special for Albert Almendralejo’s Spears Films because the company is presenting two films.
Last year, Albert, a former GMA 7 executive-turned-filmmaker was so happy that his directorial debut—the documentary “Journeyman Finds Home: The Simone Rota Story”—was shown in exhibition at Cinemalaya.
Albert is a big fan of the festival. When it is Cinemalaya week, he clears his busy schedule so that he can watch the films at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. Last year was memorable because he attended the prestigious indie filmfest as a producer-director and not just as a member of the audience. “Journeyman Finds Home,” the story of Italian Filipino footballer Simone Rota’s search for his biological mother, is Almendralejo’s collaboration with director Maricel Cariaga.
For the Cinemalaya 2019 competition, Spears Films is fielding the drama about art and love entitled “Malamaya,” and the family picture, “Children of the River.”
“Malamaya,” is a romance that Spears Films is co-producing with ALV Productions and Cine Likha Productions. It features Sunshine Cruz as a seasoned visual artist who reignites her lost passion with an aspiring photographer played by Enzo Pineda. Getting in the way of their romance is a potter played by Raymond Bagatsing. “Malamaya” is directed by Danica Sta. Lucia and Leilani Chavez.
“Children of the River,” meanwhile, is Spears’ venture with Luna Studios and GMA Network Films. This movie written and directed by Maricel Cariaga tells the tale of three young friends whose fathers have gone off to war and are now left with the responsibility for caring for their respective families. In the cast are: Cinemalaya 2017 Best Actor Noel Comia Jr., Juancho Trivino, Rich Asuncion, with the special participation of Urian Best Actor Jay Manalo.
Albert says, “While ‘Malamaya’ is a romance in a cosmopolitan setting and ‘Children of the River’ is an idyllic story in the province of Quirino, both are coming-of-age stories of persons rising above their weaknesses. I was drawn to produce these films because both show the process of maturity.”
For Albert, Cinemalaya 2019 is a homecoming of sorts. He says, “It’s full cycle for me because the first film I produced, Ralston Jover’s directorial debut, ‘Bakal Boys,’ won the NETPAC Prize in the 2009 Cinemalaya. It feels great to be part of this significant festival.”
Spears Films also produced “Tumbang Preso,” a drama thriller on human trafficking directed by Kip Oebanda; and the documentary about the training of young Filipino footballers in the UK entitled “Little Azkals” by Babyruth Villarama, and “Pangarap Kong World Cup,” a two-part docu series that chronicles the preparation of the Azkals Philippine Men’s National Football Team. “These are stories about the youth and how to improve their well-being,” says Albert.
For updates about Spears Films/Spears Activation and PR, visit Spears Activation & PR on Facebook and http://spearsactivationandprco.com.