New Filipino Cinema Presents 11 Screenings of Filipino films at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

Insiang (1975) Directed by Lino Brocka

Insiang (1975) Directed by Lino Brocka

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts' New Filipino Cinema series is now in its fifth year! Each edition captures a diverse and compelling snapshot of the best films coming out of this unique nation of islands. Through continued investment in this series, YBCA helps amplify creative voices seldom heard outside the Philippines. New Filipino Cinema runs from June 9th to July 3rd.

From a classic film recently restored by Martin Scorsese’s foundation, to the tale of a transgender person who becomes pregnant, to a historical epic about the battle against US invaders during the Philippine-American War, the 2016 presentation covers issues of importance to the people of the Philippines and the world more broadly. Co-curated by Filipino movie critic Philbert Ortiz Dy and YBCA’s Joel Shepard, the program offers up box-office hits, edgy indies, and family-friendly films. Buy tickets here.

Dir. Lino Brocka
Thu, Jun 9, 7:30 PM
Sun, Jun 12, 4:30 PM

We begin by going back in time to honor perhaps the Philippines’ greatest filmmaker and most independent spirit, Lino Brocka, with a brand-new restoration of his masterwork, Insiang. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, says: “Shot under extreme pressures of time (roughly 11 days), money, and government censorship, Insiang has lost none of its political urgency or vitality. Brocka, the Philippines’ most internationally celebrated filmmaker working within—and against—the Marcos dictatorship, masterfully fuses documentary realism with classic melodrama to chart the fate of one teenage girl, the beautiful and waifish Insiang, who becomes hardened and vengeful after her boyfriend abandons her to the predatory sexual advances of her mother’s lover.” (1976, 95 min., Tagalog with English subtitles)

Dir. Prime Cruz
Sat, Jun 11, 4:30 PM
Thu, Jun 23, 7:30 PM

What is it like to be young in Manila nowadays? You’re likely working in a call center, fielding calls from half a world away while the rest of the city sleeps. You’re likely living alone in a small apartment. You’re likely making bad choices to keep the loneliness at bay.Sleepless, a smash indie hit, is a story of what it takes to survive in metro Manila, and finding the connections that will keep you sane. Starring Glaiza de Castro and Dominic Roco. (2015, 97 min., Tagalog with English subtitles)

Honor Thy Father
Dir. Erik Matti
Sat, Jun 11, 7 PM
Sun, Jun 19, 4:15 PM

One of the biggest movie stars in the country, John Lloyd Cruz, teams up with maverick director Erik Matti to deliver a grim tale of survival set in the cold northern regions of the Philippines. A man with a dark past must delve back into that darkness to save his family following the collapse of a massive pyramid scheme. Honor Thy Father is a tense, noirish story of corruption, religion, and betrayal. (2015, 115 min., Tagalog and Kankanaey with English subtitles)

Miss Bulalacao
Dir. Ara Chawdhury
Sun, Jun 12, 2 PM, Director in person
Sat, Jul 2, 4:30 PM

A drag princess gets pregnant following an alien abduction, and rumors of immaculate conception raise his status to that of a cult leader. Bursting with small-town flavor, this film displays a keen understanding of the nation’s evolving attitudes toward gay people. (2015, 102 min., Bisaya with English subtitles)(2015, 102 min., Bisaya with English subtitles)

The House by the Bamboo Grove (An Kubo Sa Kawayanan)
Dir. Alvin Yapan
Thu, Jun 16, 7:30 PM
Sun, Jul 3, 2 PM

Set in the lush Bicol countryside, this mystical fairy tale focuses on the reclusive Michelle, an embroiderer who finds profound comfort in her plain little kubo (hut). Her boyfriend and others try to convince her to leave for greener pastures elsewhere, but Michelle’s hut, and the simple things around it, communicate happiness and security in a language only she can understand. Starring Mercedes Cabral (Thy Womb). (2015, 88 min., Tagalog and Bicol with English subtitles)

Preceded by Tami-aw (Serene) by Mary Ann Gabisan, an intimate portrait of a rural 4Ps (social welfare) recipient. (2015, 11 min, Bisaya with English subtitles)

Check out the rest of the roster here.