'The Baseball Player,' 'Blue Room' win big in Cinemalaya 2022

Director Carlo Obispo wins best film for 'The Baseball Player' 

By Carissa Alcantara

"Blue Room" and "The Baseball Player" were among the big winners at the 18th Cinemalaya Film Festival held at the Cultural Center of the Philippines last Sunday.

Max Eigenmann (12 Weeks), Tommy Alejandrino (The Baseball Player), Ruby Ruiz (Ginhawa), and Soliman Cruz (Blue Room) triumphed in the acting category.

"Blue Room" received the most awards with five. The comedy-drama films tells the story of an indie rock band who gets its biggest break at a prestigious local music festival. But after their celebratory night at the local bar, they are arrested for drug possession. Instead of the standard procedures, they are hauled to the Blue Room, a VIP detention area where they can bribe their way out through rogue cops.

Max Eigenmann wins best actress for the film '12 Weeks'

But the top prize went to "The Baseball Player" which bagged the best film award. The movie tells about a Moro child soldier who aspires to become a baseball player amidst an all-out war. It also won three other awards - actor, screenplay, and editing.

CCP President Maria Margarita Moran-Floirendo cited this year's filmmakers and audiences for making the Cinemalaya 2022 event a success. 

"The excitement has been palpable, the creative energy has been surging, we've missed Cinemalaya and it is definitely good to be back, not even the fickle weather could stop us to see the films competing this year," said Moran-Floirendo in her speech.

Tommy Alejandrino wins best actor for the film 'The Baseball Player' (Photos by Facebook/Cinemalaya Official) 

For its 18th edition, Cinemalaya returned with on-site screenings of 11 full-length films and 12 short features in competition from Aug. 5 to 14, at various CCP venues. For the past two years, the country’s biggest independent film festival streamed consciousness and navigated the turbulent currents, anchoring the online screenings of competing short features and exhibition films. 

The full-length films in competition were the finalists selected for the 2020 and 2021 editions of the film festival. However, due to COVID-19 restrictions, they could not finish their filming.

The competing films will also be shown in select partner cinemas nationwide from Aug. 10 to 17. After that, Cinemalaya goes to the regions, with screenings in selected communities from Aug. 22 to 29. 

For those who are still anxious to attend an in-person event, Cinemalaya will have an online run from Oct. 17 to 31, via the CCP Vimeo account. 

The full list of winners: 

Full-Length Film Competition

Best Film – The Baseball Player (Carlo Obispo)

Best Director – Ma-an Asuncion-Dagñalan (Blue Room)

Special Jury Award -- Blue Room (Ma-an Asuncion-Dagñalan)

Best Actor - Tommy Alejandrino (The Baseball Player)

Best Actress - Max Eigenmann (12 Weeks)

NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema) Award - Anna Isabelle Matutina (12 Weeks)

Best Supporting Actress - Ruby Ruiz (Ginhawa)

Best Supporting Actor- Soliman Cruz (Blue Room)

Best Screenplay - Carlo Obispo (The Baseball Player)

Best Cinematography - Neil Daza (Blue Room)

Best Editing - Zig Dulay (The Baseball Player)

Best Production Design - Marxie Maolen Fadul (Blue Room)

Best Sound Design - Pepe Manikan (Bulsa sa Langit)

Best Original Musical Score - Isha Abubakar (Retirada)

Audience Choice – Kargo (TM Malones)

Short Film Competition

Best Short Film - Black Rainbow (Zig Dulay)

Best Director – Gabriela Serrano (Dikit)

Special Jury Award - Dikit (Gabriela Serrano)

NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema) Award - Black Rainbow (Zig Dulay)

Best Screenplay - Zig Dulay (Black Rainbow)

Audience Choice – Mandum Handum Nga Nasulat sa Baras (Arlie Sweet Sumagaysay and Richard Jeroui Salvadico)