In celebration of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Pride Month, the Bahaghari-Metro Manila – a multisectoral militant and nationalist LGBT organization based in Metro Manila – will launch the first CineMakulay LGBT Film Festival on June 17 at Cinematheque Centre Manila.

CineMakulay features 19 short films and documentaries that tackle different issues that LGBT community faces.

Unlike most LGBT films in the dominant media, CineMakulay entries do not only explore issues of same-sex romance, coming out, gender identity and expression and discrimination, but also probe the link between gender and other socially-relevant issues such as labor, human rights, health, and peace talks.

“CineMakulay aims to present the different societal issues that LGBT people have to deal with through films and documentaries. As much as possible, we want to encourage filmmakers, amateur and professional alike, to explore the different facets of LGBT life,” said Det Neri, Cultural Committee Head of Bahaghari-Metro Manila.

“Bahaghari-Metro Manila also wants to emphasize that issues of the LGBT community are no different from the issues of the society as a whole. In fact, LGBT people can be found in different sectors – Indigenous people, persons with disability, urban poor, workers in formal and informal sector, children, youth, and Moro. The LGBT sector should not be limited only to discussing issues that tackle gender. It is about time that we probe the link between gender and other social issues ” Neri added.

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All film entries in CineMakulay underwent a rigid screening process led by the screening committee members National Youth Commission (NYC) Chairperson Cy Seguerra, University of the Philippines Film Institute (UPFI) professor and member of Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) Rolando Tolentino, and University of the Philippines professor and Palanca awardee Michael Andrada.

Out of the total 40 film submissions, only 19 were selected. These films will be publicly screened for free in two sets: Set A (Ang High School at si Olive by Keana Transporte, Away Bata by John Borgy Danao, What I Would Have Told My Daughter if I Knew What to Say Back Then by Cha Roque, Ang Puso ng Garapon by John Nikko Pelaez, Some Nights I Feel Like Walking by Trishtan Perez, Fluid by Gerlyn Altura, Mga Transitibong Lambing by Carlo Pacolor Garcia, Dats Ann: Lumad, Organisador, Tomboy by Bernadette Neri, and Mark and Lenny by Gio Potes) and Set B (Hiraya by Mandy Gabucan, Ma by Ralph Quincena & Patricia Ramirez, Pua Iyam by Juan Pablo Pineda III, Mama, Si Nanay by Boie Lopez, Malaya Ka Na by Armyr A Encarnacion, Singkuwenta Keka, Singkuwenta Kaku by Khey Dalit & Ronn Pangilinan, Pinoy Transkings by Dean Airo Dancel, Tokhanginamounabes by Resbak, Silang Mga Nawawala by Bernadette Neri & Dana B. Magcuro, and Zion: Moro, Organisador, Beks by Bernadette Neri).

The film festival, which is organized in partnership with the National Council of Churches in the Philippines and Film Development Council of the Philippines, will run from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm (Set A Screening: 10:00 am -12:15 pm and 03:00 pm – 05:15 pm; and Set B Screening: 12:30 pm – 02:45 pm and 05:30 pm – 07:45 pm). Each set screening will be followed by a Q&A session with filmmakers.

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Film screening is free and open to the public. For more info, contact Det Neri at bahagharimetromanila@gmail.com.