SINCE existing health protocols to cope with the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic have made it impossible for the filmmakers of the 2020-2021 batch of the film festival to complete their films on time, Cinemalaya has had to re-think its direction and strategy in order to remain significant while continuing to fulfill its mission of discovering, encouraging, supporting, training and recognizing gifted Filipino independent filmmakers.

This includes the creation of the Cinemalaya Film Lab, a three-month-long film-laboratory mentorship program — conducted entirely online — which will be held from September to November this year, for filmmakers joining its 2023 edition.

The film lab will bring together resource persons from different aspects of filmmaking — from scriptwriting, directing, cinematography, performance, editing, production design, sound, music, production management to promotion strategies. By doing this, Cinemalaya hopes to expand the festival’s Main Competition to include feature-length documentaries while encouraging filmmakers to focus on subject matters that capture the heart of the Filipinos. Cinemalaya likewise encourages submissions that combine different genres (“multi-genres”) and even “multimedia” (live action with animation or purely animation).

At the same time, it intends to prioritize film concepts that are workable or manageable to produce.

To learn the requirements to join the film lab, interested parties can visit or Entries can be sent through this link or to the Film, Broadcast and Media Arts Division of the Cultural Center of the Philippines, Roxas Blvd., Pasay City.

Deadline for submission of entries is at 6 p.m. on June 11.