THE 16th Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival scheduled for August has been postponed as the COVID-19 pandemic poses “safety and health hazards” to filmmakers trying to make their deadlines, the Cinemalaya Foundation Inc. said in a statement.

“This crisis puts into sharp focus the readiness of our industry with regards the health and safety of its constituents and Cinemalaya will work with agencies and organizations to address this gap,” the foundation said in the statement posted on festival director Chris B. Millado’s Facebook page on Saturday.

“The organizers will also consider solutions for mitigating the economic loss that stakeholders of the festival absorbed. The festival programmers are also looking for alternative ways of delivering content to the public using online technologies,” it added.

Considered the largest independent film festival in the country, Cinemalaya announced last year the 10 finalists for the festival’s competition section, each of whom will get a P1-million seed grant released in tranches.

The festival was originally scheduled to run from Aug. 7 to 16 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines and select cinemas.

The 2020 finalists for the full-length section are: Ang Halimaw by Emmanuel Q. Palo, Angkas by Rainerio Samson II, Bakit Di Mo Sabihin (Tell Her) by Real Florido, Bula sa Langit by Sheenly Gener, Dalagita sa Likod ng Pawikan by Paul Sta. Ana, Kargo by T.M. Malones, Kathoey by Joris Fernandez and Paolo Valconcha, Parole by Briliant Juan, Rhino Girl by Jav Velasco, and Seperate/Separate by David Corpuz. — ZBC