Puregold CinePanalo awards full-length film grants to four established, two first-time directors

Dec 12, 2023
puregold cinepanalo finalist

Six much-coveted film grants now await participating filmmakers in the highly anticipated Puregold CinePanalo Film Festival, which initially promised only five slots for the full-length film category. Following meticulous evaluation of the outstanding shortlisted entries, the six finalists, consisting of four seasoned and two aspiring directors, will move on to the final stage of the competition: film production. 

Vincent Co, President of Puregold, obviously thrilled about the development, stated, "The vision for Puregold’s CinePanalo Festival is to establish it as a platform for local filmmakers to showcase their talent. I am especially delighted to see two up-and-coming directors earning well-deserved spots in the roster, highlighting the panalo spirit and inclusivity of this competition."

Making it to the prestigious list of finalists is Bacolod-based director and “newbie” in the industry Kurt Soberano, with “Under a Piaya Moon”. An actor, director, and writer, Soberano has so far crafted short films such as "Golden Bells" (2022), "Sa Balay ni Papang" (2021), and "Azucar" (2019).

Also earning a coveted slot for the grant is award-winning filmmaker, writer, and actress Sigrid Bernardo, with “Pushcart Tales”. Known for her outstanding work in acclaimed films such as "Anita's Last Cha-Cha" (2013), "Kita Kita" (2017), and "UnTrue" (2019), Bernardo has received awards and nominations from several local and international film festivals.

Another accomplished director and actor, Raynier Brizuela, makes it as a finalist in Puregold CinePanalo’s official full-length film category with her entry, “Boys at the Back”. He is known for his contributions to films like "Video City: Be Kind, Please Rewind" (2023), "Mang Jose" (2021), and "Asuang" (2018), and his nominations from FAMAS and Cinema One Originals Digital Film Festival.

Puregold CinePanalo also awarded a film grant to Joel Ferrer for his entry, “Road to Happy”. An actor, director, and writer, Ferrer boasts an extensive portfolio of 15 films and series, including "Hello World" (2013), "Baka Siguro Yata" (2015), and "Woke Up Like This" (2017). He has also received accolades from local and international film festivals. 

Rounding up the initial list of five finalists is Carlo Obispo, with “A Lab Story”. An accomplished writer, director, and producer, Obispo has made a mark with notable films including "Purok 7" (2013), "The Baseball Player" (2022), and "Gasping for Air" (2016), and has likewise received awards from reputable award-giving institutions. 

In a surprising twist, Puregold CinePanalo boosted the winners’ stock with the "Producer's Choice," which was awarded to Eugene Torres for his film "One Day League: Dead Mother, Dead All". This expanded the final count of full-length category finalists to six slots. 

The talented Eugene Torres, an actor, producer, and director, is noted for his short film "Yujin" (2017) and contributions to films such as "Deleter" (2022) and "Gatilyo" (2019).

Each of the six finalists will receive a grant of P2,500,000 to aid in the production costs of their full-length films. Likewise, finalists are entitled to free color grading by Optima Digital, and a grocery package from Puregold. All film entries must have a minimum runtime of 90 minutes. The deadline for their submission is set for March 1, 2024.

The selected films will have their premiere showing at the Gateway Cinemas in Araneta City Cubao during the Puregold CinePanalo Film Festival proper, which runs from March 15 to 17, 2024. Potential regional screenings may follow.

The distinguished selection committee for Puregold CinePanalo Film Festival includes veteran film and television director Jeffrey Jethurian; award-winning filmmaker Victor Villanueva; Puregold senior marketing manager Ivy Hayagan-Piedad; Lyle Gonzales of Republic Creative; and Puregold CinePanalo festival director Chris Cahilig. 

Ivy Hayagan-Piedad shares her excitement over what comes next. "Navigating through so much talent and creativity during deliberations was no walk in the park. The finalists’ films are very refreshing, and I cannot wait for people to witness these cinematic masterpieces." 

Meanwhile, Puregold CinePanalo Film Festival Director Chris Cahilig highlights Puregold’s role in this endeavor. "We will forever be grateful to Puregold for making this possible. It's not just about seasoned directors showcasing their works; it's also about allowing fresh new talents a shot at their aspirations. Thank you, Puregold, for giving space to diverse voices in the film industry.”

Puregold CinePanalo Film Festival previously named 25 promising student filmmakers as finalists in the short film category, underscoring the commitment of Puregold to foster emerging talents. By providing a platform for young filmmakers to show their creativity and vision, the festival also reaffirms Puregold’s advocacy for the Filipino youth. 


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