The 8th Cinemanila film festival(Nov 3-15), which is the Philippines' only international film festival, has forthe first time gained the support of two national government agencies.

Both the Film DevelopmentCouncil and the National Commission for Culture and Arts, along with theIndependent Cinema Association, are major partners of this year's event.

The festival continues itscommitment to local cinema through the digital competition which sees eightlocal digital films vying for the grand Lino Brocka prize. Cannes FilmFestival's Christian Jeune will be the jury chairman.

Cinemanila founder and festivaldirector Tikoy Aguiluz says: "The local digital competition, launched lastyear, is pivotal in exporting Philippine cinema to the outside world." Lastyear's winner Tuli by Auraeus Solito (The Blossoming Of Maximo Oliveros) isset for 2007 Sundance while Paolo Villaluna and Ellen Ramos' Illusion was recently picked up byKorea's CJ Entertainment at Pusan.

The world premiere of thefinal cut of acclaimed Filipino director Lav Diaz's 540-minute long Heremias will be screened as the closingfilm. The picture will also be screened on November 4 in Boracay during thethree-day co-production meeting which has six projects from South-East Asiavying for a Hubert Bals grant and a new grant offered by Bigfoot Entertainment.

Heremiasand fellow film-maker Jeffrey Jeturian's Kubradorare among 10 films in competition at the festival's international section.

A special Cinemanila awardfor contribution to Asian cinema will be presented to Singapore InternationalFilm Festival director Philip Cheah and NETPAC president Aruna Vasudev.

International competition:

9th Company
Dir: Fyodor Bondarchuk (Finland, Russia, Ukraine)

Dir: Nuri Bilge Ceylan (Turkey, France)

Citizen Dog
Dir: Wisit Sasanatieng (Thailand)

Everlasting Regret
Dir: Stanley Kwan (Hong Kong)

Dir: Lav Diaz (Philippines)

It's Only Talk
Dir: Ryuichi Hiroki (Japan)

Dir: Jeffrey Jeturian (Philippines)

Sympathy for Lady Vengeance
Dir: Park Chan-wook (South Korea)

The Wind That Shakes the Barley
Dir: Ken Loach (UK, Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Ireland)

Taking Father Home
Dir: Ying Liang (China)

Local digital competition:

Anino ng Setyembre
Dir: Briccio Santos

Gamot sa Pagkabagot
Dirs: Ato Bautista, Jason Donato andShugo Praico

Dir: Brillante Mendoza

Dir: Roberto Bonifacio

Raket ni Nanay
Dir: Lawrence Fajardo

Dir: Khavn dela Cruz