ONLINE film screenings, workshops, and international film festival participation are lined up for the first celebration of Philippine Film Industry Month in September.
President Rodrigo R. Duterte signed Presidential Proclamation No. 1085 on Feb. 3, declaring every September as Philippine Film Industry Month. The celebration aims to recognize the “invaluable contribution and sacrifices of all stakeholders and sectors of the film industry, as well as provide avenues to showcase and celebrate the achievements and progress of the discipline of film and filmmaking.”
The Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) will lead in promoting and implementing programs and activities with the theme “Ngayon ang Bagong SineMula!”
All activities will be held online on the FDCP social media pages. Screenings will be hosted exclusively on the FDCP Channel virtual platform (fdcpchannel.ph).
“This is indeed in a seemingly dark year that affected not just our local industry but all industries around the world. But like the resilient industry that we always have been, we always find and sought ways to continue,” said Mary Liza Diño-Seguerra, FDCP chairperson and CEO, at an online press conference on Aug. 26 via Zoom.
The Philippine Film Industry Month opening celebration on Sept. 1 will feature the launch of the Nood Tayo ng Sine Campaign, plus announcements on the International Film Industry Conference (IFIC), First Cut Lab Philippines (FCL PH), the FDCP Film Philippines Incentives Program, and Mit Out Sound: International Silent Film Lab. It will be streamed on FDCP’s Facebook pages and YouTube channel.
The 5th Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino (PPP) returns to the FDCP Channel, with free screenings from the Sine Kabataan Short Film Competition and Sine Isla: LuzViMinda Short Film Competition from Sept. 17 to 26.
Also screening for free for the entire month on the FDCP Channel are eight films that were restored by the FDCP Philippine Film Archive, including Insiang and Manila by Night, directed by National Artists for Film Lino Brocka and Ishmael Bernal respectively. Films in the special Elwood Perez Retrospective will be screening from Sept. 25 to 30.
The movies Ang Turkey Man Ay Pabo Rin by Randolph Longjas and the restored versions of Bata Bata Paano Ka Ginawa and Dekada ’70 by Chito S. Roño will be available for rent at the Pamana ng Lingkod Bayani screenings at the FDCP Channel from Sept. 1 to 12. This is a partnership between the Civil Service Commission (CSC) and FDCP to celebrate the 121st Philippine Civil Service Anniversary.
Meanwhile, the Philippine Film Industry Gala will be the only on-ground event for the month. It will be held at the Manila Metropolitan Theater on Sept. 12, and feature the by-invitation screening of Olive La Torre’s Dalagang Ilocana, and the launch of the Elwood Perez Retrospective.
Part of the gala are the book launches of Clodualdo “Doy” del Mundo, Jr.’s Ang Daigdig ng mga Api, books on Philippine cinema by Nick Deocampo, and the SouthEast Asia-Pacific Audiovisual Archive Association (SEAPAVAA)’s Keeping Memories: Cinema and Archiving in Asia-Pacific.
Aside from online film screenings, the Philippines will participate in the 78th Venice International Film Festival in Italy. Erik Matti’s On The Job: The Missing 8 is the only Southeast Asian film participating in the festival, which will be held from Sept 1 to 11. Filipino delegates will also participate in the China International Fair for Trade in Services from Sept. 2 to 7, the Kre8tif! Elevator Pitch in Malaysia from Sept. 8 to 10, and the Philippine International Comics Festival on all weekends of September.
Ms. Dino-Seguerra said that regular participation in international film festivals brought recognition to the Philippine film industry. The challenge now, she said, is to make Philippine films commercially available internationally.
“We have projects now that have international collaboration, that legitimizes our international path. While there are challenges that we face locally, there is a new generation of filmmakers with a goal to collaboration. The goal is to work with a global market in mind and work in a globally competitive environment,” she said.
The closing event on Sept. 30 will include the awarding of Sine Kabataan and Sine Isla winners, the launch of the revamped FDCP website, and special announcements from the FDCP Channel and CreatePHFilms.
For more information and for the schedule of activities, visit https://www.fdcp.ph/. — Michelle Anne P. Soliman