Just as we closed the year-long celebration of the Centennial Year of Philippine Cinema on September 11, the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) kicked off “Sine Sandaan: The Next 100.”
Despite the pandemic, FDCP wants to meaningfully honor the once-in-lifetime Sine Sandaan event through various events and programs that will engage, empower, and support film industry stakeholders as they continue to survive and recover from the Covid-19 crisis.
I present to you a rundown of the FDCP’s September events and I hope you can join us in seeking to promote innovation, collaboration and solidarity as we look forward to a more sustainable and progressive Philippine Cinema in the next hundred years.
FilmPhilippines Incentives Cycle 3 (September 1 to November 27)
We opened the month with another cycle of the FilmPhilippines incentive program. This is the third and last chance this year for local and foreign productions to apply for the Film Location Incentive Program (FLIP), International Co-production Fund (ICOF), and Film Location Engagement Desk (FLEX).
Philippine International Comics Festival (all weekends of September)
The 1st Philippine International Comics Online Festival (Picof) is hosted by Komiket with FDCP as one of its partners. On all weekends of September, Picof offers seminars and workshops on content creation, adaptation to film, creators and their rights, and conversations with Asian creators.
CIFTIS (Sept. 4 to 9)
The China International Fair for Trade in Services (Ciftis) is the world’s largest comprehensive exhibition in the field of service trade. The FDCP was part of the Ciftis online delegation led by the Department of Trade and Industry-Export Marketing Bureau with the Philippine Trade and Investment Center in Beijing. The FDCP attended conferences and business matching meetings, plus it was part of the virtual Philippine Pavilion which highlighted FilmPhilippines.
Kre8tif! Virtual Conference (September 7 to 10)
The FDCP partnered with Sikap (Creative Content Creators Association of the Philippines, Inc.) to participate in the Kre8tif! Conference and Content Festival in Malaysia. Three Philippine animation projects were pitched virtually: Paolo Herras presented “Strange Natives” by Blue Bullet Productions; Karla Circe Consolacion and Mookie Tamara presented “My Brother is a Chicken” by meowsmouse; and Cris Dumlao presented “Kampilan” by Kampilan Productions, LLC.
Opening of Sine Sandaan: The Next 100 – Celebration of the Closing of the Philippine Cinema Centennial featuring FIC Online & Full Circle Lab (September 11)
The virtual opening ceremony marked the end of “Sine Sandaan” with brimming hope for Philippine Cinema’s next centennial. The “Sine Sandaan: Next 100” kickoff promoted quality narratives and film projects through the opening of the Film Industry Conference (FIC) Online and Full Circle Lab Philippines. The event was hosted by Issa Litton and featured a mini-concert by singer-songwriter Ice Seguerra and The Pogi Boys.
Film Industry Conference Online (September 12 to 15)
FIC PH Online 2020 drew 2,000 attendees in four days as international film industry experts and stakeholders discussed trends, opportunities, and platforms. Six masterclasses and eight free public sessions tackled topics such as writing during quarantine, getting into online film labs, and pitching a project virtually. I was the moderator in the exclusive Netflix session on showcasing the best of Filipino content and served as a panelist on the migration of film festivals online and the role of film commissions in supporting Asean industries amid the pandemic.
Full Circle Lab (September 15 to 30)
Full Circle Lab Philippines, a collaboration between Tatino Films and FDCP, is an international project development lab that features four sections: Fiction, Series, Animation, and First Cut (editing). It supports 20 projects from the Philippines and the rest of Southeast Asia through the mentorship of international film industry experts led by Matthieu Daras and Izabela Igel.
PIA x RTF-ELCAC Documentary Film Production Workshop (September 16 to 18)
The FDCP, in partnership with the PIA Region 11, hosted a documentary workshop for media production practitioners in government from the five provinces of Davao region. They were trained in documentary filmmaking with a focus on Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict (Elcac) success stories. Workshop topics included story development and story treatment writing, basic cinematography and camera handling, and editing styles.
Lutas Film Festival Dumaguete (Sept. 17 to 19)
The Lutas Negros Oriental Film Festival, presented by Foundation University, FDCP, and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, showcased the unique and diverse stories of the region. It also held masterclasses on pursuing film in time of a pandemic with Achinette Villamor, and script and screenplay writing with Ricky Lee.
Sine Sandaan on TMT TV (September 18 to 20; 25 to 27)
This weekend marks the beginning of the FDCP and The Manila Times (TMT) Broadcasting Corporation collaboration called “Sine Sandaan on TMT TV.” The online platform provides an FDCP-curated selection of contemporary, independent, and classic films such as “Ang Mga Kidnapper ni Ronnie Lazaro” by Sigfreid Barros Sanchez, “Bahay ng Lagim” by Celso Ad. Castillo, “Sigaw sa Hatinggabi” by Romy Suzara, “Maynila sa mga Kuko ng Liwanag” by Lino Brocka, “Pagdating sa Dulo” by Ishmael Bernal, and “Genghis Khan” by Manuel Conde. “Sine Sandaan on TMT TV” will run for 13 weeks.
Kwentong Sandaan (September 23)
To catch up with the awardees from last year’s Sine Sandaan, Kwentong Sandaan is a showcase of video tributes featuring the actors, filmmakers, producers, and artists behind the camera so they may share their personal journey in the film industry over the years. This will feature not just the Living Legends, but also the luminaries, icons, and unsung heroes of Philippine Cinema, and will be shared on the FDCP’s online platforms.
WIFI: Workshops in Film Incentives (September 24)
FilmPhilippines’ Workshops in Film Incentives (WIFI) will discuss guidelines and mechanics for availing the Film Location Incentive Program (FLIP) and International Co-Production Fund (ICOF).
Mowelfund Special Masterclass (September 26)
The Mowelfund Film Institute, in collaboration with the FDCP, will hold the Special Masterclass Series online on Cinematography, Scriptwriting, Directing, and Acting. Kicking off the series with the Cinematography Masterclass is Raymond Red.
Launch of CreatePHFilms (September 28)
CreatePHFilms is a Philippine Cinema funding program that seeks to sustain the artistic creation of Filipino filmmakers by offering selective funds of up to P100,000 for Scriptwriting, up to P200,000 for Project Development, up to P1 million for Small Budget Production, P3 million to P5 million for Large Budget Production, up to P300,000 (or in the form of services package) for Post-Production, and up to P300,000 for Distribution.
Launch of Philippine Film Archive website (September 28)
The Philippine Film Archive (PFA) website will have the PFA Film Catalogue for the PFA’s film collections and their corresponding metadata. The PFA Collection’s database of non-film assets can provide information for those who want to learn about filmmaking technologies. There will also be a Media Library of PFA films and a Services section with resources for AV materials and film preservation services.
Launch of National Registry website and app (September 28)
The FDCP National Registry (NR) is a database of all active film and television workers, audiovisual companies, audiovisual organizations, and film festivals in the country. With the NR website and app, the FDCP will be able to broaden its reach to NR members to empower the film industry, further possible collaborations, promote social welfare benefits, and share job opportunities. Members, in turn, can contact the NR for their concerns.
#SineWikainChallenge Awarding (September 29)
The brainchild of Leo Martinez, the #SineWikainChallenge calls for the creative interpretations of various salawikain into vertical short films to be posted on social media. The selection of salawikain features topics on life, love, family, friendship, and character development. Cash prizes await winners in the youth and adult categories.
Closing of ‘Sine Sandaan: The Next 100’ – Celebration of the closing of the Philippine Cinema Centennial (September 30)
To officially close the Philippine Cinema Centennial, FDCP will host and stream this 2-hour virtual event that encapsulates our aspirations for the future of Philippine Cinema. Featuring performances from a powerhouse of top artists including Lani Misalucha, Gary Valenciano, Martin Nievera, Lea Salonga, The Company, Acapellago, Robert Seña, and Isay Alvarez, the industry will push forward to reaching greater heights, exploring uncharted territories, and crossing borders. This event will be in partnership with organizations from the film industry to provide engagements to professionals and workers.
These initiatives truly represent how we foresee the future of Philippine Cinema and how the FDCP can support it. We hope to realize the ambition of elevating the level of Filipino filmmaking to make it globally competitive.
We may be in a bleak and uncertain situation right now but I still want to greet you for the last time, “Happy One Hundred Years of Philippine Cinema! Maligayang Sine Sandaan!” Let’s all look forward to and strive hard for the Next Hundred Years of Philippine Cinema.