Beginning this year, the Philippines will officially celebrate and commemorate the heritage, significance, and legacy of Philippine Cinema through Philippine Film Industry Month in September, an annual month-long observation mandated by President Rodrigo Duterte.
The Film Development Council of Philippines (FDCP), as the lead agency in observing Philippine Film Industry Month, has lined up a wide array of events and programs for the inaugural celebration with the theme “Ngayon ang Bagong SineMula!”
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the observance of Philippine Film Industry Month 2021 will be done online on the social media pages of FDCP for the Opening and Closing events. Screenings will be hosted exclusively on the FDCP Channel virtual platform (fdcpchannel.ph).
The Opening of Philippine Film Industry Month on September 1, to be streamed on FDCP’s Facebook pages and YouTube channel, will feature the launch of the Nood Tayo ng Sine Campaign plus important announcements from the International Film Industry Conference (IFIC), First Cut Lab Philippines (FCL PH), FDCP FilmPhilippines Incentives Program, and Mit Out Sound: International Silent Film Lab.
FDCP’s flagship program, the 5th Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino (PPP), returns to the FDCP Channel with its first leg, featuring free screenings from the Sine Kabataan Short Film Competition and Sine Isla: LuzViMinda Short Film Competition from September 17 to 26.
Also screening for free on the FDCP Channel are eight heritage films restored or enhanced by the FDCP Philippine Film Archive such as “Insiang” by National Artist Lino Brocka and “Manila by Night” by National Artist Ishmael Bernal for the whole month of September, and films in the special Elwood Perez Retrospective from September 25 to 30.
Three films, “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 rental for Pamana ng Lingkod Bayani @ FDCP Channel from September 1 to 12, a partnership between the Civil Service Commission (CSC) and FDCP to celebrate the 121st Philippine Civil Service Anniversary.
Meanwhile, the only in-person event is the Philippine Film Industry Gala at The Manila Metropolitan Theater (MET) on September 12 featuring the by-invitation screening of “Dalagang Ilocana” by Olive La Torre, launch of the Elwood Perez Retrospective, and book launch of “Ang Daigdig ng mga Api” by Clodualdo “Doy” del Mundo, Jr., “Alter/native Cinema: The Un-chronicled History of Philippine Alternative Cinema” and “Three-Volume Anthology of Essays on Philippine Cinema (Vol.1 Philippine Cinema and History; Vol.2 Philippine Cinema and Culture; and Vol.3 Philippine Cinema and Literacy) by Nick Deocampo, and “Keeping Memories: Cinema and Archiving in Asia-Pacific” by SouthEast Asia-Pacific Audiovisual Archive Association (SEAPAVAA).
September 12 is a special day in Philippine Cinema history because it was when “Dalagang Bukid” by Jose Nepomuceno, the first Filipino-produced and -directed feature film, was shown in 1919.
Local and international events, conferences, and workshops
The Philippines will be proudly represented in the 78th Venice International Film Festival in Italy, bannered by “On The Job: The Missing 8” by Erik Matti, the only Southeast Asian film in competition in the prestigious Biennale Cinema from September 1 to 11. Filipino delegates will also participate in the China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS), Kre8tif! Elevator Pitch in Malaysia, and Philippine International Comics Festival (PICOF).
In its 5th year, FDCP’s Film Industry Conference levels up to become the IFIC from September 16 to 19. Other industry trainings are the CreatePHFilms Online Scriptwriting Session, Safety and Health Officers Training Seminar (SHOTS) of FDCP’s Safe Filming Program, Workshops in Film Incentives (WIFI) and Co-production Masterclass of the FDCP FilmPhilippines Office, Musical Score Lab by the FDCP National Registry (NR) and Mit Out Sound, and FCL PH organized by FDCP and Tatino Films.
National Artist Kidlat Tahimik’s Unsung Sariling Bayani (USB) Short Film Competition will continue to hold the USB Storming with Kidlat: Usapang Bayani Forum with USB Breakout Sessions and USB with Kidlat Tahimik.
FDCP’s vaccination program for film and entertainment workers in partnership with the City of Manila’s “Vaccine Nation is the Solution” program will proceed with the second dose scheduled on September 29 at Adamson University for those who received their first dose last August 2 at Palacio de Maynila.
The Closing of Philippine Film Industry Month on September 30 will feature the Awarding of Sine Kabataan and Sine Isla winners, launch of the revamped FDCP website, and special announcements from the FDCP Channel and CreatePHFilms.
“Ngayon ang Bagong SineMula! This is the declaration of hopeful survival of the first-ever Philippine Film Industry Month amid the COVID-19 pandemic. It speaks of a new beginning, a chance to restart and rebuild a system that would be more inclusive and sustainable for all stakeholders, allowing Philippine Cinema to push forth with its heritage and legacy towards a brighter and more prosperous future for the industry,” said FDCP Chairperson and CEO Liza Diño.
Through Presidential Proclamation No. 1085 signed on February 3, 2021, President Duterte declared September as Philippine Film Industry Month, acknowledging the need 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 President then ordered the FDCP to be the lead agency in observing Philippine Film Industry Month, and enjoined all government agencies and instrumentalities of the National Government, including government-owned or -controlled corporations and state universities and colleges, as well as the private sector to cooperate with the FDCP in promoting and implementing programs and activities for Philippine Film Industry Month.
Below is the calendar of activities for Philippine Film Industry Month 2021:
September 1 – Opening of Philippine Film Industry Month
The one-hour virtual show to kick off Philippine Film Industry Month, to be streamed on the FDCP Channel, will be headlined by the launch of the Nood Tayo Ng Sine Campaign, featuring the release of an ad, one-time free screening of iWitness documentary “Palasyo ng Pelikula” on the FDCP Channel, and relaunch of FDCP’s Cinematheque Centres.
Announcements will be made on the upcoming International Film Industry Conference (IFIC), selection of projects for First Cut Lab Philippines (FCL PH), and the #FutureSilentFilmmaker side event of Mit Out Sound: International Silent Film Lab for student filmmakers.
September 1 to 30 – Free Screenings of Heritage Films
The Film Heritage lineup on the FDCP Channel, curated by the FDCP Philippine Film Archive (PFA), features eight films that helped mold the nation’s film heritage: “Brutal” by Marilou Diaz-Abaya, “Insiang” and “White Slavery” by National Artist for Cinema Lino Brocka, “Manila by Night” and “Pagdating sa Dulo” by National Artist for Cinema Ishmael Bernal, “Sinong Lumikha ng Yoyo, Sino Lumikha ng Moon Buggy” and “Turumba” by National Artist for Film and Broadcast Arts Kidlat Tahimik, and “The Sex Warriors and the Samurai” by Nick Deocampo.
Under the PFA’s Film Restoration Program, six titles were fully restored while Deocampo’s “The Sex Warriors and the Samurai” and Kidlat Tahimik’s “Turumba” by Tahimik were digitally enhanced in-house by the PFA.
September 1 to 12 – CSC Pamana ng Lingkod Bayani @ FDCP Channel
To honor and recognize public servants who risked their lives and were killed in their line of duty, the Civil Service Commission-National Capital Region and FDCP partnered for the fundraising event “Online Zumba and Film Screening” for the Pamanang Lingkod Bayani Program. For a fee of PHP 250, public servants and their extended family can watch three feature films: “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.
Proceeds will go to the Pamanang Lingkod Bayani program that honors civil servants who died in the line of duty. Philippine Olympians will also be invited to grace the online Zumba event. The CSC Pamana ng Lingkod Bayani @ FDCP Channel is also in celebration of the 121st Philippine Civil Service Anniversary,
September 1 to 11 – 78th Venice International Film Festival
“On The Job: The Missing 8” by Erik Matti, part of the HBO Asia Original Series that will get a worldwide release on HBO GO in September, will have its world premiere in Venice at the Venezia 78 Competition.
Two projects are in the Venice Gap Financing Market: “Plan 75” by Chie Hayakawa, a Japan-France-Philippines co-production, and Swiss-German co-production “Electric Child” by Simon Jaquemet, an FDCP FilmPhilippines Film Location Incentive Program (FLIP) recipient which has local production company Epicmedia Productions, Inc. as one of its partners.
The FDCP events at Venice are the Philippine/On The Job Cocktails, FDCP/Philippines Production Table and Spot on Screens at the Venice Production Bridge, and the Panel Discussion “From the Philippines to the World: The On The Job franchise and exploring new ways of global content distribution” moderated by Venice Film Festival Programmer Paolo Bertolin with “On The Job” director Matti, producer Dondon Monteverde, and actor Dennis Trillo as panelists.
September 1 to October (TBA) – CreatePHFilms Online Scriptwriting Session
The 2nd CreatePHFilms Session of Online Script Consultations, held by the FDCP in partnership with French production and consultancy company Tatino Films and led by Matthieu Daras, is part of the CreatePHFilms Fund for Scriptwriting, a selective fund of up to PHP 100,000 that gives access to at least two FDCP-led sessions with international mentors on the concept, creative issues, and developing the screenplay. World-class script consultants Ayman El Amir, Helen Beltrame-linne, Mmabatho Kau, and Aleksandra Świerk serve as mentors to the eight scriptwriting grantees of CreatePHFilms 2020 Cycle 1.
The grantees are Richard Legaspi (“Ang Alamat ng Gumamelang Bukid”), Danzen Katanyag (“Dead Boy”), Bor Ocampo (“Magiliw”), Sonny Calvento (“Mother Maybe”), Victor Villanueva (“Oyayi”), Wilfredo Manalang (“Silk Ties”), Paolo Herras (“Strange Natives”), and Honee Alipio (“The Fighting Filipinos”).
CreatePHFilms is a funding program administered by the FDCP to encourage the creation of quality local films through financial support for development (scriptwriting and project development), production (small budget and large budget), post-production, and film distribution.
September 2 to 7 – China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS)
As the world’s largest comprehensive exhibition in the field of service trade, CIFTIS seeks to showcase the thriving partnership between China and ASEAN in this year’s edition. FDCP, as a returning CIFTIS delegate, will participate in business matching meetings, conferences, and the exhibit that highlights the FilmPhilippines Incentives Program.
September 3, 11 and 18 – USB Storming with Kidlat: Usapang Bayani Forum
Unsung Sariling Bayani (USB) is a short film competition focused on lesser-known Filipino heroes with the goal to balance the influence of foreign superheroes in the Filipino youth’s mindset with a compelling engagement with the glorious stories of our very own heroes. USB is spearheaded by National Artist for Film and Broadcast Arts Kidlat Tahimik and presented by the FDCP in partnership with the National Quincentennial Committee. USB Breakout Sessions will be held on September 3 and 18 while the 2nd USB Forum with Kidlat Tahimik will take place on September 11.
September 4 to 5, 11 to 12, 18 to 19, 25 to 26 – Philippine International Comics Online Festival (PICOF)
The 2nd PICOF, hosted by Komiket in partnership with FDCP, has 24 webinars and workshops to be conducted by local and international speakers from 12 countries. On all weekends of September, attendees will get to join book launches, discover the comics of other cultures, meet and greet published creators, and learn about comics critics, literary agents, comics collaborations, international publishers, and how far comics can go into other content platforms.
September 8 to 10 – Kre8tif! Elevator Pitch
The 12th Kre8tif! Conference and Content Festival, recognized as the business networking platform for the digital content industry in Malaysia and across Southeast Asia, held a Call for Animation Projects to the Kre8tif! Elevator Pitch through the FDCP.
The Elevator Pitch, devised for selected studios to pitch their original Intellectual Property (IP) to a panel of buyers within 5 minutes, will feature “Rage Radio” by Mark Lenard Mendoza, “Sitio Balete” by Karla Circe Consolacion and Mookie Tamara, “The Jerry Action Bonanza” by Manny Angeles and Avid Liongoren, “Solemn Vow” by Lawrence Panganiban, “OFW” by Keith Sicat, “Not Not the Hairless Kapre” by Ceazara Vidallo, and “Miming and Friends” by Ramon del Prado and Meryll Yan.
September 12 – Philippine Film Industry Gala
To reiterate Philippine Film Industry Month on the day Philippine Cinema was born (September 12, 1919 – the release of the first Filipino-produced and -directed film “Dalagang Bukid” by Jose Nepomuceno), the FDCP will hold the by-invitation Philippine Film Industry Gala at The Manila Metropolitan Theater (MET) with strict adherence to safety and health protocols. The highlight of the gala is the screening of “Dalagang Ilocana” by Olive La Torre.
Prior to the gala, the book launch of “Ang Daigdig ng mga Api” by Clodualdo “Doy” del Mundo, Jr., “Alter/native Cinema: The Un-chronicled History of Philippine Alternative Cinema” and “Three-Volume Anthology of Essays on Philippine Cinema (Vol.1 Philippine Cinema and History; Vol.2 Philippine Cinema and Culture; and Vol.3 Philippine Cinema and Literacy) by Nick Deocampo, and “Keeping Memories: Cinema and Archiving in Asia-Pacific” by SouthEast Asia-Pacific Audiovisual Archive Association (SEAPAVAA) will be held at 3 p.m. to be followed by the launch of the Elwood Perez Retrospective at 4 p.m.
September 13 to 17 – Safety and Health Officers Training Seminar (SHOTS) and the Launch of #KwentongSafety
The FDCP Safe Filming Program, in partnership with the Department of Labor and Employment-Occupational Safety and Health Center (DOLE-OSHC), will hold the 4th SHOTS, a free online 40-hour Basic Occupational Safety and Health Training for the Audiovisual Industry. Upon completion of the SHOTS, participants will receive a Safety Officer 2 (SO2) Certification from DOLE-OSHC just like the 139 graduates from the first three batches.
In addition, the online campaign #KwentongSafety will be launched to feature the insights on the best safety practices in production shoots during the pandemic from singer and actor Christian Bautista, actresses Pinky Amador and Gabby Padilla, cinematographer Tey Clamor, production designer Eero Francisco, producer Gale Osorio, filmmaker Rae Red, stunt director Erwin Tagle, and Safety Officer Jamie Wilson.
September 15 – Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino (PPP) Opening Ceremony Featuring Sine Kabataan and Sine Isla: LuzViMinda
FDCP’s flagship film festival returns with its 5th edition, offering fresh perspectives from the youth and regional narratives. PPP 5: Featuring Sine Kabataan and Sine Isla will feature 10 Sine Kabataan Short Film Competition entries and 15 finalists from the new short film competition Sine Isla: LuzViMinda.
The Opening Ceremony is a one-hour virtual event that will launch the Sine Kabataan and Sine Isla: LuzViMinda screenings on the FDCP Channel and introduce the filmmakers of both competitions.
September 15 – Opening of Cycle 3 of the FilmPhilippines Incentives Program
The FDCP FilmPhilippines Office (FPO) will start accepting applications for Cycle 3 of the FilmPhilippines Incentives Program. The incentives offered by FPO are the Film Location Incentive Program (FLIP), International Co-Production Fund (ICOF), and ASEAN Co-production Fund (ACOF).
September 16 to 19 – International Film Industry Conference (IFIC)
The 5th IFIC will continue to provide comprehensive knowledge with local and international experts as speakers and panelists in free sessions and masterclasses open to the public, both local and international. To be held online this year following last year’s first virtual edition, the IFIC seeks to create a platform for aspiring Filipino and international filmmakers and film enthusiasts to explore opportunities, challenges, and the new industry norms amid the pandemic.
September 17 to 26 – Sine Kabataan Free Screenings @ FDCP Channel
The 5th Sine Kabataan continues to encourage the youth to develop their creativity and originality in storytelling while touching on pertinent issues in society. Out of over 200 submissions, 10 projects were chosen as finalists and grantees of the first Sine Kabataan production grant who went through intensive film labs to develop their production skills and elevate their projects.
The Sine Kabataan finalists are “Abot Kamay Ang Langit” by Brian Spencer B. Reyes, “Ang Alamat ng Prinsipe at Mandirigma” by Jacob Mikhail U. Collado, “Ang Balay ni Conrad” by Ardinian Jaq Sanque, “Ang Bunga sa Tiyan ni Adam” by Ella Louise B. Salomon, “Jeremy Supot” by James Allen Fajardo, “Jombi” by Angela Francesca V. Andres, “Love in the Ungodly Hour” by Bradley Jason Pantajo, “Mga Ulap Tayong Nagiging Ulan” by Demetrio E. Celestino III, “Reconnected” by Judd Bradley Avelino, and “Si Jet at ang Dark Lord ng Dol Gurskul” by Terence Giourdan Gonzalves.
September 17 to 26 – Sine Isla Free Screenings @ FDCP Channel
The FDCP hopes to spotlight the value of regional filmmaking and its role in the development of Philippine Cinema through the nationwide contest Sine Isla: LuzViMinda Short Film Competition. From more than 100 entries, 15 short films were chosen by the selection committee and esteemed jury. Through featuring the works of regional filmmakers during PPP 5, the FDCP hopes to champion a more inclusive Philippine Cinema.
The finalists for Sine Isla: LuzViMinda are “Ang Meron sa Wala” by Arby Laraño and Christine Laraño, “Forever” by Domingo Molina, “Gulis” by Kyle Francisco, “Halawod” by Anna Katrina Velez Tejero, “Maglabay Ra In Sakit” by Mijan Jumalon, “Mga Bag-ong Nawong (sang Damgo kag Katingalahan)” by Mark Garcia, “Oppa-wikan” by Tracy Tang and Hanz Florentino, “Palabas” by Arjanmar Rebeta, “Replay” by Franky Arrocena, “Singil” by Maria Graciella Musa, “Sumasaiyo,” by Jermaine Tulbo, “Tarang” by Arvin Belarmino, “The Man Who Isn’t There and Other Stories of Longing” by Trishtan Perez, “Urihi Nga Luha” by Trishtan Perez, and “You Are Here” by Niño Maldecir.
September 18 – ASEAN-ROK Workshop Series @ IFIC
Featuring officials of film commissions from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations-Republic of Korea (ASEAN-ROK), including FDCP Chairperson and CEO Liza Diño, this IFIC panel will tackle the state of the ASEAN film industry, with ASEAN film commissions still providing support during the pandemic. The panel will also discuss ways to move forward and shape the new landscape in a rapidly changing world.
September 18 and 19 – FDCP Channel Game Nights
Fun games, surprise guests, and exciting prizes are featured in FDCP Channel Game Nights that aim to gather the vibrant film community and foster the festive PPP and Philippine Film Industry Month spirit. Game Night 1 is dedicated to the PPP 5 Featuring Sine Kabataan and Sine Isla: LuzViMinda while Game Night 2 is dedicated to the PFA Heritage Films and FDCP Channel relaunch. The FDCP Channel Game Nights will be held from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. on the FDCP Channel, the FDCP Channel Facebook page, and FDCP Channel YouTube channel.
September 20 to October 1 – Full Circle Lab Philippines (FCL PH)
Organized by the FDCP in partnership with Tatino Films, FCL PH will have another virtual edition of its capacity-building program led by international industry experts with the aim to support Filipino and Southeast Asian filmmakers in enhancing their projects to become globally competitive.
The 3rd FCL PH has the Fiction Lab, Series Lab, First Cut Lab, and the newest addition, the Creative Producers Lab to nurture producers in project development, legal and financing issues, and company development. Filmmakers from the Philippines and Southeast Asian countries Brunei, Cambodia, Timor-Leste, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam were encouraged to submit their projects for consideration.
September 21 to 23 – Sine Kabataan Talkbacks and Sine Isla: LuzViMinda Talkbacks
As per PPP tradition, talkbacks featuring all participating filmmakers in Sine Kabataan and Sine Isla: LuzViMinda will be held to allow audiences to gain deeper insights into the film entries as well as provide a platform for filmmakers to discuss their works in greater detail.
September 22 – Co-Production Masterclass, Workshops in Film Incentives (WIFI), and Announcement of FilmPhilippines Cycle 2 Projects
The FDCP FilmPhilippines Office (FPO) will hold the Co-Production Masterclass “Let’s Create Together: Getting Into International Co-Productions” featuring prominent Filipino producers.
In order to orient interested companies on the FilmPhilippines Incentives Program, the FPO will hold another session of the Workshops in Film Incentives (WIFI) to discuss the Film Location Incentive Program (FLIP), International Co-Production Fund (ICOF), ASEAN Co-production Fund (ACOF), and Film Location Engagement Desk (FLEX). FPO will also make the much-awaited announcement of its Cycle 2 projects.
September 24 to 26 – Musical Scoring Program of the Mit Out Sound: International Silent Short Film Competition
In order to enhance the skills of film and audiovisual workers, the FDCP NR will hold a free Musical Scoring Program for NR registrants in partnership with the country’s first silent film lab, Mit Out Sound: International Silent Film Lab.
The FDCP, together with its partners at the International Silent Film Festival Manila (ISFFM), recognizes the salience of music in the nature of silent films. In line with the Silent Short Film Competition and the Mit Out Sound: International Silent Film Lab, the ISFFM aims to encourage the participation of musical scorers and composers in the festival and open the field of film scoring to a diverse set of professionals to engage in silent short film scoring and instill an appreciation for silent short films.
September 25 to 30 – Elwood Perez Retrospective Free Screenings @ FDCP Channel
The Elwood Perez Retrospective features free screenings of at least 12 films of the two-time Film Academy of the Philippines (FAP) Awards Best Director and three-time FAMAS Best Director. These are “Bilangin ang Bituin sa Langit,” “Ibulong Mo sa Diyos,” “Nakawin Natin ang Bawat Sandali,” “Masarap, Masakit ang Umibig,” “Beerhouse,” “Esoterika: Maynila,” “Inday Garutay,” “Otso,” “Shame,” “Stepsisters,” “Till We Meet Again” and “Isang Gabi… Tatlong Babae!”
Aside from the screenings, the PFA website (philippinefilmarchive.fdcp.ph) will also host an online museum for the 76-year-old Perez, who received the Special Honorary Award at the 2013 Cinema One Originals Digital Film Festival and Lifetime Achievement Award (Gawad Gintong Ani) at the 2015 FACINE Filipino International Cine Festival.
September 29 – FDCP-City of Manila Vaccine Nation Day for Film and Entertainment Workers
The Vaccine Nation Day for Film and Entertainment Workers of the FDCP NR in partnership with the City of Manila’s “Vaccine Nation is the Solution” program continues on September 29 at Adamson University, which is the second dose schedule for those who got vaccinated last August 2 at Palacio de Maynila. The FDCP NR-City of Manila vaccination program has provided for the inoculation of 3,500 film and audiovisual workers.
September 30 – Closing of Philippine Film Industry Month
The first-ever Philippine Film Industry Month will end with a bang through a virtual ceremony that will recap the month-long activities that celebrated the Filipino film industry and feature the Awarding of Sine Kabataan and Sine Isla: LuzViMinda winners, launch of the revamped FDCP Website, relaunch of the FDCP Channel, announcement of the CreatePHFilms Cycle 1 projects, and opening of CreatePHFilms Cycle 2.
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