The Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) aims to promote Philippine Films internationally by hosting the 2nd International Film Exposition held last September 6-7, 2013 at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City with the film: “Your Film Corridor to Asia”. This is to provide opportunity for both local and foreign filmmakers/ producers for partnerships, co-productions as well as exchange of knowledge in technological and marketing strategies. Chair of Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB), Eugenio Villareal, established the need for the Philippine Film industry to move towards having a “global outlook”.
Is the Philippines ready for a collaboration with other countries when it is the Independent Films that is currently saving the Philippine Film Industry? Are our actors ready for an international competition of skills and standards?

Independent Films have been saving the industry since the latter was reported to be “dying”. As we all know, the Indie films caters to only a few audience. In order for it to cater the mass, it needs more financing. However, Indie films are usually low-budgeted films. Fortunately, some Indie films are now being distributed by mainstream producers—this can be a bridge to actually moving towards “global outlook”.

The reason why Filipino Indie films do not receive as much attention like any other countries is not only because it is low-budgeted or low quality but because the actors are not popular. Filipinos tend to pick movies in cinema with their favorite actors or actresses in it—this has been the reason for the co-production of movies between mainstream outfits such as Star Cinema and Viva, and GMA and Regal. FDCP, however, goes beyond this.

The reason for collaboration and co-production is to call the attention of people not only in the Philippines but in other countries as well where the Philippines can introduce its Films. Our Indie film has already attracted international distributors through Cinemalaya which the FDCP should also focus on. The quality of Indie Films has also been improved because of this foundation and the number of Filipinos watching through Cinemalaya every July has also been increasing. Moreover, more and more Indie Films are now vying for international awards such as Marlon Rivera’s “Ang Babae sa Septik Tank” which has been nominated for the 42nd Berlin International Film Festival’s Cinema Fairbindet Award and Best Feature Award for addressing a global issue, Vancouver International Film Festival for the Dragons & Tigers Award for Young Cinema. This indie film will also be exhibited in various festivals such as Hawaiian International Film Festival, Tokyo Film Festival and Udine Film Festival. Another indie film is Alvin Yapan’s “Gayuma” which has been nominated in the 27th Warsaw International Film Festival’s Free Spirit Action.

The Philippine indie films has been already known in some parts of the world however in order to improve international recognition, the FDCP wants collaboration and a co-production between countries. With the improvement of indie films from Cinemalaya foundation and some Mainstream Producers, the industry has now better chances of international recognition. Co-producing with other countries will be a leap for the quality of films as well as acting which is why FDCP wants to pursue this. 

Camu | Quinto

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