The Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) opened the second annual International Film Exhibit (IFX) at the SMX Convention Center, Friday September 6, 2013 that aims to elevate the national film industry to the global arena.
With the tagline “Philippines: Film’s Corridor to Asia,” the two day exhibit brought together some of the world’s most prominent players in the film industry and serves as an open market for film services and products, and a venue for discovering the latest technological trends for film.
“You have to remember, that the Philippines is one of the oldest film cultures in Asia and Filipinos are recognized by the biggest studios in the world as one of the most skilled talents in production and film-making, so this is our way of showcasing our talent to the world,” FDCP chair Briccio Santos told The Manila Times.
“The IFX also seeks to be the venue for discussions regarding partnerships with the other Asean countries with regards to tariffs, initiate possible co-productions and explore more venues that will help our filmmakers. As we all know, cinema has gone global and it is time that we engage our filmmakers and independent producers to make more quality films,” he added.
Apart from the exhibit booths of local production companies such as Star Cinema, GMA Films, Revolution Media Group, Viva Films, Regal Entertainment, and Quantum Films among others, a series of symposiums were also conducted. The first session featured the module discussing co-production, collaboration, commerce and creativity. The second session is on a vision beyond film and television. Finally, the focal point of the third session talks on the road towards sustainable cinema.
Also included is the Film Asean Summit which centers on the theme, “Regional Empowerment and Mutual Cooperation,” and will advance the crafting of an Asean film agenda to accelerate the development of the film industry and it will strengthen the system for cooperation and production collaboration in the Asean region. The participating countries include Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
Santos then revealed plans of holding our very own World Premiere Festival next year. “For this year we are showcasing the new works of our local master filmmakers, but this is just the beginning as we are planning to invite other notable filmmakers to make the World Premiere Festival a truly world-class film making event.”
Sineng Pambansa National Film Festival
The FDCP has also partnered with SM Cinemas for the Sineng Pambansa All-Masters Edition that features twelve of the best and most prolific film directors in the country. This year’s NFF showcases fresh masterpieces from Philippine’s cinema greats: Tikoy Aguiluz, Mel Chionglo, Peque Gallaga and Lore Reyes, Joel Lamangan, Elwood Perez, Gil Portes, Jose Javier Reyes, Maryo J. Delos Reyes, Chito Rono, Romeo Suzara and Celso Ad Castillo.
Elwood Perez, makes a comeback with Otso starring veteran actress Anita Linda which is a story of an ambidextrous, aging author who calls on his Muse to rid of his writer’s block while Gil M. Portes, director of the Gawad Urian-winning Mga Munting Tinig directs Isang Tag-araw ni Twinkle, an account of a drug addict who seeks rehabilitation and in the process re-connects with her dying father. Isang Tag-araw ni Twinkle stars actress Ellen Adarna.
Much awaited among the line-up is the familiar powerhouse tandem of Lore Reyes and Peque Gallaga who, for this festival, has Sonata to offer. Sonata, which stars dramatic artists Cherrie Gil and Richard Gomez, tells the story of a worn-out artist who recovers her spirit through a relationship with a young boy.
Jose Javier Reyes, known for his mainstream blockbusters such as Kasal, Kasali, Kasalo directs Ano Ang Kulay ng mga Nakalimutang Pangarap? which has Bobby Andrews, Angel Aquino and Ryan Agoncillo in the cast. The movie traces the life of Teresa, who has dedicated sixty years of her life to the service of a middle class family at the expense of her own happiness and fulfilment. Now that the matriarch of the family has died, the children who were under her care have flown back from abroad to bury their mother and decide on the fate of their nanny.
Romy Suzara comes back with Tinik a story of a middle-aged couturier who faces the many problems of being gay while trying to hold on to his own dignity. Tinik stars Raymond Bagatsing and Hayden Kho.
Tikoy Aguiluz, on the other hand, directs Eman, a biopic on Eman Lacaba, a brilliant poet turned activist with Matinee idol Derek Ramsey playing the lead role. Aguiluz has directed a similar biopic in the mid-80s: Balweg which is about rebel priest Fr. Conrado Balweg.
Lauriana by Mel Chionglo centers on domestic drama about a Philippine Constabulary soldier’s mistress in the 1950s. The film tackles obsession, passionate love and abuse. Based on a true story, Chionglo describes the film as a psychological thriller. The film casts Bangs Garcia and Allen Dizon.
A couple of this year’s NFF’s films have strong political themes. Chito Rono’s film Badil’s story revolves around a small barrio’s corrupted voting system seen through the eyes of a young boy while Joel Lamangan’s Lihis is set in the 70s Martial Law era where two male members of a rebel organization, in the midst of their crusade, share an intimate relationship. Lihis stars Jake Cuenca and Joem Bascon with Isabelle Daza, Lovi Poe and Gloria Diaz.
Veteran director Maryo J. Delos Reyes’ Bamboo Flowers completes the line-up and is a film that tackles the rousing beauty of the Bohol Island and the lives of the people in it. The film casts indie film siren Mylene Dizon with Max Collins, Neil Ryan Sese and Ruru Madrid.
Each of the director’s film is set in their respective hometowns: Maryo J. de los Reyes in Bohol, Tikoy Aguiluz in Davao, Peque Gallaga in Bacolod, and Mel Chionglo in Quezon, with undisclosed places for Chito Roño and Jose Javier Reyes.
NFF will also feature a Masters’ Master Tribute to the late grate Celso Ad Castillo with the screening of his last film Bahay ng Lagim with the documentary The Gospel According to Celso Kid. The festival, in honor of two other Philippine cinema legends Lino Brocka and Manuel Conde, will also screen the late directors’ films namely the restored version of Maynila: Sa Mga Kuko ng Liwanag and Genghis Khan, respectively.
The Sineng Pambansa National Film Festival 2013 will run from September 11 to 17 at all SM Cinema branches nationwide.