by Rosy Mina
MANILA, PHILIPPINES, SEPTEMBER 4, 2020 — “Let’s Create Together!” was the message of the Department of Tourism (DOT) and Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) as they enjoined foreign productions to film in the Philippines and work with Filipino talents and companies during the 24th Hong Kong International Film & TV Market (FILMART) Online.
On August 29, the DOT and FDCP staged the virtual “Let’s Create Together!” Country Session with DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat and FDCP Chairperson and CEO Liza Diño-Seguerra as the speakers. The online event also premiered two video collaborations of the DOT and FDCP for the “Let's Create Together!” campaign.
Romulo-Puyat gave the Opening Remarks where she expressed hope that the webinar will entice foreign producers to film in the Philippine just like Francis Ford Coppola for “Apocalypse Now” and Oliver Stone for “Born on the Fourth of July.”
The Tourism Secretary also highlighted the importance of the Philippine film industry: “Through our films, Filipino values, culture, and heritage are shared with the global audience. Film can be an agent of change, advocating for worthy causes or shifting a particular way of thinking. Film is also a powerful driver of tourism growth, having influenced many travelers to seek out the beautiful destinations they experience on screen.”
Romulo-Puyat concluded that the DOT looks forward to a revitalized Filipino film industry under the new normal “with more productions showcasing both our amazing Filipino talent and incredible Philippine scenery.”
DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat
FDCP Chairperson and CEO Liza Diño-Seguerra
Diño-Seguerra expressed her utmost gratitude to Sec. Romulo-Puyat for gracing the event before proceeding to expound on the FilmPhilippines Program which is under the supervision of the FDCP. “We are proud to finally activate our very own incentive system,” she remarked, mentioning the three FilmPhilippines incentives: the Film Location Incentive Program (FLIP), International Co-production Fund (ICOF), and Film Location Engagement Desk (FLEX).
The FLIP awards a 20% cash rebate on Qualified Philippine Production Expenditures of a film or audiovisual production with a cap of PHP 10 million, the ICOF grants a selective fund of up to PHP 10 million for a full feature film, and the FLEX is a one-stop shop assistance for a production’s government transactions concerning visas, permits, and logistics.
The FDCP Chairperson also announced the FilmPhilippines Cycle 1 awardees which are US television series “Almost Paradise” and reality TV show “Survivor Russia” for FLIP and “Nocebo” by Lorcan Finnegan and “Kapag Wala Nang Mga Alon (When The Waves Are Gone)” by Lav Diaz for ICOF. She then called on local and foreign productions to apply for Cycle 3 of the FilmPhilippines incentives.
FDCP Chairperson and CEO Liza Diño-Seguerra announces the FilmPhilippines Cycle 1 awardees.
FDCP Chairperson and CEO Liza Diño-Seguerra discusses the FilmPhilippines application process.
After which, Diño-Seguerra mentioned the Filipino projects in the 18th Hong Kong-Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF) which are “Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah Vs. The Amazonistas of Planet X” by Avid Liongoren and “Some Nights I Feel Like Walking” by Petersen Vargas. Two other Philippine works in the HAF’s Works-in-Progress (WIP) platform were “The Double” by Adolf Alix, Jr. and “Last Days at Sea” by Venice Atienza.
She also introduced the 16 Filipino companies that were part of the Virtual Philippine Pavilion or had booths in the HK FILMART Online. The line production companies present were Betsy D. Film Productions and Philippine Film Studios, Inc. while the production service suppliers were Beginnings at Twenty Plus, Inc. and CMB Film Services, Inc.
The production companies in attendance were Atom & Anne Mediaworks Corp., Epicmedia Productions, Inc., IndieGO Pictures Entertainment, Inc., Project 8 Projects, Sisu Productions Incorporated, VY/AC Productions, GMA Network, Inc., Viva Communications, Inc., Ursa Studios, Blindwill Pictures and New Media, Rocketsheep Studio, and Unitel Straight Shooters Media Inc.
“The resiliency of Filipinos truly shows with the still active participation this year of producers, filmmakers, and content creators here in FILMART. And we hope that you join us in working together as we look forward to the resumption and revitalization of the regional and local film industry very soon,” stated Diño-Seguerra.
The “Let’s Create Together!” Country Session was among the 22 events of the HK FILMART Online 2020 that had over 670 exhibitors, drew 7,000 participants, and held 2,000 online meetings. The HK Filmart Online, held from August 26 to 29 and extended until September 30, is organized by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC).
The cover photo features DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat during the “Let’s Create Together!” Country Session at HK FILMART Online 2020.
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