By LIZA DIÑO-SEGUERRA
Notes from the Chair
The Sunday Times Magazine
The Manila Times
October 4, 2020
Annual festival invites everyone to ‘Sama All!’
By the end of the month, on October 31 to be exact, the 4th Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino (PPP) will commence in an all-new online edition as a response to the restrictions on the operations of cinemas due to the pandemic situation.
Due to the pandemic, the 4th Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino (PPP) will commence in an all-new online edition, with a selection of more than 100 films.
As the flagship event of the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), the PPP is a celebration of Philippine Cinema where new quality genre films are screened for one week in all regular cinemas nationwide. No foreign film is screened during PPP, except in specialty cinemas, in order for the whole country to celebrate its own local films.
In the last three years, the PPP has showcased 37 full-length feature films to more than 2.5 million audiences, grossing over P420 million. The festival’s well-received top grossers are “100 Tula Para kay Stella” (2017) and “The Day After Valentine’s” (2018) both by Jason Paul Laxamana, and “The Panti Sisters” (2019) by Jun Robles Lana. Victor Villanueva’s “Patay na si Hesus” was a surprise regional comedy hit that was the second top grosser in 2017.
Furthermore, PPP films have consistently been chosen as the country’s entry to the Academy Awards Best Foreign Language race with “Birdshot” by Mikhail Red in 2017, “Signal Rock” by Chito Roño in 2018, and “Verdict” by Raymund Ribay Gutierrez in 2019.
PPP films have been paired with Sine Kabataan short films produced by filmmakers aged 18 to 30, focusing on societal themes as perceived by the youth. The Sine Kabataan competition, which also began in 2017, encourages young filmmakers to tackle issues relevant to the youth such as family values, education, health, and security and peace building.
We certainly had high hopes and grand plans this year for PPP 4, especially since it would have coincided with the closing of the Philippine Cinema Centennial celebration. Although cinemas remain closed and there are no press conferences, premiere nights, PPP Grand FanCon, and block screenings, we at the FDCP still resolved to push through with the PPP no matter what. Tuloy na tuloy ang Pista!
Amid the pandemic, the national film agency wishes to showcase the diversity of our local films. And as the country officially closed the celebration of One Hundred Years of Philippine Cinema in September, the FDCP aims for the PPP to be the platform to gather the entire film industry together as it looks to the future of the next hundred years.
“PPP 4, Sama All!”
The PPP 4 online edition has a selection of more than 100 films. The FDCP-led omnibus project features titles from local film festivals like the Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival, QCinema International Film Festival, Cinema One Originals Film Festival, Sinag Maynila Film Festival, CineFilipino Film Festival, ToFarm Film Festival, and Metro Manila Film Festival. Films from various producers and regional film festivals, plus FDCP’s PPP, Sine Kabataan, and CineMarya Women’s Film Festival will also be included.
It’s a solidarity event that is why we chose the slogan, “PPP 4, Sama All!” The play on the popular “sana all” catchphrase indicates that PPP 4 will host various film festivals in one platform, welcoming a wide range of filmmakers and audiences. Its sections are Premium, Classics, Documentary, Romance, Youth and Family, Genre, from the Regions, PH Oscars Entries, PPP Retro, Bahaghari, and Tributes, along with Sine Kabataan and CineMarya.
The new FDCP channel
All PPP films and events will be accessible in an exclusive FDCP-sponsored platform (FDCPchannel.ph) from October 31 to November 15. Festival passes (Premium All-Access Pass, Half-Run Pass, and Day Pass) will be sold for PPP 4, and 100-percent of the proceeds will be given to producers involved through revenue sharing. The FDCP will not charge fees to producers nor will it get a cut in the sales of festival passes despite its limited budget because we know that this will help filmmakers in these challenging times.
PPP 4 festival lineup
The full PPP 4 lineup will be announced soon, but we have already revealed a partial film list since the Early Bird Rate Festival Pass (P450) was made available from September 30 to October 15. The Classics section will screen “White Slavery” by Lino Brocka, “Genghis Khan” by Manuel Conde, and “Manila by Night” by Ishmael Bernal, all of which are part of the FDCP’s Philippine Film Archive Collection. Kidlat Tahimik’s “Balikbayan #1: Memories of Overdevelopment Redux VI” and Fernando Poe, Jr.’s “Ang Panday” will also be shown.
The Premium section, meanwhile, will feature films that had limited release or have never been released to the Philippine audience. PH Oscars entries include “Verdict,” “Transit,” “Ma’Rosa,” and “Sa Pusod ng Dagat” while the Genre films are “Alpha: The Right to Kill,” “Instalado,” “Abomination,” “Jose Rizal,” “El Presidente,” “Dyamper,” and “In Nomine Matris.” The last two mentioned Genre films are among my most memorable film projects.
Filipinos love kilig flicks and the Romance section will take care of that with “Sakaling Hindi Makarating,” “Moments of Love,” “Ulan,” “Never Not Love You,” “Kailangan Ko’y Ikaw,” “Una Kang Naging Akin,” and “Mga Mister ni Rosario.”
The Youth and Family section has “Pepot Artista,” “Dayo,” “Family History,” “1st Sem,” and “Edward” while the PPP Retro has “Pauwi Na,” “Gusto Kita with All My Hypothalamus,” “Star na si Van Damme Stallone,” “Paglipay,” and “Circa,” starring the late screen legend Anita Linda.
The Bahaghari section has LGBT films such as “Akin ang Korona,” “Billie and Emma,” “Ned’s Project,” “Ang Huling Cha Cha ni Anita,” and “Rainbow’s Sunset” featuring the late greats Tony Mabesa and Eddie Garcia. Tributes to departed industry pillars feature “Adela” starring Linda and “Death Row” starring Garcia. Other Tributes films are “Insiang” (for Mona Lisa), “Muro-Ami” (for Marilou Diaz-Abaya), “Filipinas” (for Armida Siguion-Reyna) and “Sonata” (for Peque Gallaga).
Documentaries and films from the regions will also have their respective sections while for Sine Kabataan, films from its previous editions will be shown. The 4th Sine Kabataan will also have an online film development lab program with workshops and sessions on script development, pitching, safe filming, and editing. The Sine Kabataan Film Lab will kick off in November during the PPP run.
CineMarya Short Film Festival
The final 12 short films from the CineMarya Women’s Film Festival will also have a special premiere in PPP 4. CineMarya was launched by the FDCP in partnership with the Department of the Interior and Local Government and the Philippine Commission on Women to tell stories of Filipino women, particularly their strength and passion in overcoming societal struggles.
This year’s PPP may be different, but I assure you that it will continue to celebrate the heritage and potential of our film industry by promoting the appreciation and love for Philippine Cinema. More importantly, the festival will keep on promoting unity and solidarity because ultimately, PPP 4 is a way to help sustain the Filipino film industry in light of the devastating effects of the pandemic.
Notes from the Chair is part of the Arts Awake section of The Sunday Times Magazine published by The Manila Times. Click HERE to view the article on The Manila Times website.