By LIZA DIÑO-SEGUERRA
Notes from the Chair
The Sunday Times Magazine
The Manila Times
November 1, 2020
44-day festival brings together filmmakers, audiences for the love of PH Cinema
It’s the second day of the 4th Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino (PPP), and we have more than a month to celebrate the diversity, ingenuity, resilience and longevity of Philippine Cinema. Yes, the PPP4 now has a total of 44 days, and it runs from October 31 to December 13.
‘Anak Dalita’ by National Artist for Theater and Film Lamberto Avellana is available for free VOD streaming during PPP4 at the FDCP Channel.
In the weeks leading up to the flagship event of the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), we were faced with the dilemma of retaining the original 16-day run or extending the festival and expanding its calendar.
More titles were added to the festival, and our final lineup count is whopping with 170 films, with 90 full-length features and 80 shorts. However, the addition of titles meant adjusting not just our schedule, but also altering the backend system of the new FDCP Channel, fdcpchannel.ph — the PPP4 platform this year.
Additional time was also needed for the final fine-tuning of some of our Premium Selection titles to meet the technical requirements of the festival’s new online platform, and there was a clamor from subscribers and the public to extend the festival duration so that they can watch more films.
The FDCP also wants to replicate the film festival vibe, even if the PPP4 is online, by mounting numerous events to complement the meticulously curated festival lineup. Talkback sessions and panel sessions comprise the free events while the exclusive events include the PPP4 Grand Virtual FanCon, Main Feature Film Showcase Opening Night featuring “Ang Lakaran ni Kabunyan: Kabunyan’s Journey to Liwanag” by National Artist for Film Kidlat Tahimik, and PPP Talkbacks with filmmakers and actors from the Premium Selection titles such as Kidlat Tahimik.
There will also be exclusive PPP Film Talks (panel discussions), PPP Learn (masterclasses and lectures), PPP4 Closing and Awards Night, and the PPP Special Event: Replay of “Sine Sandaan: The Next 100 – Closing Celebration of the Centennial of Philippine Cinema.”
In the end, with the aim of accommodating everyone and making sure that the PPP4 is more inclusive and cohesive to create a better film festival experience for our stakeholders, we have decided to have an extended run with the PPP Short Film Showcase happening from October 31 to December 13 and the PPP Main Feature Film Showcase taking place from November 20 to December 13.
Rising above the hardships caused by the pandemic
Now that the PPP4 has started, I can’t help but look back to several months ago when the fate of the film festival was still uncertain because of Covid-19. It would have been easy to cancel this year’s PPP but that would be a disservice to the industry.
It would have been simple if we planned a no-fuss screening of a few films without side events. But we at the FDCP felt that we had to do more. We did not want our hopes for the industry and dreams to engage our stakeholders to go to waste. We had to go all-out in supporting Philippine Cinema amid these challenging times that is why we resolved to proceed with PPP4. Hence, our “Tuloy ang Pista!” announcement in September.
The first order of the day was to immediately come up with an alternative platform for the festival. Creating the FDCP Channel as an online platform shows how we easily adapted to the new normal. More importantly, it is a way to show our resilience in the midst of trying times.
PPP4 is anchored on the mission to support filmmakers amid the pandemic by providing festival fees plus giving 100-percent of gross proceeds to the producers of all participating full-length films. This is just one of the FDCP’s initiatives to help sustain the film industry gravely affected by the Covid-19 crisis.
Moreover, PPP4 aims to be a source of joy and inspiration to the public as the pandemic continues to take a toll on the world. Filipino film and audiovisual content have been consumed greatly during the lockdown, and we hope that our subscribers will find comfort and solace in the art and entertainment provided by PPP4.
Bringing PPP film festival experience online
As much as possible, the FDCP wants to recreate the actual film festival atmosphere in this year’s online edition by offering a wide array of film selections and events, plus having a mixed format of video-on-demand (VOD) and scheduled livestream screenings.
For the whole duration of the festival, the FDCP Channel offers the free VOD streaming of the restored version of “Anak Dalita” by National Artist for Theater and Film Lamberto Avellana as well as 80 titles from the PPP Short Film Showcase composed of works from the CineMarya Women’s Film Festival, Sine Kabataan Short Film Competition, and 21 regional festivals from all over the country.
The rest of the full-length features will be available through the PPP Main Feature Film Showcase, which will have paid scheduled livestream screenings beginning November 20. The other PPP4 sections are PPP Premium Selection, Romance, Youth and Family, Classics, Pang-Oscars, Genre, Bahaghari, Tribute, Documentaries, PPP Retro, and Special Feature with “Mula sa Kung Ano ang Noon” by Lav Diaz.
Through the scheduled livestream screenings, we hope that subscribers will still get to enjoy the community experience of watching films together with fellow netizens at the FDCP Channel’s four virtual Cinematheque screens. And with the VOD and scheduled screenings together with its numerous events, the PPP4 aims to provide a full film festival experience despite the limitations.
An embodiment of ‘PPP4, Sama All!’
Our slogan “PPP4, Sama All” certainly resonated among our stakeholders. I am so grateful to all the producers, production companies, and national and regional film festivals for allowing their films to be screened at PPP4. It means the world to us to be entrusted with their titles even if we are holding an online film festival for the first time.
There may be no long lines for PPP this year, but it is heartwarming to receive support from our Early Bird subscribers, Festival Partners such as Cocolife, Media Partners The Manila Times and CNN Philippines, and various Government Partners such as the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority and Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines.
I hope that you will be able to check out the FDCP Channel, where you can avail of the Free Pass, Day Pass (P99), Half-Run Pass (P299), and Premium Festival Pass (P599) with an Early Bird Rate of P450 available until November 8. There are also discounts for students (30 percent) and persons with disabilities and senior citizens (20 percent). The PPP4+1 Bundle promo is coming soon as well.
I highly encourage you to “Sama All!” so that you may deepen your appreciation for Philippine Cinema, learn more about filmmaking and our industry, and contribute to efforts that will help our filmmakers.
See you all at the FDCP Channel!
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.