PH Delegation Closes Participation at the Busan International Film Festival; Brings Home 5 Awards


MANILA, PHILIPPINES, OCTOBER 24, 2022 —The Philippine delegation at the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) and its industry arm, the ​​Asian Contents & Film Market (ACFM), led by the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), concluded its participation in South Korea last October 14, 2022. Two Filipino works, The Atom Araullo Specials: Munting Bisig (Young Arms) and Mother Maybe (Inahing Baka), and three Filipino scholars, Jan Kyle Nieva, April Dayne Garcia, and Jean Cheryl Tagyamon, received awards during the festival. 

The 27th edition of the largest film festival in Asia consisted of various events from competitions, forums, project markets, industry markets, and educational programs that were successfully participated by the Philippines. As part of the ​​ACFM, the 4th Asia Contents Awards (ACA) is dedicated to recognize outstanding Asian television, over-the-top (OTT), and online content. This year, the GMA Network documentary, The Atom Araullo Specials: Munting Bisig (Young Arms) was awarded the Best Asian Documentary prize. The documentary film directed by Aaron “Papins” Mendoza and hosted by Atom Araullo was the country’s only entry at the ACA.

Sonny Calvento’s feature film project, Mother Maybe (Inahing Baka), won the Development Award with a $5,000 worth of production funding from  the ​​Taiwan Creative Content Agency (TAICCA) at the Malaysian Fiction Feature Film Development Lab (mylab). The award also entitles the Southern Lantern Studios project an invitation to the Taiwan Creative Content Fest 2023 for pitching opportunities. The film project written by Arden Rod Condez and is being produced by Sheron Dayoc was a grantee of FDCP’s CreatePHFilms funding program and was a participant at this year's Full Circle Lab Philippines.

​​On the education arm of the festival, The Busan Asian Film Academy (BAFA) or “CHANEL X BIFF Asian Film Academy” is tailored for emerging Asian filmmakers to learn the practice and philosophy of filmmaking under the guidance of world-renowned directors and instructors. This year’s BAFA selected 20 young filmmakers across Asia, including three Filipino delegates, to attend the comprehensive academic program. April Dayne Garcia is one of the ARRI Awardees, sponsored by the German manufacturer of camera and lighting equipment systems used for filming and broadcasting. The recognition entitles Garcia to visit the ARRI Main Office in Munich, Germany and participate in the Training Program of the ARRI Academy.

While two other Filipino filmmakers, Jean Cheryl Tagyamon and Jan Kyle Nieva, won the pitching session “Bridge to Hollywood” sponsored by the Motion Picture Association (MPA).  Tagyamon was awarded the first prize at the MPA Award, entitling her to attend the five-day Film Immersion Program in Los Angeles, USA. Nieva received the President’s Special Recognition Award, the prize includes an invitation to the Asian Pacific Screen Awards (APSA) in Brisbane, Australia.

The FDCP hosted the Philippine Pavilion at the week-long festivities which became a hub for meetings with industry leaders, networking with production companies, and a venue for tapping on potential partnerships at the festival’s film market.

FDCP also hosted Philippine events that served as a platform to further relationship-building goals with the Philippine film industry’s global stakeholders. Representatives of Filipino production companies and key international industry professionals connected through the Opening Cocktails and the Philippine Cinema Night.

Another highlight of the FDCP’s BIFF participation was the announcement of the expanded incentive programs for productions in the Philippines which will no longer require recoupment. FilmPhilippines, the FDCP office that supports local and international film productions, discussed the available incentive programs for the upcoming cycles for foreign productions looking to film in the Philippines. Full Circle Lab Philippines also officially opened the call for applications for the 4th edition of the lab franchise in 2023. 

Among the notable guests who visited the Philippine pavilion and FDCP-led events at  ACFM were Philippine Ambassador to South Korea, Her Excellency Theresa Dizon-De Vega, Commercial Counselor of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Jose Ma. Dinsay, partners from international film agencies—Korean Film Council, Singapore Film Commission, Taipei Film Commission, Busan Film Commission, Marche du Film, Ties That Bind/Focus Asia, and representatives of international film festivals and film institutions.

FDCP Chairperson and CEO Tirso Cruz III affirmed the FDCP’s continued support and engagement in the international scene through these industry-driven events and a renewed focus on education and training. “The new direction of the new administration is film development, education, and film archiving. The thrust of the FDCP now truly, is to support, to develop and to mentor Filipino filmmakers,” Chairman Cruz narrated the focus of the Agency under his leadership.

The Philippine delegation at the 27th BIFF consisted  of  almost 100 filmmakers and film professionals representing film projects, production companies, and distribution channels.