Fewer films in this year’s Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino

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THE Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP)-led Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino (PPP) continues to celebrate Filipino-produced films as it gears up for its second year this August in cinemas nationwide.

Despite having fewer films to be screened during the week-long festival, the FDCP said in a release that this year’s iteration is bigger than the last as it “aims to further maximize this time to holistically conduct a series of events and forms of support for Filipino films” which includes film conferences for industry professionals and an educational forum.

During its inaugural year, the PPP featured 12 films including Jason Paul Laxamana’s 100 Tula Para Kay Stella, Prime Cruz’s Ang Manananggal sa Unit 23B, and Mikhail Red’s Birdshot.

This year’s festival — which runs from Aug. 15-21 — will only feature eight films produced in 2017-2018 that have yet to have their Philippine premieres. The list of films will be announced by the first week of July.

“PPP comes at an impeccable time especially now that we are celebrating the 100 years of Philippine Cinema. FDCP believes that beyond this centennial, it is high time for us to show the world the best of our films by pushing for international distribution. We want to inspire our filmmakers to reach audiences beyond our borders by producing films that are quality-made, well-developed, and produced with a wide local and global audience in mind. PPP encourages this by becoming their jump-off point,” said FDCP Chairperson and CEO, Mary Liza Diño-Seguerra, in the statement.

The selection committee members are film editor Manet Dayrit, cinematographer Lee Briones, film directors Jose Javier Reyes and Carlitos Siguion-Reyna, and actress/producer Cherie Gil.

Aside from the full-length features, the PPP will also hold the 2nd Sine Kabataan Short Film competition in partnership with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Open to filmmakers aged 15 to 30, the short film tilt will also feature an education and mentorship component called Sine Kamp.

Select full-length film entries will be given a chance to apply for a marketing and distribution grant with FDCP, “committing for all interested PPP finalists to be part of the roster of films to be brought by the Agency in international film markets to support the producers in securing international distributors and agents.”

This year’s PPP will also include a two-day Film Industry Conference (FIC) that will offer both local and international perspectives “on how to further strengthen Filipino filmmaking,” and will feature speakers from the Asian region and cover topics from regional distribution and regional co-productions to script development and film criticism.

The conference will be held from Aug. 17-18. — Z. B. Chua