DoT honors films which highlight destinations, encourage tourism

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IN RECOGNITION of recent films that showcased the beauty of the Philippines, the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) of the Department of Tourism (DoT) has launched Cine Turismo which awards Filipino film directors whose movies encouraged tourism by featuring several destinations in the country.

“I’ve been contemplating this from day one since I assumed the position. The films chosen are those which promote tourism and they deserve to be recognized,” said actor Cesar Montano (real name: Cesar Manhilot), chief operating officer of the TPB shortly before the awarding was held on March 15 at the Diamond Hotel in Manila.

He said that Cine Turismo will become an annual event in order to encourage more filmmakers to use the country’s scenic locations as settings for their films.

To be included in the Cine Turismo awards, a movie should be a full-length feature made by a Filipino production house; it must showcase a destination extensively or use it as a setting for majority of the scene; it must portray the country in a positive manner; it must promote Filipino culture and heritage; and, it must have been shown in international film festivals, among other considerations.

The award was also made in light of the pending Film Tourism Bill (SB 1330) which recognizes “the potential of international and local motion picture production to create jobs, grow the economy and raise the nation’s international profile,” said a press release.

The same bill is also seeking to offer incentives to production companies “who choose to showcase Philippine destinations and the nation’s historical and cultural heritage, or champion Filipino film practitioners and artists in foreign productions.”

In the same vein, Mr. Montano said that while this year’s Cine Turismo is only about recognition of the filmmakers, they are looking at providing incentives for in upcoming years to encourage more films of this nature.

Cine Turismo recognized eight local films at its maiden launch: Sakaling Hindi Makarating (2016) by Ice Idanan which was shot in Ilocos, Siquijor, Batanes, and Zamboanga; Lakbay2Love (2016) by Ellen Ongkeko-Marfil which showcased Timberland Heights in Rizal and Benguet; Camp Sawi (2016) by Irene Villamor which is set in Bantayan Island, Cebu; Patay na si Hesus (2016) by Victor Villanueva which was shot in Cebu; (2015) by Mario Cornejo which is set in Baler, Aurora; Siargao (2017) by Paul Soriano which is set in Siargao, Surigao del Norte; Requited (2017) by Nerissa Picadizo which featured Mt. Pinatubo in Zambales; and Kiko Boksingero (2017) by Thop Nazareno which was filmed in Baguio.

Special recognition was also given to two South Korean films: Romantic Island (2008) by Chul-woo Kang, which is set in Boracay Island, and Mango Tree (2013) by Soo-sung Lee which is set in Cebu. — Zsarlene B. Chua