THE Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) has announced the first three entries to this year’s Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino (PPP), which will be held from Sept. 13 to 19 in cinemas nationwide.
The first three films selected are: Cuddle Weather by Rod Marmol, about two sex workers forming a relationship as “cuddle partners” only to realize they want something more; LSS (Last Song Syndrome) by Jade Castro, a story about two people finding themselves in a series of almost-but-not-quite romantic encounters as they follow fast-rising indie-folk band, Ben&Ben; and, Three Panti Sisters by Perci Intalan, the story of three gay sons who are called back by their estranged and terminally ill father and told that they can have their part of the P300-million inheritance in exchange for each of them giving him a grandchild.
The other five entries will be announced in June.
The PPP, considered the flagship program of the FDCP is a week-long celebration screening “quality Filipino genre films.” This year’s festival is also part of Sandaan celebration of 100 years of Philippine cinema.
Jose Nepomuceno’s 1919 movie Dalagang Bukid is said to be the first Filipino film ever made.
In all, the annual film festival will have eight entries — three of which are in an “advanced stage of development or production,” according to a press release, and five more films which have been finished or are in post-production are set to have their Philippine premiere in the festival. Each entry will be given a co-production and marketing fund of P2 million which includes production equipment worth P1 million.
Last year, only select entries were given a chance to apply for a marketing and distribution grant from the FDCP, but this year, all entries will be given a grant.
“One of the changes we introduced in this year’s PPP was our method of selection. After last year’s run, we wanted this year’s installment to be more inclusive,” Mary Liza Diño-Seguerra, FDCP chairman and CEO, said in vernacular during a press conference on March 28 in Gloria Maris restaurant in Cubao, Quezon City, as streamed on the festival’s Facebook page.
The changes, she explained, were made after “numerous consultations” with film producers in order to see how the festival “can help give them a platform to reach a wider audience.”
“At the end of the day, PPP is not just a celebration of Philippine cinema,” she said.
Aside from the co-production fund, Ms. Diño-Seguerra also announced that, unlike other film festivals, the FDCP is giving the full commercial rights of the film to the production company which made it.
“We’re not going to take any rights [away] from them, this is the full support of the FDCP so we can help them address [not having] marketing and distribution funds for their films,” she explained.
Another change they implemented with this year’s run is giving student ticket discounts because “the market of PPP are the students,” said Ms. Diño-Seguerra, and lower cinema admission rates for provincial cinemas. — Zsarlene B. Chua