By Emily Manuel
Contributor, Eagle News
(Eagle News) — The Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) kicked off “Sandaan”, a celebration of 100 years of Philippine cinema, with a Film Ambassadors’ Night held at the Samsung Hall, in Taguig City last February 10, 2019.
The event brought together filmmakers, artists of the industry, special guests, and movers of Philippine cinema.
FDCP honored 89 films that received awards from prestigious international film festivals, including Shireen Seno’s “Nervous Translation,” Treb Monteras II’s “Respeto”, and Brillante Mendoza’s “Alpha, The Right to Kill.”
FDCP Chairperson and CEO Liza Diño-Seguerra handed trophies to recipients of the Camera Obscura Artistic Excellence award, the highest recognition given by FDCP to exceptional members of the local film industry. National artist Kidlat Tahimik and award-winning film producer Bianca Balbuena received this prestigious award. Actress Kathryn Bernardo, producer Olivia Lamasan, director Cathy Garcia-Molina, and screenwriter Carmi Raymundo also received the Camera Obscura award for the film, “The Hows of Us”, which at Php800M is the highest top-grossing Philippine film to date.
– Think big –
In her speech, Diño-Seguerra explains that the recognition given to Philippine films by prestigious international film festivals is proof “that our films and filmmakers are notable enough to stand among the greatest in the world.”
But she added that while winning international awards is important, there should also be a “sales life” for Philippine films which includes distributing these to a paying international audience, and collaboration on international co-productions.
To do this, Diño-Seguerra said the industry needs to stop relying on Filipino patronage, and start increasing the films’ production value to meet international standards.