FDCP Chair Liza Diño introducing the Film Ambassadors' Night's proceedings.
Last October 18, 2016, , the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) and the many movers and shakers of the Filipino film community came together at the FDCP Cinematheque Manila to recognize and honor the many achievements we have made for Philippine cinema this year, in an evening entitled the “Film Ambassadors’ Night: A Celebration of Philippine Cinema.” The honorees—the cast and crew of a total of 26 films that evening—were dubbed “film ambassadors,” duly representing the country and its vibrant culture through the powerful medium of cinema.
Taking a photo are Chair Diño and eminent actress and media executive Charo Santos, who was at the Film Ambassadors' Night to receive an award with her fellow cast and crew for Lav Diaz's Golden Lion-winning Ang Babaeng Humayo.
That night invited guests from the many international film festival winning films of 2016, as well as the Filipino delegates from the recently concluded Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) and the current Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF), gathered at the decorated Cinematheque courtyard to commune over a light cocktail dinner as more of their fellow filmmakers arrived. Starting with a festive Philippine dance by Sindaw Philippines, the program was well underway with Chair Liza Diño welcoming the year’s winning artists to the celebration and opening to the evening’s ceremonies. Enthralling video tributes played in praise of the individual successes of the awarded films and in appreciation of the outstanding entries that made the exhibition and competition sections of the BIFF and TIFF.
Esteemed and prolific actor Allen Dizon, who received the Film Ambassadors' Night's Artistic Excellence Award for his contributions to cinema this year, especially for his internationally award-winning turn in Mel Chionglo's Iadya Mo Kami (Deliver Us).
Local filmmakers and guests gathered at the FDCP Cinematheque Centre Manila to honor the achievements of our artists and cinema with the Film Ambassadors' Night.
Trophies made specifically for the Ambassadors’ Night were also handed out to the awardees, with a monetary incentive and the special distinction of the “Artistic Excellence Award” given to a certain few film practitioners who made highly admirable contributions to cinema this year. Allen Dizon, who was part of many films awarded internationally and honored at the Ambassadors’ Night, was given an award for his lauded performance as an esteemed actor, especially for his role in Iadya Mo Kami (Deliver Us) by Mel Chionglo. Young actress of Ralston Jover’s Hamog, Teri Malvar, had also collected many awards internationally, and was honored that evening for winning the coveted Best Actress Award at the Moscow International Film Festival, giving her the achievement of being the youngest Filipino to win a Best Actress award at an A-list festival.
Filipino cinema icons Charo Santos and Jaclyn Jose share an emotional moment before being awarded for their respective works in this year's vital films at the Film Ambassadors' Night.
Brillante Mendoza’s Ma’ Rosa and Lav Diaz’s Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis and Ang Babaeng Humayo were also given Artistic Excellence Awards for garnering the highest citations and distinguished firsts for the country from the most prestigious of film festivals—the Best Actress Award from the Cannes Film Festival, the Alfred Bauer Prize from the Berlin International Film Festival, and the Golden Lion from the Venice International Film Festival. The glorious and triumphant actresses Jaclyn Jose and Charo Santos were at the proceedings to grace the event with their presence and accept the recognition along with the stellar cast and crew of their films. Lav Diaz was also given the Artistic Excellence Award for his achievements with his two films and his impressive contribution to local cinema.
Chair Diño with young actress Therese Malvar, recipient of the Artistic Excellence Award, and director Ralston Jover. Jover directed the Moscow International Film Festival Award-winning Hamog, with lead star Malvar becoming the youngest Filipino actress to win a Best Actress award at an A-list film festival.
Chair Diño offering the Artistic Excellence Award to the iconic Jaclyn Jose, who became the first Filipina and Southeast Asian actress to win the Best Actress Award from the Cannes Film Festival, for her role in Brillante Mendoza's profound Ma' Rosa.
Also introduced to the film ambassadors of that evening and met with thunderous applause was the FDCP’s International Film Festival Assistance Program (IFFAP), illuminated on by Diño and an educative video presentation. The program aims in fulfilling the FDCP’s function in assisting our local film ambassadors to present and promote Philippine culture as their works screen and compete in festivals abroad, with applicants possibly being granted as much as two roundtrip airfare tickets and three-night accommodations from the FDCP in support of their film. In turn, the film ambassadors will be asked to help the FDCP in workshops and seminars that further serve to develop our budding filmmakers and cineastes.
In closing the event, Diño expressed deep gratitude and emphatic congratulations to our film ambassadors, urging the community to continue to create valuable work for our culture as FDCP endures to give its support and reinforcement to our local filmmaking and cinema.