Placing importance on Filipino documentary films and its impact on not just Philippine cinema but in society, theFilm Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), through the SineSaysay Documentary Film Lab and Showcase announced its documentary film finalists during a Press Conference last May 7, 2018 in Quezon City.
SineSaysay has two categories: 1.Bagong Sibol Documentary Lab which caters to filmmakers on their first and second full length documentary films, and 2. the Feature Documentary Showcase for filmmakers who have produced at least two (2) full length films to their credits. This year, the FDCP is in partnership with the National Historical Commission of the Philippines for the themes of the films to focus on often-unvisited moments and events in Philippine history.
"This first year of SineSaysay is an important step for us to expand the empowerment and appreciation of other types of filmmaking. Documentary films have form part of our collective consciousness, highlighting very relevant social issues and even inspiring real change, and it is high time that we actively support the production of more of these types of films," said FDCP Chairperson Liza Dino.
The finalists for both categories of SineSaysay were selected through a blind selection type with the following members: Mr. Tito Valiente, former Chairman of the Gawad Urian and a lecturer in Ateneo de Manila University and Ateneo de Naga University, Mr. Teddy Co, the Commissioner for the Arts at the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and an active member of the Society of Filipino Archivists for film, Mr. Doy del Mundo Jr., an award-winning film director, writer and producer, known for his works in Pepot Superstar (2005), Manila Sa Mga Kuko Ng Liwanag (1975) and the documentaries, and Mr. Rene R. Escalante, Chairperson of the National Historical Commission Of The Philippines and a known historian and author of numerous books on Philippine history and FDCP Chairperson and CEO Ms. Liza Diño, whose main goal is to continue to holistically empower the local film industry on all fronts, not just to uplift the quality of Philippine Cinema but to take a leap for our films to go international through film festivals and distribution.
Sinesaysay also introduced the mentors for the Bagong Sibol Category - producer, writer and cinematographer Ditsi Carolino, journalist and independent filmmaker Joseph Israel Laban, Screenwriter director and producer of the film, “Respeto” and “Apocalypse Child,”Monster Jimenez and Award-winning director of “Women of the Weeping River” Sheron Dayoc.
The Bagong Sibol finalists will be given One Hundred Thousand Pesos (P100,000.00) as seed money to develop their 10-20-minute version of their project. The shortlisted projects will undergo the lab program which will culminate with an industry pitch showcase where they will be presenting their pitches and short film treatments of their projects. Of these, two (2) selected projects will be granted the Bagong Sibol Production Fund (BSPF) in the amount of Seven Hundred Thousand Pesos (P700,000.00) to produce the feature versions of their project. The shortlisted finalists for Bagong Sibol are:
- “Ang Huling Kaharian” by Bryan Kristoffer Brazil
- “Mga Bayaning Aeta” by Donnie Sacueza
- “El Caudillo” by Khalil Joseph Bañares
- “Patay Na Riles” by John Christian Samoy
- “A Memory Of Empire” by Jean Claire Dy
- “Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez – A Filipino Leprologists’ Journey” by Micaela Fransesca Rodriguez
- “Noong, Sa Aming Pagkabata” by Darlene Joanna Young
- “Kachangyan Wedding Redux” by Lester Valle & Carla Ocampo
For the Feature Documentary Showcase, four (4) filmmakers will be awarded a 1 Million Peso (P1,000,000.00) co-production grant to produce their creative documentary film projects and these are:
- “Untitled Project” by Cha Escala
- “Daan Patungong Tawaya” by Kevin Piamonte
- “Looter” by Jayson Bernard Santos
- “He neral Asyong” by Victor Acedillo
SineSaysay films will have its premiere screenings in Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino 2019.