By LIZA DIÑO-SEGUERRA
Notes from the Chair
The Sunday Times Magazine
The Manila Times
July 19, 2020
Philippine Cinema has been integral to the Filipino experience since the first local production was shown in 1919 — over 100 years ago. Through the consumption of films, Filipinos are able to appreciate the arts and preserve their culture.
In recent years, the Filipino film industry has been strengthening its ground locally and internationally as there are more platforms to showcase Philippine Cinema. However, things screeched to a halt due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
Because screenings and productions were put on hold since March, the projected loss of the Philippine gross box office is at least P11 billion while for film and audiovisual production, it has lost no less than P2.4 billion. The film and audiovisual industry, which also includes the live events sector, has an estimated loss of over P100 billion.
As the national film agency, the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) recently launched two online campaigns to promote the Filipino film industry, one of the hardest-hit business sectors in the country.
“Binging During Quarantine” encourages stakeholders to share their favorite films that are available on various digital platforms while #NoodTayoNgSine wants to remind the Filipino audience of the importance of the cinema viewing experience.
Cherie Gil joins FDCP’s ‘Binging During Quarantine’ campaign.
Ice Seguerra joins FDCP’s ‘Binging During Quarantine’ campaign.
The FDCP believes in the power of cinema to transport, entertain and inform. We believe in the power of cinema to unify us around a common experience and its ability to stimulate intense feelings.
Throughout the world’s history, from economic troubles, to war and several technological revolutions, cinema has proven its resiliency time and time again. And we believe that even with a pandemic unlike anything this generation has seen, cinema can prove its resilience.
The latest campaigns of the FDCP may be targeting different platforms but both have the aim of boosting the local film industry as mass gatherings are still prohibited and community quarantine measures are implemented nationwide.
Two aspects constitute “Binging During Quarantine.” Firstly, actors and filmmakers are featured in videos where they talk about their favorite films and shows and the ones they have been binge-watching while at home.
Multi-awarded actress Cherie Gil expresses her love for the works of the late Peque Gallaga while singer-songwriter-actor Ice Seguerra gives a rundown of his Top 5 titles. Other videos feature Chai Fonacier, Elijah Canlas, Kokoy de Santos, and Joyce Ching.
Apart from releasing video recommendations, the FDCP has been posting “Binging During Quarantine” reviews to promote Filipino titles in online streaming platforms. Among the featured films are “Birdshot,” “Bayaning Third World,” “Signal Rock,” “I’m Drunk, I Love You” and short films from “Quarantimes: Short Films from the Regions” and Philippine Animation Workers Association. The videos and reviews are posted at fdcp.ph/binging-during-quarantine.
Elijah Canlas joins FDCP’s ‘Binging During Quarantine’ campaign.
Kokoy de Santos joins FDCP’s ‘Binging During Quarantine’ campaign.
Meanwhile, #NoodTayoNgSine has a multi-phased campaign. It kicked off with the launch of its microsite, fdcp.ph/NoodTayoNgSine, which collects the e-mail addresses of those who are still interested to watch films in cinemas. A live updated number of people signing up is shown on the microsite to highligh the public’s clamor for the cinema viewing experience.
#NoodTayoNgSine Ambassadors will be featured in videos as they share their fondest memories of watching films in theaters. These include filmmakers Wilfredo Manalang and Zig Dulay from Luzon; Keith Deligero, Tara Illenberger, Remton Zuasola, Lawrence Fajardo, Richard Somes, and Ara Chawdhurry from Visayas; and Bagane Fiola, Teng Mangansakan 2nd, Arbi Barbarona, and Zurich Chan from Mindanao.
The FDCP has also been posting engaging social media content to encourage the public to talk about their significant cinema viewing experiences. Once cinemas reopen, the FDCP hopes that moviegoers will post about the compliance of the cinemas that they went to and include the #NoodTayoNgSine hashtag in their posts.
The FDCP will keep cinephiles up-to-date with announcements on the reopening of cinemas. It will also hold information drives on the new cinema viewing protocols approved by the Department of Health and Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases.
Amidst the COVID-19 crisis, the “Binging During Quarantine” and #NoodTayoNgSine campaigns serve as sources of optimism and encouragement for film industry stakeholders and audiences in hopes of boosting the local film business and deepening our love for Philippine Cinema.
Notes from the Chair is part of the Arts Awake section of The Sunday Times Magazine published by The Manila Times. Click HERE to view the article on The Manila Times website.