By LIZA DIÑO-SEGUERRA
Notes from the Chair
The Sunday Times Magazine
The Manila Times
September 6, 2020
For us, celebrating Philippine Cinema means more than commemorating its significant strides and history; it is honoring the path laid out to us by enriching the industry and stakeholders we have now so that they can take further steps to progress and development. We keep this in mind as we welcome September 2020 which marks the official closing of the commemoration of the Philippine Cinema Centennial.
The columnist vows to continue working for the betterment of Philippine Cinema
Sine Sandaan or Presidential Proclamation No. 622, series of 2018 officially declared September 12, 2019 to September 11, 2020 as the year-long celebration of the Centennial Year of Philippine Cinema to be led by the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP).
The beginning of this milestone was held on September 12 to commemorate the September 12, 1919 release date of the first Filipino-produced film, “Dalagang Bukid” by Jose Nepomuceno. President Rogrigo Duterte signed the Sine Sandaan Proclamation on November 8, 2018.
One hundred years later, on September 12, 2019, the FDCP, in partnership with the Department of Tourism (DoT), celebrated “Sine Sandaan: Celebrating the Luminaries of Philippine Cinema” at the New Frontier Theater in Quezon City. In attendance were 2,000 industry members, including legends, icons, and movers and shakers of the film industry from each decade.
At the Sine Sandaan grand launch in 2019
A tribute was given to the late Nepomuceno, hailed as the Father of Philippine Cinema. The FDCP also recognized more than 500 luminaries — from icons to unsung heroes behind the camera across all industry sectors who greatly contributed to the journey of Philippine Cinema. A commemorative stamp was introduced during the Sine Sandaan launch.
It has been almost a year since the Philippine Cinema Centennial kicked off with a grand celebration. Since then, numerous events and activities were held to mark this once in a lifetime milestone event.
The FDCP continued its year-long efforts and programs to celebrate One Hundred Years of Philippine Cinema through passion projects, partnerships, and collaborations with various stakeholders, locally and internationally.
From September 2019 to September 2020, the Agency has lined up a series of local and international events to increase the appreciation for Philippine Cinema and promote its brilliance and incredible potential among its local audience and beyond.
With actress and Bacoor City Mayor Lani Mercado
Below are the highlights of the year-round Sine Sandaan activities and events:
Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino (PPP) (September 2019)
The third installment of PPP was extra special under the Philippine Cinema Centennial Year. Because of this, PPP 3 created the Sine Sandaan Showcase section which featured three films starring Living Legends of Philippine Cinema: Anita Linda for “Circa,” Gloria Sevilla for “Pagbalik,” and Angie Ferro for “Lola Igna.”
Philippine Film Festival in Italy (September 2019)
The Philippine Embassy in Rome and Sentro Rizal Rome, in cooperation with the FDCP, showcased the best of Philippine Cinema at the Festival del Cinema Filippino in Italia. It featured an incredible lineup of eight contemporary films with diverse stories and perspectives of the Filipino people.
Busan International Film Festival (October 2019)
The Philippines had six films in the Busan International Film Festival: “Mindanao” by Brillante Mendoza, “Ang Hupa (The Halt)” by Lav Diaz, “Lingua Franca” by Isabel Sandoval, “Verdict” by Raymund Ribay Gutierrez, “John Denver Trending” by Arden Rod Condez, and “Basurero” by Eileen Cabiling. The three projects in the Asian Project Market were Antoinette Jadaone’s “Boldstar,” JP Habac’s “Golden,” and Ron Morales’ “Nightwalk.” The FDCP and DoT also launched the “Let’s Create Together” campaign in Busan to entice foreign filmmakers to collaborate with Philippine film and audiovisual talents and companies.
QCinema (October 2019)
The QCinema International Film Festival of Quezon City had a Centennial Classics section which screened “Insiang” and “Maynila sa mga Kuko ng Liwanag” by Lino Brocka. These films are part of the current restored film collection under the FDCP’s Philippine Film Archive. An exhibit on the life and works of National Artists for Cinema Lino Brocka and Ishmael Bernal, entitled “Brocka, Bernal & the City,” was held at the Gateway Gallery in Gateway Mall, a partnership project between FDCP and QC International Film Foundation.
Tokyo International Film Festival (October 2019)
Eight Filipino titles were part of the Tokyo International Film Festival, marking an impressive feat for Philippine Cinema. These are “Mañanita” by Paul Soriano, “The Halt (Ang Hupa)” by Lav Diaz, “Motel Acacia” by Bradley Liew, “Six Degrees of Separation from Lilia Cuntapay” by Antoinette Jadaone, “Untrue” by Sigrid Andrea Bernardo, “Mindanao” by Brillante Ma Mendoza, and Erik Matti’s Food Lore Series – “Island of Dreams” and “The Entity (Kuwaresma).”
SEAFIC (October 2019)
At last year’s Southeast Asia Fiction Film Lab (SEAFIC), “Some Nights I Feel Like Walking” by Petersen Vargas won the SEAFIC Award and SEAFIC-HAF (Hong Kong-Asia Film Financing Forum) Award. The Filipino delegates to the 2019 SEAFIC Open House were Joe Bacus for “Devils in Paradise,” Patti Lapus for “Dear Wormwood,” Gale Osorio for “Cangrejos,” Xeph Suarez for “Dancing the Tides,” and John Torres for “Diwalwal.” This year, Zurich Chan’s “Cangrejos,” a project of FDCP’s Southern Voices Film Lab (SOVOLAB), was selected for the 4th SEAFIC.
Philippine Film Festival in Portugal (November 2019)
Cinema das Filipinas – Nos Cem Anos do Cinema Filipino is a project under the FDCP’s Philippine Embassies Assistance Program in partnership with the Department of Foreign Affairs. The Cinema das Filipinas lineup had 15 films, including “Genghis Khan” by Manuel Conde, “Himala” by Ishmael Bernal, “Balikbayan #1: Memories of Overdevelopment Redux VI” by Kidlat Tahimik, and “Independencia” by Raya Martin.
To be continued next week…
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.