Beginning this year, the Philippines will officially celebrate and commemorate the heritage, significance, and legacy of Philippine Cinema through the Philippine Film Industry Month in September.
The annual month-long observation is as mandated by President Rodrigo Duterte.
The Film Development Council of Philippines (FDCP), as the lead agency in observing Philippine Film Industry Month, has lined up an array of events for the inaugural celebration with the theme “Ngayon ang Bagong SineMula!”
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the observance of Philippine Film Industry Month 2021 will be done online on the social media pages of FDCP.
Screenings will be hosted exclusively on the FDCP Channel virtual platform (fdcpchannel.ph).
Said FDCP Chairperson and CEO Liza Diño, “Ngayon ang Bagong SineMula! This is the declaration of hopeful survival of the first-ever Philippine Film Industry Month amid the COVID-19 pandemic. It speaks of a new beginning, a chance to restart and rebuild a system that would be more inclusive and sustainable for all stakeholders, allowing Philippine Cinema to push forth with its heritage and legacy towards a brighter and more prosperous future for the industry.”
The Opening of Philippine Film Industry Month on September 1, to be streamed on FDCP’s Facebook pages and YouTube channel, will feature the launch of the Nood Tayo ng Sine Campaign plus important announcements from the International Film Industry Conference (IFIC), First Cut Lab Philippines (FCL PH), FDCP FilmPhilippines Incentives Program, and Mit Out Sound: International Silent Film Lab.
FDCP’s flagship program, the 5th Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino (PPP), returns to the FDCP Channel with its first leg, featuring free screenings from the Sine Kabataan Short Film Competition and Sine Isla: LuzViMinda Short Film Competition from September 17 to 26.
Also screening for free on the FDCP Channel are eight heritage films restored or enhanced by the FDCP Philippine Film Archive such as “Insiang” by National Artist Lino Brocka and “Manila by Night” by National Artist Ishmael Bernal for the whole month of September, and films in the special Elwood Perez Retrospective from September 25 to 30.
Three films, “Ang Turkey Man Ay Pabo Rin” by Randolph Longjas and the restored versions of “Bata Bata Paano Ka Ginawa” and “Dekada ’70” by Chito S. Roño, will be available for rental for Pamana ng Lingkod Bayani @ FDCP Channel from September 1 to 12, a partnership between the Civil Service Commission (CSC) and FDCP to celebrate the 121st Philippine Civil Service Anniversary.
Meanwhile, the only in-person event is the Philippine Film Industry Gala at The Manila Metropolitan Theater (MET) on September 12 featuring the by-invitation screening of “Dalagang Ilocana” by Olive La Torre, launch of the Elwood Perez Retrospective, and book launch of “Ang Daigdig ng mga Api” by Clodualdo “Doy” del Mundo, Jr., “Alter/native Cinema: The Un-chronicled History of Philippine Alternative Cinema” and “Three-Volume Anthology of Essays on Philippine Cinema (Vol.1 Philippine Cinema and History; Vol.2 Philippine Cinema and Culture; and Vol.3 Philippine Cinema and Literacy) by Nick Deocampo, and “Keeping Memories: Cinema and Archiving in Asia-Pacific” by SouthEast Asia-Pacific Audiovisual Archive Association (SEAPAVAA).
September 12 is a special day in Philippine Cinema history because it was when “Dalagang Bukid” by Jose Nepomuceno, the first Filipino-produced and -directed feature film, was shown in 1919.
The Philippines will be proudly represented in the 78th Venice International Film Festival in Italy, bannered by “On The Job: The Missing 8” by Erik Matti, the only Southeast Asian film in competition in the prestigious Biennale Cinema from September 1 to 11. Filipino delegates will also participate in the China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS), Kre8tif! Elevator Pitch in Malaysia, and Philippine International Comics Festival (PICOF).
In its 5th year, FDCP’s Film Industry Conference levels up to become the IFIC from September 16 to 19. Other industry trainings are the CreatePHFilms Online Scriptwriting Session, Safety and Health Officers Training Seminar (SHOTS) of FDCP’s Safe Filming Program, Workshops in Film Incentives (WIFI) and Co-production Masterclass of the FDCP FilmPhilippines Office, Musical Score Lab by the FDCP National Registry (NR) and Mit Out Sound, and FCL PH organized by FDCP and Tatino Films.
National Artist Kidlat Tahimik’s Unsung Sariling Bayani (USB) Short Film Competition will continue to hold the USB Storming with Kidlat: Usapang Bayani Forum with USB Breakout Sessions and USB with Kidlat Tahimik.
FDCP’s vaccination program for film and entertainment workers in partnership with the City of Manila’s “Vaccine Nation is the Solution” program will proceed with the second dose scheduled on September 29 at Adamson University for those who received their first dose last August 2 at Palacio de Maynila.
The Closing of Philippine Film Industry Month on September 30 will feature the Awarding of Sine Kabataan and Sine Isla winners, launch of the revamped FDCP website, and special announcements from the FDCP Channel and CreatePHFilms.