FDCP's Cine Lokal ensures no more "first day-last day" for indie films

President Rodrigo Duterte was present when Cine Lokal was launched this 2017. This project was spearheaded by FDCP Chairperson Liza Dino.




Pagkaupo pa lamang ni Liza Diño-Seguerra bilang Chairperson ng Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), as appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte last year (2016), ipinakita agad niya ang kanyang todong suporta para sa industriya ng pelikulang Pilipino.

Naramdaman agad yun hindi lamang ng mga taga-local show business, kundi pati na ang general public, maging sa international circuit kunsaan ilang bansa na ang napuntahan niya upang um-attend ng iba’t ibang foreign film festivals, industry meetings, film markets, forums, etc.

Habang nasa Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia ang Philippine delegates sa ASEAN International Film Festival and Awards (AIFFA) 2017 noong May, nagkaroon ng exclusive interview ang Philippine Entertainment Portal (PEP.ph) kay FDCP Chairperson Liza.

Noong na-launch ang Cine Lokal, pinaliwanag ng FDCP head ang layunin ng proyekto,na ito na spearheaded ng FDCP at SM Cinemas.

Ani Liza, "Cine Lokal’s goal is two-fold: to provide independent filmmakers with a commercial venue for their films, thereby strengthening their experience and training on film marketing and distribution, and to create a culture of support and viewership among Filipinos nationwide. Independent films mirror our society’s milieu in the most meaningful and affective of ways and we are grateful to SM Cinema for this great opportunity for us to bring more choices of these films closer to our people."

Ang eight commercial theaters na nagpapalabas ng FDCP-curated independent and award-winning films ay ang sumusunod: SM Megamall, SM North EDSA, SM Fairview, SM Iloilo, SM Southmall, SM Cebu, SM Bacoor, at SM Mall of Asia.

Ang mga selected indie films ay may one-week guaranteed screening at ang ticket price ay P120 per person per movie.

"No more first day, last day for the movies!" ang pahayag naman ng SM Lifestyle Entertainment Inc. President Edgar Tejerero.

Sa pamamagitan ng partnership na ito, nais ng SM na makilala bilang "most diverse film exhibitor" sa Pilipinas.

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Ani Tejerero, "Cine Lokal affirms our support for the Philippine film industry which includes our independent film producers. With the help of FDCP, we have an opportunity to expand our content and invite a new set of audience."

This June, may chance ang viewers na mapanood ang Area, Ang Huling Cha Cha ni Anita, at Slumber Party.

Area (R16) is a story about a place where over-the-hill sex workers can be had for a can of sardines or even on credit. Ipapalabas ito mula June 9 - June 15.

May 2 pelikula na pinili in support of LGBT pride month.

Ang Huling Cha Cha ni Anita revolves on the life of a 12-year-old Anita who fell in love with the new woman in town. Ipapalabas ito mula June 16 - June 22.

Slumber Party is about three gay bestfriends who had a sleep over vigil for an international beauty pageant but was interrupted by a young jejemon frat. Ipapalabas ito mula June 23 - June 29.

Saan nanggagaling ang grabeng suporta niya para sa industriya?

Ani Liza, “Siguro, personally, nanggagaling ako doon sa many years of being an independent actress myself, na you go to these film festivals pero you don’t really feel the support of the government.

“For some people, they don’t even know na merong ganoong nangyayari na ang proud-proud mo, tapos, pag-uwi mo, ‘Ay, hindi nila alam!’

“Siguro, kasi nga, it helped na I came from the independent scene, yung pinanggalingan ko.

“So, siguro, ngayon, most of the programs that I’m starting are geared towards making the government services more available, para sa filmmakers natin, knowing na meron pala… Meron palang pondo!

“Merong ibibigay. Merong suportang puwedeng ibigay. So, bakit hindi natin ibigay?

“And these little gestures like having these kinds of get together [ng Philippine delegates sa anumang film fests sa labas ng bansa], networking opportunities, ito yung way mo na ipakita talaga na, ‘We’re here! The government is here to allow you to expound your horizons, mas makilala ka ng mga tao, para mabenta mo yung film mo.’”

Mula nang umupo si Liza as FDCP Chair, halos buwan-buwan ay may bagong proyekto ang ahensiya.

Sa kanilang Board of Directors, siya ba talaga ang nagpi-pinpoint or nagsa-suggest ng possible projects or pinag-uusapan ito ng lahat?

“Mula nung umupo ako, ang approach ko kasi, very consultative ako. So, I engage lahat ng stakeholders.

“From the big studio producers, lahat ‘yan, naka-meeting ko: Star Cinema, Regal Films, Viva Films, Solar Films, Octo Arts Films, Unitel… Nakausap ko silang lahat.

“Pati ang independent film producers, nagkaroon kami ng forum. And then, I was able to sit down with the cinemas, pati na ang ating cultural agencies [NCCA, etc.].

“So, from those meetings, gumawa kami ng programs na I think, I believe would empower the entire industry.

“We’re taking it one step at a time. Like this Cine Lokal and Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino.

“And then, kapag may film festivals, gumawa kami ng standardized programs. So, halimbawa, may international film festivals, tapos lima ang pelikula nila [na Pinoy] or more, puwede silang sumulat sa amin.”

Ano ang dapat na maging laman ng letter from these international film fests?

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Pwede bang mag request ng financial support?

“Yes,” aniya. “Example, ‘We’re featuring seven Filipino films. How can the Philippines support these seven Filipino films?’

“So, ang gagawin namin, meron kaming assistance program, like create an FDCP Night, or Philippine Night, magpapadala kami ng Ambassador to talk about the films.

“Tapos, yung Philippine Night na yun, it’s a business-to-business event for filmmakers.

"Doon nila nakikilala yung mga possible investors, possible festival programmers na puwedeng magdala sa mga pelikula nila sa iba pang festivals, possible sales agents na puwedeng mag-handle ng film nila para i-distribute sa mga territories.

“So, I’m trying to understand, ano ba yung konsepto ng industriya kung papano sila makaka-attend. It’s all about relationships. Akala mo, inuman lang ‘yan, pero business talaga yung nangyayari.”

Bago ang chairmanship ni Liza sa FDCP, bagama’t may mga proyekto rin ang sinundan niya, masasabing hindi ganito ka-aktibo at ka-“hands on” ang Chair sa nasabing sangay ng pamahalaan sa pelikula.

Noon, naging “impression” ng ilang independent filmmakers na diumano, minsan ay mahirap “daw” lapitan ang FDCP.

Personally, nahirapan ba si Liza na i-revamp, baguhin, o “i-overhaul” ang sistema at pamamalakad niya bilang bagong Chair ng said government agency?

“It took a lot of effort to win their [filmmakers] trust,” pag-amin ni Liza.

“Kasi, unang-una, kahit naman artista ako, hindi naman ako yung sobrang sikat na actress. Hindi naman ako yung napaka-mainstream. Kumbaga, I’m still one of those actresses na supporting ka diyan, lead actress ka dito.

“I wouldn’t say na I’m really part of a clique. But I think, it worked for my advantage, kasi, being an outsider, hindi ko kailangang kumiling sa kanya-kanyang cliques.

“Alam mo naman industry natin, ang daming factions. So, nanggagaling talaga ako sa, wala talaga akong faction kahit na isa sa kanila!

“Puwede ko silang tingnan nang pantay-pantay. Hindi ko puwedeng pumabor sa isang grupong ito dahil pinagsamahan kami or may utang na loob ako.

“I’m happy, kasi, nagwo-work towards my advantage yung hindi talaga ako member ng kahit na ano. Hindi ako nape-pressure, hindi ako nai-stress.

“And nakikita nila yun. Na parang, wala akong agenda. Kung ano ang kayang ibigay ng FDCP, ibibigay namin. Minsan, to the point nga na parang, of course, yung Board, ‘Ano ka ba naman, tuwing may meeting ka, natatakot kami kung ano ang ibibigay mo sa kanila [filmmakers]!’ Hahaha!

“Pero basically, we really have to get the industry’s support so we can push for programs to be effective.”

So, seriously, meron naman palang suporta ang gobyerno para sa movie industry, in general?

“’Yun nga, meron pala! Meron palang budget! Na kung ia-allocate mo nang maayos, puwede mo palang mapakinabangan.

“Like itong mga film markets na ito, matagal na itong existing.”

Ayon sa ilang filmmakers, medyo hirap nga daw kasi silang makakuha ng support sa dating mga nakaupo sa FDCP, kaya kakaunti pa lang ang may connections sa global and international scenes.

“Before, yung mga booths namin [sa foreign film festivals], it was deemed to be so exclusive. Ngayon, we don’t call it ‘FDCP Booth’, we call it ‘The Philippine Pavilion.’

“So, mas encompassing siya. Basta Filipino ka, may pelikula ka, sumulat ka sa amin, isasama ka namin sa omnibus namin, collaterals, catalogue. Ganoon lang ang proseso.”


CINE LOKAL. Samantala, nahingan namin si Liza ng update sa Cine Lokal, ang brainchild project ng FDCP na nagsimula noong April 2017, kunsaan mga natatanging pelikula ay ipinapalabas sa walong (8) branches ng SM Cinemas.

Tatakbo ng tatlong taon (2017-2019), ang walong participating SM Cinemas ng Cine Lokal ay ang Megamall, North Edsa, Southmall, Mall of Asia, Fairview, Iloilo, Davao, at Cebu.

Noong April, naipalabas ang Himala, Of Sinners And Saints, at Iadya Mo Kami.

Noong May, napanood ng publiko ang Imbisibol, Sta. Niña, Swap, Temporary Protection Order, Paglipay, at Sleepless.

Ngayong June, kabilang ang Area, Ang Huling Chacha Ni Anita, at iba pa.

Sabi ni Liza: “Two films a week ito. It’s growing. Sa totoo, I wouldn’t say na maraming audience agad [ang nanood], but nag-e-evolve.

“Based from the numbers, nakikita naming na unti-unting nasasanay ang moviegoers na, ‘Ah, ito pala yung Cine Lokal na makakapanood kami ng mga independent films, kahit na napalabas na noon.’”

Naniniwala si Liza na walang awareness ang Pinoy audience kung saan at kailan puwedeng mapanood ang mga magagandang indie films na ito. Ang alam din nila na wala namang DVD formats ang mga nasabing pelikula na available sa market.

Sa Cine Lokal, may pagkakataong mapanood ng publiko ang mga award-winning indie films, at ang SM Cinemas ang magiging “tahanan” ng mga ito.

Pero may malaking challenge si Liza para sa film producers.

“Ang hamon namin ngayon ay sa film producers, to really see this as opportunity to market their films.

“Kasi, kumbaga, you’re talking about eight cinemas here. You can make 4 to 10 million pesos kung talagang ipo-program at ipo-promote mo talaga ang pelikula mo.

“It’s a platform para ma-train natin ang mga filmmakers and producers natin to learn how to target the audience, market the films, ganoon.

“At grabe rin talaga ang support ng SM Cinemas. Binigay nila sa amin yung mga LEDs nila sa cinema lobbies, yung mga LED billboards nila, lahat ng omnibus trailers, binibigay nila sa SM theaters.

“Not even sa walong participating cinemas, kahit na yung hindi, binibigay nila yun in all SM cinemas nationwide,” sabi ni Liza.

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