Grants are QC’s ‘gifts’ to indie filmmakers | Inquirer Entertainment

Grants are QC’s ‘gifts’ to indie filmmakers

By: - Reporter
/ 09:00 AM November 03, 2014



“Cinema is all about truth and information. When you have all these, cinema becomes power,” said award-winning veteran actress Tessie Tomas, a cast member of the Arnel Mardoquio movie “Alienasyon,” the opening film at the 2014 QCinema International Film Festival.

“Alienasyon,” based on an important event in the life of Filipino playwright and theater artist Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero, is the recipient of a P2-million production grant from the local



government of Quezon City under its Film Development Commission.


“Films should be tools to tell the world of our country’s situation,” Tomas told the Inquirer during the press launch of the QCinema IFF, which runs from Nov. 5 to 11 at the Ayala Trinoma Mall. Over 30 films, including major Oscar contenders, are in the festival lineup.

“Alienasyon” also features Spanky Manikan, Jess Mendoza, Manuel Chua, Meryll Soriano, Shamaine Buencamino and Art Acuña.

At the press conference, Mardoquio commended organizers for their support of indie filmmakers. Five more films received post-production grants of P150,000 each—Real Florido’s “1st Ko Si Third,” Cha Escala and Wena Sanchez’s “Nick and Chai,” Mike Cabardo’s “Tigbao,” Barbara Politsch’s “Cemetery Life,” and “Tres,” a trilogy by veteran directors William Mayo, Edgardo “Boy” Vinarao and Jose M. Carreon.

“NOT ONE Less”

“NOT ONE Less”

“It was not about the money,” Mardoquio said, noting that the contract he signed with QCinema was a first in local filmmaking history: “I was given 100-percent copyright ownership of the movie.”

More films now

Festival director Ed Lejano noted: “Last year, we had only three films; now, we have 37. Next year, maybe we’ll continue to produce films through grants. This year, we produced a P2-million film, gave post-production grants to five movies and shot an omnibus film called the ‘QCX’ or the ‘Quezon City Experience.’ We’re handing out candies.”


Included in the “QCX” are films by Victor Villanueva (“Ang Nanay ni Justin Barber”), Grace Simbulan (“Bonifacio”), Miko Livelo (“Sa Ngalan ni Ultimate Warrior”), Jed Medrano (“Senior”) and Rob Jara (“Tila”).



Lejano, who has directed indie movies like “Seroks” and “Qwerty,” said the grants are the city’s “gifts to filmmakers.” He explained that, since Quezon City still lacked the machinery to distribute the movies, “We’d rather give the rights to the filmmakers. QC will just show the movies whenever we have events.”

Screening committee


Lejano said a screening committee “of prestigious people in the industry” read over 100 scripts and conducted interviews before handing out the grants. “This was done earlier this year.

We have a unique proponent system—one of them is that the director, producer or writer, should be a QC resident.”



QCinema is a project of the QC Film Development Commission, the first and the only film commission in the country. “Countries like France and the United States, for example, have film commissions in major cities,” filmmaker Milo Sogueco pointed out. “Before this, we had only the FDCP (Film Development Council of the Philippines). This is the first time that a city is sponsoring an international film fest and giving grants.”

Sogueco, also a board member of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB), announced that the agency recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the QC Film Development Commission and QCinema organizers.

The MOU gave the two agencies “the privilege to self-classify and regulate” the films included in the festival, Sogueco said. “This is similar to what the MTRCB did with the Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival, the Cultural Center of the Philippines and the FDCP, with the projects they were involved in.”

MTRCB picks


The five festival films included in the section called Children’s Classics were picked by the MTRCB, “with the advice of the Commission,” said Sogueco. “They are all reared toward

“CHILDREN of Heaven”

“CHILDREN of Heaven”

uplifting children and their rights. We’ve invited public schools based in Quezon City to watch.”

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The Lifetime Achievement Award will be handed to renowned prosthetic makeup artist Cecile Baun, a QC resident, during the awards show on Nov. 9. “She turned 80 this year. It’s about time we recognized unsung heroes of the film industry like her,” Lejano said.

TAGS: Cinemas, Entertainment, Indie Films, Quezon City

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