FDCP to tap MMDA, city mayors’ help in enticing more moviegoers, ‘uplift’ show biz industry | Inquirer Entertainment

FDCP to tap MMDA, city mayors’ help in enticing more moviegoers, ‘uplift’ show biz industry

/ 12:25 AM October 24, 2022

Tirso Cruz III, chair of the Film Development Council of the Philippines

Tirso Cruz III, chair of the Film Development Council of the Philippines

To come up with ideas that will bring people back to the theaters is one of the main objectives of his leadership, according to Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) chair Tirso Cruz III.

In fact, one of the first things Cruz said he did after assuming office was to hold a meeting with the Cinema Exhibition Association of the Philippines (CEAP), whose members pointed out to him that “since we opened the theaters during the pandemic, we haven’t had any incident claiming they got infected with COVID-19 while inside the cinemas.”


Cruz explained to them the sad situation currently experienced by local cinema operators. “Since people are still too scared to go to movie houses, each screening becomes an additional expense to them. This is taking a toll on their businesses. It doesn’t help that Filipino producers still do not see the need to do commercial theatrical releases for their films.”


Last year, organizers of the annual Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) made efforts to entice movie patrons with nationwide theatrical screenings. However, producers of the 10 participating film entries reported dismal returns, and even tried to convince local audiences to give watching movies another try.

Cruz said the FDCP is now making a list of the things they would be requesting from the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), which is the official sponsor of the MMFF, as well as from the league of city mayors, whose members take turns in hosting the annual movie fete.

Equally important

“I’m planning also to approach them to ask for help in terms of uplifting the industry. We’re not that big as an industry but we are equally important as the others. We really need help and we are hoping to strike a compromise with them,” Cruz told Inquirer Entertainment during a recent interview.

We then asked whether the request was related to the industry clamor to lower the amusement tax, which is currently at 10 percent. “We are including this on the list, although I’m not saying that we will ask. This is a tough one. We’re talking about the income of the government here,” he pointed out.

Cruz also said winning an Oscar award could be a big shot in the arm of the industry. This was why Cruz said the FDCP pledged to give P1 million to help in the Oscar nomination bid (under the best international feature film category) of this year’s Philippine representative—Erik Matti’s “On the Job: The Missing 8.”

“There will always be hope. We are all going through a trying time. There are a lot of obstacles. These are happening to film industries worldwide. I know this because I’ve spoken to a lot of film representatives when I went to Switzerland [to attend the recent Locarno International Film Festival],” the FDCP chief pointed out.


Speaking of traveling and attending film festivals abroad, the FDCP sent a big team to the recent Busan IFF. Cruz pointed out that the FDCP would be sponsoring trips “only to events and places where we will have a lot of gains. We won’t attend festivals for the sake of appearance or presence. For the trip to Busan, we brought films that we offered for exhibition and distribution to other areas,” he explained.

Cruz also reported that he and his staff are training people who will eventually be sent to various film fests to expand our network. “Our plan is to have a team of people who are knowledgeable and confident enough to talk to the different programmers, so I don’t need to go to every single event,” he declared.

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The FDCP chief added: “We believe in educating our film workers, hindi ‘yong kaalaman na bara-bara. Of course, we expect to gain from our investment. We hope that the training will eventually result in job offers for Filipinos.” INQ


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TAGS: Entertainment, FDCP, MMDA, Tirso Cruz III

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