QCinema awards P3-M cash grants to 3 PH film projects

QCinema awards P3M cash grants to 3 PH film projects

/ 12:15 AM November 23, 2023

QCinema International Film Festival director Ed Lejano—PHOTOS FROM QCINEMA/FACEBOOK

QCinema International Film Festival director Ed Lejano (Photo from the Facebook page of QCinema)

Starting this year, the QCinema International Film Festival will be handing out a cash grant of P3 million each to three Filipino film projects and $35,000 each to three Southeast Asian projects under its newly formed QCinema Project Market (QPM), festival director Ed Lejano announced recently.

QPM is an industry initiative wherein filmmakers and producers can pitch their projects to international investors, production companies, distributors, agents, and other industry professionals. It aims to help by facilitating one-on-one meetings, project presentations, and networking events in order to encourage collaborations, Lejano added.


“Film grants in QCinema are back. They will be handed out this year but will be realized in 2024. We will be using the same criteria for choosing the films, but with a higher budget, thanks to the FDCP (Film Development Council of the Philippines). This is really part of our leveling up,” the festival director told Inquirer Entertainment shortly after QCinema’s opening ceremony held at the Gateway Cineplex in Quezon City over the weekend.


The grantees this year: “The Remotes,” by director/producer John Torres, and “Filipiñana,” to be directed by Rafael Manuel with Jeremy Chua as producer, received the P3-million cash grant. Meanwhile, the third cash grant was split and awarded to “Ella Arcangel: Ballad of Tooth and Claw,” under the direction of Mervin Malonzo and to be produced by Manny Angeles; and “The Boy and the Fight of Spiders” by director Jarell Serencio, under the production of Alex Poblete and John Torres.

The opening film was Yorgos Lanthimos’ sex comedy “Poor Things,” which won the Golden Lion award at the 2023 Venice Film Festival in Italy. Closing the festival on Nov. 26 will be Anthony Chen’s drama “The Breaking Ice,” which is Singapore’s entry to the 2024 Academy Awards. The film premiered in the Un Certain Regard section of the 2023 Cannes Film Festival.

QCinema proponent, Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte

QCinema proponent, Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte (Photo from the Facebook page of QCinema)

‘Elevated experience’

“This year’s theme is ‘Elevated.’ They say it takes a village — but in this case, a city — to make this ‘elevated’ experience happen,” Lejano declared.

The 10-day festival, which runs from Nov. 17 to Nov. 26, features 63 other titles, divided into 10 sections, including three competition categories. For Asian Next Wave, the main competition section, “some of these Asian filmmakers will be attending to introduce their own films. All of them are debut films. How cool is that?” Lejano said.

“Our programming, like our other initiatives, is ‘elevated.’ We have a range of new films, not just from Asia, but also World Cinema titles, that are not coming to your streaming platforms anytime soon. Many of these films have won recent awards.”

QCinema is becoming bigger and bigger, Lejano declared. “It’s our gift to the city. QC is becoming bigger in more ways than one. Problems? We all encounter them. It’s hard to get local films because we are currently experiencing a dry season of festival-type films. I’m so glad there are a lot of MMFF (Metro Manila Film Festival) titles, but the others are hard to get. Babawi tayo next year! Fortunately, the local industry is picking up, and the box office is slowly rising up to its feet, as indicated by the impressive showing of ‘A Very Good Girl’ and ‘Five Breakups and a Romance.’ Things are looking up!” he said.


Lejano also reported in the two-day International Film Conference that is sponsored by the FDCP. “Experts from both the Philippines and Asia are coming here to talk about different topics, including funding and how to get back to the economic side of filmmaking.”

The festival will also be held in other theaters, said Lejano. “We have expanded our venues to include the more posh locations like Shangri-La Plaza and PowerPlant Mall,” he said. “Sometimes, more cinemas mean more headaches, but we’re up for the challenge.”

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TAGS: Ed Lejano, QCinema, QCinema International Film Festival

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