Struggling with budget cut, FDCP focuses on film education

Struggling with budget cut, FDCP to focus on film education programs

/ 12:20 AM February 26, 2024

Struggling with budget cut, FDCP to focus on film education programs

Film Development Council of the Philippines chair Tirso Cruz III (center) talks of the 30-percent budget cut. Here with FDCP technical consultant Jose Javier Reyes (left) and FDCP executive director Dan Morales

With the annual budget of the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) getting “drastically cut” by 30 percent, the film-related agency has turned its attention to creating programs on the education and development of filmmakers, students and the local audiences, said FDCP Technical Consultant Jose Javier Reyes.

In addition, the FDCP has also picked only five of the many international film festivals (IFFs) that the agency will participate in, “and will be sending only people who understand our needs and can better promote us there,” according to FDCP Chair Tirso Cruz III.


“Our budget has been cut by close to 30 percent. We cannot totally cry about it because we know that other agencies have gotten even bigger budget cuts than us,” Cruz told reporters during a press conference to announce the FDCP’s programs and activities for the first quarter of 2024.


“Does this mean Philippine culture is no longer a priority? Yes and no,” said Reyes. “Yes in the sense that the government has decided to focus its attention on other equally important matters. No, because there are other government agencies that are helping us out.”

To foster development

From Feb. 22 to 23, a film production workshop on story development will be offered to students of West Visayas State University to teach them the various techniques of conceptualizing and developing narratives drawn from local experiences.

The FDCP has also tied up with the Movie Workers Welfare Foundation to do a workshop series on cinematography (theoretical and technical) designed for college students, with filmmakers Raymond Red and Danton Wieneke as instructors. The series runs from Feb. 3 to March 9.

Raymond Red leads the cinematography workshop series. —PHOTOS COURTESY OF FDCP

Raymond Red leads the cinematography workshop series. —PHOTOS COURTESY OF FDCP

“The very purpose of these workshops is to extend help not only to students in Metro Manila, but also those all over the Philippines. Our emphasis is to foster the development, not only of filmmakers but also of students and the audiences,” declared Reyes.

“This is only the start. With the limited funds given to us this year, we’ve decided that a great part of it will be for training. If you want to see progress in the industry, then you start with the students. If you want to upgrade the quality of production, you start by helping the film workers.”

The sixth edition of the Full Circle Lab Philippines will run from March 18 to 24, at the Quest Plus Conference Center in Pampanga. It will offer various film labs to support Filipino and Southeast Asian projects in various stages of development and production.


Top hub goal

Reyes added that Martina Escobar’s “Leonor Will Never Die,” which premiered and competed at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival, is a product of Full Circle Lab. “This aims to expose Filipino filmmakers not only to the works of fellow Filipinos, but also to their Southeast Asian counterparts, as well as to European filmmakers who graciously share their expertise through this program. Our target is that by 2025, Filipinos will be handling this exclusively. Our goal it to make the Philippines the top filmmaking hub in Asia,” declared Cruz.

Cruz also pointed out that the FDCP was not the only cultural agency affected by the budget cut—this also included the Cultural Center of the Philippines, and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts. “This is why we chose only a few from the international film festivals that we want to take part of,” he added.

First was the recently concluded 53rd International Film Festival Rotterdam in January and the ongoing 74th Berlin International Film Festival. “Since education is our focus for Rotterdam, we sent (film education division head) Rica Arevalo there. We also sent the relevant people to Berlin since it is basically a film market festival,” Reyes explained.

Participants of the ongoing cinematography workshop series, a collab between the FDCP and Mowelfund--FDCP

Participants of cinematography workshop

The 47th Hong Kong IFF, which will run from March 30 to April 10, will also be an important event for the FDCP. “We want to make our presence felt there, so we will be sponsoring a large booth for the Philippines. When we visited the event last year, we felt sad to see that the Philippines only had two small booths—Viva and GMA Films—and they were placed at the far end. For this year, we’ve spoken to nine producers. Those who cannot afford their own booths can join us. We are sure to attend because it’s a major market festival,” said Reyes.

The 56th Udine Far East Film Festival in April is also part of the lineup, said Cruz, as well as the 77th Cannes Film Festival in May.

Cruz also announced that the FDCP will continue with its Parangal ng Sining this year to pay tribute to outstanding filmmakers and institutions that have helped shape the direction of Philippine cinema. Last year’s winners were filmmaker Escobar and actors Dolly de Leon and Soliman Cruz. Regal Films matriarch Lily Monteverde and academician Nick Deocampo were the recipients of the Lifetime Achievement award.

Posthumous award

“We have yet to come up with a lineup of 2023 awardees, but we are sure to give a posthumous award to [film curator and archivist] Teddy Co,” added Reyes.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Also for this year, the FDCP will be participating in three major celebrations—the 20th anniversary of the Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival, the 50th year of the Metro Manila Film Festival, and the 100th year of National Artist for Film Eddie Romero. The agency will be showing selected best pictures from Cinemalaya and the MMFF, as well as films by Romero, in all the FDCP Cinematheques around the country. INQ

TAGS: Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), Jose Javier Reyes

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.