Jose Javier Reyes on being new FDCP chair: This is where I can do more

Jose Javier Reyes on being new FDCP chair: This is where I can do more

/ 12:10 AM April 14, 2024

Reyes (center) duringhis oathtaking ceremony
with presiding judge
Mariflor Castillo of the
Court of Appeals

Reyes (center) during his oathtaking ceremony with presiding judge Mariflor Castillo of the Court of Appeals

Now that he is the chairperson and CEO of the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), TV and movie director Jose Javier Reyes will have to step down as an officer of the annual Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival.

Reyes will also have to turn down any more offers for him to work behind the camera, however, he can still teach in De La Salle University and the College of St. Benilde, where he is a school official.


As soon as Tirso Cruz III announced his resignation in March, industry insiders began talking about the possibility of Reyes, who served as FDCP technical consultant at the time, assuming the position.


Prior to attending his oathtaking ceremony on April 11, Reyes told Inquirer Entertainment: “The appointment papers will be coming from the Palace. Being chair is a big responsibility, but Laurice (Guillen) said [if the position will be given to me] this is where I will be able to do more. I guess she’s right.”

Reyes serves as head of Cinemalaya’s monitoring committee, while Guillen, Reyes’ long-time friend, is president of Cinemalaya Foundation Inc.

New FDCP chair and CEO Jose Javier Reyes



‘I support Tirso’

Hours before he took to social media on April 9 to announce that he had finally received his appointment papers from the Office of the President, Reyes faced reporters in a press conference. While he acknowledged being one of those who publicly supported Cruz as FDCP chief, he also said he understood why the latter had to quit.

“Pip (Cruz’s nickname) is an actor by heart. Being an actor is his happiness. I almost had to cling to his legs as I begged him not to resign, but I really saw in his eyes the need [to return to acting]. I support him,” Reyes declared. “Did we cry when he left? Of course, we did. You should have seen the office when he announced it. He’s a good man and that’s hard to come by.”

Reyes was at the Hong Kong International Film and TV Market in March when Cruz announced his resignation. “It was quite heavy because there were a lot of plans. We try our best for all those plans to happen, to continue what has been started,” added FDCP executive director Joierie Ann Pacumio, who is heading the Philippine delegates to the 2024 Marche du Film in Cannes, France, in May. “To be fair, in the year and a half that chair Pip served as head, there were so many programs that were launched. [We tip our] hats off to him.”


When asked what should be the qualities of the next FDCP chair, Reyes said this person should have three things. “First is a lot of patience. Most people think working in festivals are fun. It’s different to go to Korea for vacation than to be there to attend the festival (in Busan) and be part of endless meetings. Abonado pa kami.”

He continued: “Secondly, he must love Philippine movies and the industry, and must be willing to sacrifice so much for it. Thirdly, there’s the element of politics involved. You must learn how to work with the government. In the end, the work is not about you, but how many people you are able to help, especially in a situation like this when we are fighting for the sustainability of this industry. It’s an active battle.”

Reyes (left) during his oathtaking ceremony with presiding judge Mariflor Castillo of the Courtof Appeals

Reyes (left) during his oathtaking ceremony with presiding judge Mariflor Castillo of the Court of Appeals

Paying tribute

At this point, Reyes said the FDCP is expected to receive a copy of the appointment papers from the Palace “within the next two weeks.”

The press conference was arranged to announce the honorees of the FDCP’s “Parangal ng Sining,” which will be held on April 19 at Seda Vertis North in Quezon City.

“We are paying tribute to people who have done research and have become major teachers on Philippine cinema,” explained Reyes. “Today, the emphasis will be on people who made us feel that movies are not just for entertainment, but are very much part of cultural history.”

Honoree Nicanor Tiongson is a leading cultural scholar and one of the founding members of the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino, organizer of the annual Gawad Urian. Another honoree is Clodualdo “Doy” del Mundo Jr., who is not just a film historian, but also a major Filipino screenwriter. Some of Del Mundo’s major works include Lino Brocka’s “Maynila sa Kuko ng Ligawanag” and Mike de Leon’s “Kisapmata” and “Batch ’81.”

Third is Armado “Bing” Lao, who up to this day is still mentoring young screenwriters with his campaign to create the “found story.” Next are two organizations dedicated to film archiving and restoration: Society of Filipino Archivists for Film (Sofia) and ABS-CBN Film Restoration’s Sagip Pelikula.

The agency is also awarding actress Boots Anson-Rodrigo, “not as an actress, but as a leading proponent of Filipino leadership in film in her work for Mowelfund (Movie Workers Welfare Foundation). She is one of the major movers of the film industry,” said Reyes.

Movie queen

Actress Gloria Romero is also one of the honorees. “There is no better definition of the Filipino movie queen than Gloria, who is in her 90s. She has become the epitome not only of professionalism, but of everything that the Filipino cinema was before in the past decades,” said Reyes.

Posthumous awards will be given to Teddy Co for his lifetime achievement in film scholarship and for being part of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, and actress Jaclyn Jose, the only Southeast Asian actress to win a best actress award (for Brillante Ma Mendoza’s ‘Ma Rosa’) at the prestigious Cannes film fest.

The FDCP will also be participating at the Marche du Film Festival in Cannes from May 14 to 23. It will coincide with the film festival, which will run up to May 25.

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Part of the activities in Cannes, particularly on the market side, is the Philippine pavilion, with the aim to promote the country as an ideal set location. The film booth is in partnership in Singapore, Reyes said.

TAGS: Jose Javier Reyes

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