FDCP's FilmPhilippines Holds Free Co-Production Masterclass, Workshops in Film Incentives on 1st PH Film Industry Month

October 08, 2021

MANILA, PHILIPPINES, OCTOBER 7, 2021 — The basics of co-productions and its infinite possibilities for Philippine Cinema were highlighted in the free series of sessions hosted by the FilmPhilippines Office (FPO) of the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) last September 22. 

As part of the first-ever Philippine Film Industry Month celebration, FPO’s "Let's Create Together: Getting Into International Co-productions" comprised of three panel discussions on how to go about in the world of co-productions, featuring remarkable Filipino producers making waves in the international arena and distinguished international producers that have worked with local production companies.

The event aims to engage and educate Filipino filmmakers and producers, especially individuals registered with the FDCP National Registry, on international funding options and the FilmPhilippines Incentives Program: Film Location Incentive Program (FLIP), ASEAN Co-production Fund (ACOF) and International Co-production Fund (ICOF) as well as the Film Location Engagement Index (FLEX) service incentive.

“The concept of co-production has been, until recently, something that is very vague especially in the Philippines. For the most part, the production of films in our country has been conducted singularly through private equity investments or co-productions, defined as a partnership between two local productions and a kind of a silo setup more focused on domestic release than distributed outside the country,” said FDCP Chairperson and CEO Liza Diño in her opening remarks. 

She also pointed out the importance of film festivals and collaborative work with international producers to elevate Filipino projects. “Foreign titles are widely imported in our country, especially now because of these new platforms coming in and unfortunately, we have a scarcity of home-produced films that can be exported outside for foreign audiences.” 

“In order for a film to be export quality, it has to achieve and adhere to specific standards not just through its creative narratives or content but also in its technical aspects like cinematography, sound, and post-production,” added Diño. 

The first session entitled “Case to Case: A Panel Discussion with Bianca Balbuena, Armi Cacanindin, and Alemberg Ang” was moderated by This Side Up and Arkeofilms managing director and producer Monster Jimenez with producers Bianca Balbuena, Armi Cacanindin, and Alemberg Ang as panelists.

Balbuena presented her case study of the films “Nocebo” by Lorcan Finnegan and “When the Waves are Gone” by Lav Diaz, Cacanindin for “Whether the Weather is Fine” by Carlo Francisco Manatad, and Ang for “Some Nights I Feel Like Walking” by Petersen Vargas. The presented projects are ICOF recipients. Each discussed the role of a producer in a director’s career, as well as the producer’s career, the project’s journey, followed by a Q&A from the audiences present in the event.

The second session “The Foreign Take: A Panel Discussion with International Producers” was moderated by Paperheart CEO and producer Lorna Tee with “Aswang” co-producer and Les Films de l'Oeil Sauvage (France) founder Quentin Laurent, “In My Mother’s Skin” and “HBO Folklore,” Zhao Wei Films Singapore producer JX Huang, and Portico Media CEO Jay Lin as panelists. The panelists shared their experience on working with the Philippines and what their major reasons were for collaborating with Filipino companies. 

The last session was the Workshop on FilmPhilippines Incentive (WIFI) where FilmPhilippines Incentives Unit Manager Mil Alcain discussed FLIP, ICOF, ACOF, and FLEX in greater detail followed by a Q&A addressing the queries and concerns of interested Filipino companies or individuals.

The productive afternoon of the discussion on co-production ended with the announcement of the FilmPhilippines Incentive Program awardees for cycle 2 of 2021.