Philippines Goes to Berlin International Film Festival 2021

March 31, 2021

FDCP to lead the Philippine events at the European Film Market and Berlinale Co-Production Market 


MANILA, PHILIPPINES, FEBRUARY 28, 2021 — The Philippines returns to the Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale) in Germany amid the pandemic, represented by one competition film, one project, eight filmmakers, nine production companies, and two event participations to be led by the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP).


The Berlinale, now on its 71st edition, will have an industry online offer in March and a public event in June. The European Film Market (EFM), Berlinale Co-Production Market (BCM), and Berlinale Talents will be held from March 1 to 5.


“The Berlinale is one of the key platforms for Filipino filmmakers to showcase their works as well as learn more about the aspects of filmmaking and co-producing in the global arena,” said FDCP Chairperson and CEO Liza Diño.


“We are thankful to the Berlinale Organizing Committee for recognizing the talents of Philippine Cinema. We are also grateful for the chance to promote our FilmPhilippines Incentives Programs to the international community through the European Film Market Landmark Industry Session and Berlinale Co-Production Market Country Session,” she added.


Berlinale Generation


The Filipino film selected for the Berlinale Generation (Kplus competition) section is “Last Days at Sea” by Venice Atienza, who is also the coming-of-age documentary’s producer and cinematographer along with Moshe Ladanga. The Berlinale Generation international jury will be awarding the prizes during the Berlinale Summer Special in June.


“Last Days at Sea” was part of the Works-in-Progress platform of the 18th Hong Kong-Asia Film Financing Forum and was a recipient of the 2019 International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) Bertha Fund Classic. 


A showcase of Filipino talent


The Berlinale Talent Project Market has one Philippine project in its selection, “6th Finger” by Sheron Dayoc, who is also the writer and co-producer. The coming-of-age fantasy-drama is a project from Full Circle Lab Philippines 2020, a project development program organized by the FDCP in partnership Full Circle Lab International. It was also part of the Asian Project Market of the Busan International Film Festival and Open Doors Locarno Script Consultancy.  


Another Berlinale Talent Project Market selection is “Tropical Gothic” from the United States, directed by Isabel Sandoval and produced by Carlo Velayo. Sandoval and Velayo, now based in the U.S., were born in the Philippines. 


At the EFM, the Philippine participating companies are BLINK Creative Studio, Digital Dreams, Inc., Rein Entertainment Productions, Animation Vertigo Asia, Mandala Video and Event Productions, Project 8 Projects, Fixer Ink Philippines, Man Overboard Productions, and Binisaya Movement, Inc.


As for the BCM Online Visitors Programme, the FDCP selected five producers as the country’s official participants: Ria Limjap for “Puppy Love,” Alex Poblete for “Paxxxion,” Geo Lomuntad for “Crème de la Crème,” Joseph Israel Laban for “Guerra,” and John Paul Abellera for “Seasons of Chrysanthemum.” 


In addition, three Filipinos are in the festival’s talent development program, Berlinale Talents: editor and producer Cyril Bautista, actor and director Sheenly Gener, and producer Alemberg Ang, who will also be in the BCM Talent Project Market as the co-producer of “6th Finger.” 


Two Philippine events at Berlinale 2021


On March 2, Diño will take part in two Philippine events. The first is the EFM Landmark Industry Session “Overcoming Obstacles: How Film Commissions Can Support Producers,” which will feature the FDCP, Portugal Film Commission, and Germany’s Filmbüro Görlitz (Görlitz Film Office).


The EFM Landmark Industry Session will tackle case studies as producers and film commissioners present a shared project and discuss the challenges that they have faced along the way. Diño will be speaking with Nikolo Juban of Philippine Film Studios, Inc. on the recent co-production experiences with "Survivor Israel" and "Survivor Russia."


Meanwhile, the BCM Country Session will feature representatives from the Philippines, Estonia, Italy, Norway, and the Netherlands. They will talk about co-producing with and accessing funding in their respective countries. 


Joining Diño in the BCM Country Session are Nele Paves and Piret Tibbo-Hudgins of the Estonian Film Institute, Iole Maria Giannattasio of MiBACT – DG Cinema e Audiovisivo, Mina Holdhus of the Norwegian Film Institute, Bero Beyer of the Netherlands Film Fund, and Mari Nørstegård Tomren of Filminvest. The Country Session will be moderated by Susanne Mann.