MANILA—The Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) called on cinema owners to prioritize screening local films, once movie theaters reopen on Monday in general community quarantine areas (GCQ).
“Get your popcorn ready,” went the announcement of FDCP, as shared by chairperson Liza Diño-Seguerra in a Facebook post.
Traditional cinemas were among the industries authorized for “reopening and further expansion” in GCQ areas by the government’s inter-agency task force on COVID-19, according to its February 12 announcement.
The effectivity is scheduled on February 15, Monday.
According to Diño-Seguerra, despite the opening of cinemas in modified GCQ areas last year, “the cinemas were 90% empty.”
“Sa muling pagbubukas ng mga sinehan, we don’t just think about the cinemas’ protocols to keep the venues safe, we also think about ways to build consumer confidence and educate the moviegoers on how they can watch movies safely,” she wrote.
The guidelines are now being finalized by the Department of Trade and Industry, and will be disseminated on February 15 with the help of the FDCP, according to Diño-Seguerra.
In her statement, the agency head also urged cinema operators to “prioritize screening of Filipino films to help our local industry recover.”
Noting that billions of pesos in box-office revenues were lost last year, she said: “Napakalaking tulong kung bibigyan ng leverage ang Filipino films over foreign films sa muling pagbubukas ng mga sinehan.”