FDCP bats for reopening of more movie theaters by November

Mario Dumaual, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 28 2020 04:29 PM

Moviegoers observe physical distancing while watching inside the SM Cinema in Santa Rosa, Laguna in this October 19, 2020 file photo. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA -- After the reopening of several theaters of the SM Cinema chain, the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) is pushing for the reopening of more moviehouses in the country by November, in time for the fourth edition of the Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino (PPP4). 

Opening on November 20, the PPP will showcase more 170 new and retro films. 

FDCP chairperson Liza Dino told ABS-CBN News that she already wrote the Cinema Exhibitors Association if the Philippines (CEAP) and the Integrated Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) to consider the gradual reopening of theaters next month, with the anticipated relaxation of quarantine protocols. The CEAP consists of nationwide cinema chains such as SM, Robinsons, Ayala, Megaworld and other mall-based theaters. 

“Actually request namin sa kanila to show kahit man lang premium selection, mga bagong pelikula," Dino said. “We also want clearance with the IATF for our invitational events at Ortigas cinemas. Sana we can start reopening kahit controlled or konting tao lang like block screenings. This is the only way we can navigate through the COVID-19 situation. It’s time to change our mindset -- na pwede nang bumalik sa mga sinehan kasi other countries are starting to do that with the strictest protocols.” 

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With strict safety measures, SM Cinemas have reopened at select branches starting on October 14. 

But the SM chain at this time is only showing foreign productions like "Break The Silence: The Movie," the latest docu-film from global K-pop superstars BTS; the anime movie "Digimon" from Japan; "Train to Busan Peninsula" from Korea; and "My Spy."

The reopened SM Cinemas are in Angono, Bacoor, Baguio, Baliuag, Cabanatuan, Calamba, Cauayan, Cagayan de Oro, Dasmariñas, Davao, Lanang, Legazpi, Lucena, Marilao, Masinag, Molino, Naga, Olongapo Central, Pampanga, Rosales, San Jose, San Mateo, San Pablo, Santa Rosa, Tarlac, Taytay, Telabastagan and Trece Martirez. These areas have been placed under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) following the guidelines set by the IATF. 

The FDCP, meanwhile, lengthened the duration of the PPP4 from 16 days to 44 days due to the inclusion of new titles to the lineup now totaling 170 films, and to accommodate some works in the PPP Premium Selection section. PPP4 will be held until December 13 with the preliminary showing of short films and classic Pinoy movies starting October 31. 

This year’s online PPP will have a mixed format on the FDCP Channel platform (fdcpchannel.ph). The video-on-demand (VOD) streaming will be available for free for 80 short films as well as for one full-length feature: the restored version of “Anak Dalita” by National Artist for Theater and Film Lamberto V. Avellana. The free VOD streaming is available from October 31 to December 13. Other retro films to be honored include Joel Lamangan’s “Filipinas” with Armida Siguion Reyna, Lino Brocka’s “White Slavery,” Marilou Diaz Abaya’s “Brutal,” Manuel Conde’s “Genghis Khan,” and Ishmael Bernal’s “Manila by Night.”

The rest of the full-length features will have scheduled livestream screenings in four virtual cinemas (named after the FDCP’s Cinematheque Centers). A maximum of six screenings per film was agreed upon by the producers and FDCP to minimize exposure to piracy. The paid scheduled screenings will run from November 20 to December 13.

“We thank our producers, and the rest of our stakeholders for making the 4th Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino a more inclusive solidarity event," said Dino, who is targetting at least 10,000 to 20,000 viewers/subscribers paying less than P500 for promo PPP4 tickets. The revenues will be equally divided to all PPP participating producers.