FDCP grants P1M funding to each member of Cinemalaya Class of 2023

Anna Cerezo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 15 2022 04:11 AM | Updated as of Aug 15 2022 12:11 PM

MANILA -- Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) Chairman and actor Tirso Cruz III announced on Sunday that the organization will give P1 million each to the 10 filmmakers constituting Cinemalaya’s class of 2023 to help fund their projects. 

“Together with Cinemalaya, we have one goal in mind: let us empower the Filipino filmmaker,” Cruz said during the awarding ceremony of he 18th edition of the biggest independent film fest in the country.

“Hindi namin idadaan sa dada, sa gawa. To uplift our movies, we must all work together so the world may finally recognize the richness in our culture," he added. 

According to Jose Javier “Joey” Reyes, competition director of the biggest independent film fiesta in the country, the forthcoming roster will be the first to feature a full-length animation and full-length documentary. 

The selected 10 short films of the 19th edition of Cinemalaya will be awarded P100,000. 

“Hopefully, we will do it every year. Who knows, we might make it bigger to help local producers,” Cruz enthused.

The move, the FDCP chairman explained, is to help bring more Filipino artists to the global stage. 

“Ang dami dami pa natin pwede mapagmalaki na kailangan bigyan ng pagkakataon. Kaya panahon na bigyan importansya ang pag usbong ng pelikulang Pilipino,” he said. 

“It is important to start with our own before we go out into the world. We have to have something solid to present to the world,” Cruz added. 

According to the chairman, Cinemalaya is among the best platforms to nurture new talents as it is where some of the most recognized and groundbreaking Filipino artists got their breaks. 

“Kung lilista lahat ng pangalan ng alagad ng pelikula na nagmula sa Cinemalaya, kakapusin tayo sa oras. Cinemalaya has become an institution, the big test for young Filipino makers to prove whether they have it or not,” he said. 

“It is not about celebrities, it is about discovering artists. Ito ang direksyon tatalakayin ng council ngayon. Kaakbay ng Cinemalaya at local festivals, hahanapin natin ang mga bagong tinig sa pelikulang Pilipino.”

Cruz said the Philippine film industry has been given the spotlight on some international stages. 

“I have been blessed to attend the Locarno film festival, even the heads and stakeholders have been saying that the world is looking at the Philippines because of past victories and recognitions that most of our movies directors and filmmakers achieved for the industry. That is what we are aiming at,” he explained. 

The FDCP leader said the country is home to a slew of talented artists. Unfortunately, however, not everyone has had the opportunity to nurture their craft due to lack of support. 

“Paano natin makukubinsi ang mundo sa galing natin kung tayo mismo na Pinoy ay wala belib sa sariling pelikula. Paano tayo tatawid ng dagat na naka taas nuo kung wala tayo pagmamalaki na sariling atin sa harap ng dayuhan,” the actor added. 

Cruz also noted that funding local artists who will “show our culture, nobility ,and values in a story” will also attract Philippine moviegoers back into theaters. 

“The new trend--the streaming--it won't go away. But there is a difference watching on the phone than on the big screen— where it is literally larger than life. We would like to bring back the glory days of Philippine movies,” he said. 

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