A non-profit organization in Toronto has launched a collaborative platform for Filipino filmmakers and talents in Canada and in the Philippines.
Siné Institute aims to promote Filipino stories through film festivals, theatre, and art exhibits.
It also seeks to provide Filipino filmmakers a pathway for collaboration with leaders in the creative industry, and a breakthrough in the international market.
The institute's president said they want to highlight content that will represent Filipinos at film festivals.
"The value that Sine Institute brings is really providing access, film literacy, not just making the film," said Michaelangelo Masangkay, "but also strategizing and navigating into the international marketplace through festival strategy, co-production, and marketing and distribution."
Masangkay said they aim to hold a film festival to exhibit Filipino-made films and celebrate Filipino talent.
Another official of the institute, meanwhile, said support for Filipino filmmakers in Canada is long overdue.
"We hope that through Siné Institute we would be able to do that," said Rosary Escaño. "To create a space and a community where everybody, most especially Filipinos, can help create something unique and different that will be impactful and meaningful."
The Philippine Consulate in Toronto, local filmmakers, and leaders of the Philippine film industry are grateful for the support, and said they are looking forward to the institute’s upcoming events.
"Bringing Filipino films here gives pride to our Kababayans as well as inspiration to Canadian Filipino artists," said Consul General Angelica Escalona.
Also celebrated during the event were the Filipino films that were featured at the Toronto International Film Festival.
They include “Anak Ka Ng Ina Mo” (You Are Your Mother's Child) by Jun Robles Lana, and Sonny Calvento’s “Primetime Mother.”
Filipino actress Meryll Soriano, who starred in Calvento's film, shared her first experience of the said festival.
"I was so surprised how supportive the Canadians are with the Festival," she said. "I love that they love watching movies. I just love the feeling of festivals because you’re showing films, you’re telling stories and that’s the best."
The first Siné Film Festival is happening in Toronto in March 2024.