It’s all systems go for the Film Development Council of the Philippines’ (FDCP) participation in the 25th Hong Kong International Film & TV Market (FILMART) and 19th Hong Kong-Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF) which will be returning to online platforms this year due to persisting restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Hong Kong FILMART from March 15 to 18 will feature 13 Filipino companies in the Philippine Pavilion and Country Session, both spearheaded by the FDCP. Meanwhile, the HAF, slated from March 15 to 17, has “Cangrejos” by Zurich Chan as the only Filipino project in its selection.
At the Virtual Philippine Pavilion, participating companies from the Philippines will be given opportunities to showcase projects, attend events, seek project collaborators and funding, pursue sales and distribution possibilities, and expand their network of overseas contacts.
The 13 companies sponsored by the FDCP for the 2021 FILMART are Animation Vertigo Asia, Atom & Anne Mediaworks Corporation, Binisaya Movement, Inc., BLINK Creative Studio, Daluyong Studios (formerly vy/ac Productions), Digital Dreams, Inc., Fixer Ink Philippines, Globe Studios, Man Overboard Productions, Mandala Video and Event Productions, North Luzon Cinema Guild, Inc., Projects 8 Projects, and Solar Pictures, Inc.
The Philippines: Let’s Create Together Country Session
On March 15 at 5:30 p.m., the FDCP will host “The Philippines – Let’s Create Together!” wherein the national film agency will present to the international community the Filipino delegate companies and HAF project as well as promote the FilmPhilippines Incentives Programs.
Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, FDCP Chairperson and CEO Liza Diño, and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Undersecretary Rafaelita M. Aldaba will deliver addresses in “The Philippines – Let’s Create Together!” online event.
To highlight the capabilities of Filipino talents and filmmakers and make known the benefits of filming in and co-producing with the Philippines, the FDCP’s FilmPhilippines Office will discuss its four incentives: Film Location Incentive Program (FLIP), International Co-production Fund (ICOF), ASEAN Co-production Fund (ACOF), and Film Location Engagement Desk (FLEX).
Among the confirmed guests from the DTI are Export Marketing Bureau (EMB) Assistant Director Agnes Perpetua Legaspi, EMB Division Chief Maria Teresa Loring, Atty. Bobby Mabalot of the Philippine International Trading Corporation-Hong Kong, and Atty. Carla Grepo, Czarina Villamora, Marnie Tablatin, Basil Andres, and Louisse Quinones of the Foreign Trade Service Corps (FTSC).
Other government guests include Regional Director Woordrow Maquiling, Jr., Olivia Nicole Manti, and Sharlene Batin of DOT-National Capital Region as well as League of Cities of the Philippines Program Officer for Marketing, Networking, and Advocacy Fidel Pamintuan and Romy Suzara of the Legally Constituted Filmmakers Association.
HAF selects Filipino project from Mindanao
Regarded as Asia’s premier film financing platform, the HAF has selected 28 projects for its 2021 edition, including “Cangrejos” of Binisaya Movement, Inc. and Southern Lantern Studios directed by Zurich Chan and produced by Gale Osorio.
“Cangrejos” is a project of the 1st Southern Voices Film Lab (SOVOLAB) of the FDCP, an intensive script and development lab for Mindanaoan filmmakers that aims to discover stories from the South and empower the voices of Mindanao.
The drama project in Chavacano dialect is about the fight for the survival of a father, dreamy girl, and hermit on the small island of Santa Cruz in Davao region. The project’s title, which means “crabs” in Chavacano, pertains to how the characters pull each other down in their fight for survival.
At the HAF, “Cangrejos” will continue its international run of seeking support and cooperation after being part of last year’s 4th Southeast Asia Fiction Film Lab (SEAFIC), a pioneering script development lab dedicated to supporting Southeast Asian filmmakers.
HK platforms for PH Cinema
Organized by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), the FILMART is the leading content marketplace in Asia for films, television programs, and digital content for entertainment. Internationally renowned professionals, producers, distributors, and investors launch promotions, network with key industry players, and negotiate deals at FILMART.
The HAF, supported by government agencies Film Development Fund and Create Hong Kong, is the leading Asian film project market that gathers Asian filmmakers with upcoming film projects for co-production ventures with top film financiers, producers, bankers, distributors, and buyers. It selects around 25 to 30 projects and attracts over 1,000 filmmakers and financiers from at least 35 countries and regions.
The FILMART and HAF are annual events concurrent with the Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF). However, in 2020, the HKIFF was canceled due to the pandemic while the FILMART and HAF proceeded online.
This year, the 45th HKIFF will take place from April 1 to 12 to with five Filipino films in its selection: “To Calm the Pig Inside” by Joanna Vasquez Arong and “Here, Here” by Joanne Cesario in the Short Film Competition, “Mindanao” by Brillante Mendoza” and “The Halt” by Lav Diaz in The Masters category, and “Verdict” by Raymund Ribay Gutierrez in the Global Vision category.