Towards sustainable cinema

A symposium for film professionals and enthusiasts was held last Saturday as the closing event of the International Film Exposition (IFX) held at the SMX Convention Center.

The Film Development Council of the Philippines opened the event, which is touted as the premier film expositions and film markets in South East Asia. Brought to Manila for the first time, the two-day event aims to develop the Philippines into a hub for film in the Asian region by gathering local and foreign film workers to plan out partnerships and co-productions as well as have technological and educational exchanges.

movie in 35mm film

The IFX features a dedicated ASEAN corner wherein representatives of the respective ASEAN countries will manage booths to showcase their countries’ works and contributions to film development. Participants included the Philippines, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. The local cinema was represented by the presence of prominent production houses like Star Cinema, GMA Films, Viva Films, Regal Entertainment, and Quantum Films, to name a few.

An elite group of international and local film industry leaders and experts were brought together to discuss new technologies, linkages between global film commission networks and funding faculties, opportunities for enhanced capability-building programs, modern trends in filmmaking, and the augmentation of education towards a film industry looking towards the future.

The discussion revolved around the challenges in making critically-acclaimed films that at the same time can achieve financial sustainability. The gist of the discussion is how to create good films that generate enough money to produce more good films.

On hindsight, the idea presented in the forum is a perfect inspiration to all local filmmakers. But the big question, that even local delegates find extremely hard to answer, is why it is difficult to achieve?

The answers were found in the same forum where it was discussed that filmmakers should see themselves as content creators and technology missionaries, but continue to be visionaries, storytellers and cultural leaders.

And perhaps before considering box office revenues, filmmakers and production houses should have an undying effort to produce films that are influential, can set new standards, and most of all, visually and intellectually entertaining.

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