Do we really need another Tagalog film fest?

We can only have one search engine (Google), socmed app (Facebook), video sharing site (YouTube), photo sharing account (Instagram), or microblog (Twitter). All the rest are just alternatives, novelties, or new players that will be out of the picture in no time.

In the same sense, audience can only handle one major film festival. We already have the Metro Manila Film Festival that sells commercial movies during the Holidays, and the culture cultivating Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival that normally runs between July and August. All the rest remain obscure to rest of the world, more specifically to the mass audience.

Now here comes Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino (PPP).

The film event, which coincides with Buwan ng Wika, will run a few days after the 13th edition of Cinemalaya from Aug. 16 to 22. It will feature 12 genre films, which according to FDCP Chairperson Liza Diño, are produced from 2015 up to 2017 and will be selected by Joey ReyesRicky LeeErik Matti, Lee Briones, and Manet Dayrit, film critic Oggs Cruz, and actress Iza Calzado.

For a film to be considered in the selection, it should not have been previously commercially released in the country, or have been exhibited on the Internet, and should have English subtitles.

“Our main goal is to give more platforms for films to screen exclusively. We know the sentiments of film producers and film workers. So, Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino is our answer to their appeal,” Diño told Manila Standard.

The FDCP chairman explained that the festival wants to address the economic aspect of the industry to encourage development and sustainability. She was proud to announce that the films entries will be seen in more than 700 commercial screens dedicated to the weeklong film festival.  This remarkable endeavor was made possible by the film agency’s partnership with 20 cinema operators including SM Cinemas, Robinsons Movieworld, Ayala Malls Cinemas, and Megaworld Lifestyle Malls, to name a few.

From left: MTRCB Vice President Emmanuel Borlaza, FDCP Chairperson Liza Diño, and National Youth Commission Chairperson Aiza Seguerra sealed their partnership during a joint press conference for the Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino

“It’s a collective effort between cinema operators, the film agency and film workers,” Diño added.

In a separate presscon, the FDCP chair announced that the National Youth Commission (NYC), National Commission on Culture and Arts (NCCA), and the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) are all now onboard to ensure PPP’s success.

“Of course, we also wanted to make this an annual film celebration. But that would depend on the success of the first PPP,” Diño said.

PPP aims to connect with a wider Filipino audience through its nationwide release. As an audience-oriented event and a nationwide festivity, the event will offer a variety of film genres. It also hopes to create a venue for the local film audience to let the industry know what films move and appeal to them, thereby creating a dialogue between film stakeholders.

In addition to the nationwide screening, there will be caravans, audience surveys and forums to maximize the participation of its stakeholders, which basically the same activities conducted by the already established indie film festival mentioned earlier.

Nonetheless, Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino is a welcomed addition to the list of local festivals that we have. But audience might concentrate in just two festivals – the one in early August and another one in the latter part of December. Would it been better if FDCP just channeled its energy into an existing festival, which already has a solid following, by developing it into a national event?

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