THE Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) launched on Monday the first island-wide film festival in Negros Island Region (NIR), which is positioned to be a medium of having Negrense voices heard by the people, including those outside the country.
FDCP chair Mary Liza Diño-Seguerra, who led the press launch at the Negros Museum in Bacolod City on Monday, said the thrust of the film festival dubbed “Sine Negrense” is to empower new breed and emerging filmmakers in the region.
Diño-Seguerra said having the festival in Negros gives every Negrense the value to really take pride of their stories and start telling them through films.
“It will converge film communities and serve as platform for them to continuously create stories, discover who they are, and bring out the stories of their own locality in their own dialect,” she added.
The competition is comprised of intercollegiate, emerging or amateurs doing films in at least three years, and open categories.
The deadline for submission of short film entries is on September 30, but prior to this, there will be series of workshops, FDCP said.
The judging starts in October, while the awarding will be on November 5 commencing the four-day film festival.
The festival themed “Fuel to Burning Passion” is also aimed at cultivating an informed the public on the importance of cinema and storytelling in terms of national identity, culture and heritage, it added.
For his part, the council’s executive director Wilfredo Manalang said through their Film Development Assistance Program, they wanted to also benefit Negros like other regions in the country given its rich pool of film making talents.
“We wanted to institutionalize this festival as an annual event in the region,” Manalang said.
FDCP also launched on Monday the establishment of “Cinematheque” in the province, the seventh in the country.
“Cinematheque” is a small theatre of around 100 to 160 seats that will mainly hosts film screenings and embassy film festivals, among others.
For Negros Occidental, FDCP allocates about P5 million for the construction of the structure in front of the Negros Museum Café, which is targeted within the year.
Prior to its completion, they will have a temporary “Cinematheque” at the second floor of the museum thus, FDCP can already start bringing their projects and programs in the province by May, Diño-Seguerra said.
“Once built, cinemas from all over the world can be brought to Negros Occidental, even the local films in Manila are going to travel here,” she said, adding that President Rodrigo Duterte has already expressed strong support to the establishment of “Cinematheque” in all regions across the country.
Meanwhile, various groups, during the activity on Monday, also presented various programs assisted by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and other organizations in line with the celebration of 2017 National Arts Month.
Tanya Lopez, executive director of the Negros Museum, said they are having the “Kuris Theater Festival” at the Gallaga Theater of the University of Saint La Salle in Bacolod City on Thursday.
The museum in partnership with the Metrobank Foundation will also host a print making workshop and presentation today, and art and wellness workshop for teachers at SM City Bacolod on Saturday.
Other programs included “Mugna” a Negros-wide project that highlights creative industry of each community; “Lihok” that aims to bring together the Visayan artists, organizers and cultural workers, among others; and “Panakayon” experimental project that utilizes social media to promote arts and culture.