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Film and television productions asked to register with FDCP

Bot Glorioso - The Philippine Star
Film and television productions asked  to register with FDCP
Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) chairperson Liza Diño announces the lineup of events for the Philippine Film Industry Month with the theme Ngayon ang Bagong Sinemula.
STAR / File

The intention is to help and assist.

That’s what the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) chairperson Liza Diño would like for film and TV production outfits to understand as she appeals for them to register and coordinate with the national film agency.

“The best way for us to conduct production safely is to work with the government, especially in this time of pandemic,” began Liza during the virtual media call held last Thursday to announce the celebration of the Philippine Film Industry Month.

“Hindi talaga tayo p’wede na kumikilos ng kanya-kanya because once something happens inside the production, we initially seek government assistance to coordinate, to ask for support and to make sure that everyone is protected. Please do not misinterpret it as an inspection or meddling in your work. It’s for everyone’s safety.”

She also mentioned that the recent incident in Baguio City that involved the Feelmaking Productions team has already been ironed out and Mayor Benjamin Magalong assured that the City of Pines is still open to production shoots and that filming is welcome as long as details are coordinated with the city and with relevant agencies like FDCP and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

“If there’s one thing that I’d like to highlight on the coordination being done (by FDCP) with filmmaking productions, it is their willingness to cooperate and communicate,” Liza added. “We have protocols at tine-test natin lahat ‘yan, so we have to work together on our safety.

Liza stressed its offer of support to productions requiring interzonal movement. “For example, there’s a need to go back and forth to Manila or shooting is in Pampanga or anywhere else and entry is prohibited, FDCP will coordinate with the LGU to secure the necessary permit to show during checkpoints and allow entry,” she said.

The chairperson would also like to make clear that FDCP does not regulate but mainly helps in coordinating with the LGUs. It submits reports or lists of film productions registered with the film agency. “We submit them in different regional offices for them to be aware which (film companies) complied and (are) well-coordinated.”

Liza, nevertheless, said that the FDCP has no jurisdiction to sanction or impose penalty to non-registrants. “Kung meron mang di nag-re-register, DOLE is in-charge in that situation. I just hope no one will have to deal with DOLE inspection. Right now, our goal is to help so we can keep production shoots open. We have to cooperate and we have to comply.”

FDCP also finds ways of helping film industry workers to protect them from coronavirus. It recently launched its vaccination program for the press and film and entertainment workers in partnership with City of Manila’s Vaccine Nation is the Solution.

Liza also shared that FDCP extends financial aid to film workers inflicted with COVID-19.

She said, “Unfortunately, we have workers who got sick of COVID so we have a program called Sagip Tala in partnership with Mowelfund to extend financial assistance and bereavement support sa mga nagkasakit at namayapa nating kasamahan sa industriya. We provide financial assistance of P30,000. Of course, it’s not much but it’s a form of support to ease their burden. We also write to different agencies like Philhealth or DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development) to endorse our film workers who need a bigger amount.”

Meanwhile, she announced that beginning this year, the country will officially celebrate the heritage, significance and legacy of Philippine Cinema through Philippine Film Industry Month in September, an annual month-long observation mandated by Pres. Rodrigo Duterte.

“Sept. 12 is the date when the very first Filipino film, Dalagang Bukid, was theatrically and commercially released. So, this is a continuation, making September fitting as the Film Industry Month,” she explained. The 1919 Filipino silent film starred Atang dela Rama and was directed by Jose Nepomuceno.

FDCP has lined up an array of events and programs for the inaugural celebration with the theme Ngayon Ang Bagong Sinemula. Due to the ongoing health crisis, all programs will be done online through the FDCP social media pages specifically for the opening and closing events. Screenings will be hosted exclusively on fdcpchannel.ph.

The events will kick off on Sept. 1 with the launch of Nood Tayo Sine Campaign, relaunch of Cinematheque Centers, announcement on the upcoming International Film Industry Conference and selection of projects for First Cut Lab Philippines. Also part of the month-long celebration is the opening ceremony of the 5th Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino (PPP) featuring Sine Kabataan and Sine Isla: LuzViMinda on Sept. 15.

Asked about the suggestion that only fully-vaccinated people will be allowed to enter the movie houses if and when the opening of cinemas pushes through in November, Liza responded, “We’re actually finalizing the protocols with the DOH (Department of Health), so I don’t want to preempt y’ung kanilang i-a-approve na protocols. But among the recommendations are only fully-vaccinated individuals can watch (in cinemas) and the two-seat apart (arrangement) but we will release soon about the final rule.”

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