In celebration of the 50 years of diplomatic relations between Singapore and the Philippines, as well as the 100 Years of Philippine Cinema, the Philippine Embassy in Singapore has mounted the inaugural Philippine Film Festival.
Pinoy and foreign cinephiles were in for a treat as there was a special screening of Mr. and Mrs. Cruz as well as free screenings of Seven Sundays, Bakwit Boys, and Siargao at the Shaw Foundation Alumni House of National University of Singapore (NUS) on Nov. 12 to 15.
The Philippine Embassy in Singapore, headed by Ambassador Joseph Del Mar Yap, has partnered with the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), NUS Office of Alumni Relations, and film production company Star Cinema to make the maiden film event happen. The lineup of the Philippine Film Festival 2019 was specially curated with the assistance of FDCP to capture the Filipino way of life. Other Philippine Embassies that have partnered with FDCP to hold full-fledged Filipino film festivals this year are Portugal and Rome, Italy.
Holding Philippine Embassy-led film fests has helped propagate the richness and uniqueness of Filipino culture to Pinoys and foreigners alike. This is made possible through FDCP’s Philippine Embassies Assistance Program (PEAP) which has been running for over two years. Through PEAP, the FDCP helps Philippine Embassies and Consulates hold film-related activities in partnership with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and DFA Cultural Diplomacy Unit.
FDCP Chairperson and CEO Liza Diño shared, “In the Philippines, FDCP supports around 25 foreign embassy film festivals each year through our Film Cultural Exchange Program. This includes the Korean Film Festival, Spanish Film Festival, Cine Europa, Eiga Sai Japan Film Festival, and French Film Festival which are some of the longest-running and most successful foreign embassy-led festivals in the country and have captured thousands of local audiences who are getting more exposed to their cinemas and their culture.”
Diño continued, “In the same vein and this time for our own Cinema, through PEAP, we are encouraging our own Philippine embassies to do the same in their respective posts. Through Filipino film festivals, these countries get to experience our culture and our stories, and discover our commonalities.”
All Embassies and Consulates can apply for the PEAP at least two months before the event by contacting the FDCP International Relations Division. The all-out support that FDCP gives via PEAP involves the sending of film ambassadors to give lectures, coordination with producers, securing of discounted screening fees, coverage of subtitling fees, and curation of films.
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