Incentives for PH filmmakers vying for Oscars eyed

October 3, 2022 Ryan Ponce Pacpaco 100 views

A HOUSE leader is eyeing more incentives for Filipino filmmakers to support the country’s quest for the coveted but elusive Oscars.

In filing her House Resolution (HR) No. 451, Deputy Speaker and Las Pinas Rep. Camille Villar said she supports giving more incentives or increasing existing assistance given by the government to Filipino contenders vying for Best International Feature Film, formerly known as Best Foreign Language.

“There is a need to assess the overall situation of the Philippine cinema and movie industry, and if possible, create a seed fund or increase the allocation for the FDCP’s [Film Development Council of the Philippines] Oscars Assistance Program for the development and marketing campaigns of world-class Filipino films to be sent to the Academy,” Villar said, as she urged the House Committee on the Creative Industry and performing arts to look into the plight of Philippine cinema to promote more film productions and revive its “renaissance and golden era.”

Such perks will help filmmakers cover expenses for promotional materials aimed at voting members of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.

This comes as the Philippines officially sent director Erik Matti’s “On the Job: The Missing 8” as its official entry for Best International Feature Film for the upcoming 95th Oscar Awards.

The film premiered at the 78th Venice International Film Festival in September last year where actor John Arcilla was awarded Best Actor for his portrayal of Sisoy Salas. The film also received a five-minute standing ovation in Venice.

According to the House leader, the country has a vast supply of creative people who produced world-class and compelling films that won awards in various international film festivals such as Berlin, Venice, and Cannes. Filipino actors and films also received similar recognitions from various film festivals like Cairo, Locarno, Montreal, Tallinn, Warsaw, and International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam in The Netherlands, among others.

However, despite receiving several accomplishments in different international film festivals, the Philippines has yet to secure a nod or even a shortlist for the coveted Academy Awards or the Oscars, lamented Villar.

“Securing a nomination, win or even a shortlist in the prestigious Oscars will put the Philippines on the map for world-class talents, thus potentially opening more employment and livelihood opportunities for Filipinos,” Villar pointed out.

The Philippines has sent more than 30 films to the Academy, with the film “Genghis Khan” by National Artist for Film Manuel Conde being the first one to be sent in 1953.

The country failed to send an entry to the 94th Academy Awards, with the FDCP citing budget constraints.