Saturday, July 10, 2021

From Zamboanga to the World: 'Cangrejos' Bags P1M Co-Production Fund from FDCP's Southern Voices Film Lab


Wazzup Pilipinas!?

“Cangrejos” directed by Zurich Chan and produced by Gale Osorio was declared the best Mindanaoan project at the 1st Southern Voices Film Lab (SoVo Lab) Awarding Ceremony held by the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) on June 27.


“Cangrejos” was awarded the top prize, the SoVo Lab Co-Production Grant worth PHP 1 million, as well as the special recognition Solar Sinag Award Film Distribution Service worth PHP 750,000.


“The quirky black comedy provides a gripping and engrossing way of looking at the dark side of a close knit community and culture. Absurd, funny, and enlightening as it deals with the subject of poverty and violence against the unsettling backdrop of a beautiful island. It impressively deconstructs the human psyche of its characters when faced with hopelessness and desperation with crabs as its central metaphor, animals who pull down and claw at each other until in the end, nobody gets out alive,” FDCP Chairperson and CEO Liza Diño read its citation during the online awarding.


“Thank you Southern Voices Film Lab not only for the grants but also for making us see the limitless potential of our films regardless of origin. Regional filmmakers always suffer from the lack of support and recognition but having film labs like this help validate filmmakers and their projects, which is a big step to develop a community and make it sustainable,” said Chan, who was rendered speechless during the awarding, in a Facebook post.


Meanwhile, “Dancing the Tides” directed by Xeph Suarez and produced by Alemberg Ang won the Special Jury Prize with a Co-Production Grant worth PHP 500,000. Two projects received the SoVo Lab Script and Project Development Grant worth PHP 300,000: “Devils in Paradise” directed by Joe Bacus and “Diwalwal” directed by Jarell Serencio and produced by John Torres.


“Devils in Paradise” also got the Wildsound Studios Inc. Audio Post-Production Grant worth PHP 100,000 while “The Widow” by Ryanne Murcia received the Cinemalaya Institute Production Management Workshop special award.


“Virgins of the River” directed by Julienne Ilagan took home three recognitions: the Center Stage Productions Script Development and Production Mentorship Grant worth PHP 500,000, Cinemalaya Institute Assistant Director’s Workshop for Film and Television, and Directors’ Guild of the Philippines Mentorship Grant with PHP 20,000 cash.


The FDCP established SoVo Lab in 2019 to boost regional cinema by discovering indigenous stories and empowering the voices of filmmakers from Mindanao. Rounding up the seven selected projects of the intensive script and development lab is “Misery Mountain” by Orvil Bantayan.


Discovering and empowering Mindanaoan voices through film


In March 2019, the FDCP called for applications from up-and-coming filmmakers who are residents of Mindanao and are developing their first, second, or third feature film. The seven SoVo Lab projects were each awarded a development fund worth PHP 100,000.


The SoVo Lab filmmakers went through three film labs for the development of their projects and advancement of scripts. The first leg of SoVo Lab in Tagum City, Davao del Norte in June 2019 had talks and individual script consultations featuring Southeast Asia Fiction Film Lab (SEAFIC) Executive Director Raymond Phathanavirangoon, Variety’s Chief Asia Film Critic Maggie Lee, producer Bianca Balbuena-Liew, and Mindanaoan filmmaker Sheron Dayoc.


The SoVo Lab Scriptwriting Session in Davao City in February 2020 featured Filipino writer, producer, and director Dodo Dayao and South Korean producer Yeonu Choi of CJ Entertainment and the SoVo Lab Producer’s Lab, held online in April 2021, had producers Balbuena-Liew, Isabelle Glachant, and Weijie Lai as mentors.


Throughout the course of SoVo Lab, “Cangrejos” was selected by SEAFIC 2019 and Hong Kong-Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF) 2021. “Dancing the Tides” was chosen by First Cut Lab Manila 2019, Ties That Bind 2020, and Cannes film lab La Fabrique Cinéma 202 while “Devils in Paradise” was in the ASEAN-ROK (Association of Southeast Asian Nations-Republic of Korea) Film Leaders Incubator (FLY) Film Lab, Asian Film Market 2019, and Full Circle Lab Philippines 2020.


“Cangrejos” producer Osorio, “Dancing the Tides” director Suarez, and “Devils in Paradise” director Bacus took part in SEAFIC Open House 2019 while “Virgins of the River” writer, producer, and director Ilagan participated in Rotterdam Lab 2021 of the 50th International Film Festival Rotterdam.


At the SoVo Lab Pitch Showcase on June 26, filmmakers presented their projects in seven-minute pitches to the Selection Committee and the Decision Makers. The Selection Committee was composed of Diño, Dayao, QCinema Festival Director Ed Lejano, public anthropologist, film critic, and film educator Tito Valiente, and international producer and trainer for several institutions, Izabel Igel.


The Decision Makers that pledged special awards are Center Stage Productions represented by Brillante Mendoza, Cinemalaya represented by Jay Abello, Directors’ Guild of the Philippines represented by Roni Bertubin, Solar Entertainment Corporation represented by Butch Ibañez, and Wildsound Studios, Inc. represented by Albert Michael Idioma.


The SoVo Lab awarding held the following day turned emotional as the participants’ two-year journey came to a close, with the FDCP Chairperson addressing the filmmakers of the national film agency’s first regional lab.


“I am deeply humbled to have been part of your journey, all of us at the FDCP care so much about your projects,” said Diño. “We want to make sure that we find a place conducive for you to just really be brave to explore and find in yourself how you can best represent this film that you want to share to the global audience, to our local audiences — audiences beyond your region all over the Philippines — because it’s your time. And this is the time for us to hear more feature films coming from the South.”


Diño continued, “This is a globally competitive industry and we need to have stories that best represent our skills through the films that we’re going to showcase out there.” She shared her excitement about seeing all SoVo Lab projects into fruition, adding, “You can be rest assured that FDCP will be there all the way to find opportunities to help you find platforms para maipalabas ninyo at magawa itong mga projects ninyo.”


FDCP Executive Director Ria Anne Rubia also congratulated the SoVo Lab filmmakers. “With SoVo Lab, we get to empower and discover more filmmakers from Mindanao and support them in their journey and growth not just with their projects and eventual films but as very, very promising individual talents as well,” she stated. “FDCP looks forward to supporting you all as you take the next steps to develop, produce, and release your projects.”

‘Dancing the Tides,’ 33 Filipino Companies Participate in Cannes Lab, Online Film Market


Wazzup Pilipinas!?


One regional film project and 33 production companies, institutions, and organizations comprise the Philippine representation at the La Fabrique Cinéma de l'Institut français and Marché du Film of this year’s Cannes Film Festival.


Established in 1959 during the 13th edition of the Festival de Cannes, the Marché du Film is the business side of the festival where film industry professionals gather to discover new film projects and gain experience from one of the biggest film markets in the world.


While the Marché du Film this year will have its onsite events as well, its online platform will cater the same experience in Cannes with live and real-time meetings to facilitate business and networking for film industry professionals from all over the world. For this year’s edition, the Philippines’ total of 37 individual delegates come from the Producers Network and Filipino Film Producers.


The Philippine delegates are from Atom & Anne Mediaworks Corp., Chimera Visions, Creative Caboose, Digital Dreams Inc., Globe Studios, IndieGo Pictures Entertainment Inc., Rein Entertainment Productions, and RR Entertainment.


Completing the list of participating companies are ABS-CBN Film Productions, Amaya Films, Animation Vertigo Asia, Inc., Binisaya Movement Inc., Cignal TV Inc., Daluyong Studios, Eichief Media/HFilms, Epicmedia Productions Inc., ERK Productions, Filcor Media and Events Production, Firestarters, Fullhouse Asia Production Studios, Inc., Heartleaf Film Production, Heaven's Best Entertainment, IRONoriel Productions, Ladder Production Films, Lakan Media Creatives, Mandala Video and Event Productions, Micromedia Digital Video Productions, QCinema, Reelabilities Studios, Sine Abreno, Ursa Studios Inc., UXS Inc., and Vineyard Films.


The delegates will be given access to online events and programs, Marché du Film Online booths and screenings, pavilions and participants’ information, online networking events to meet potential business partners, a 1-year free subscription to Cinando, and a  feature of their company profiles in the Marché du Film publication. The producers at the Producers Network will have access to Producers Network Programs and Meetings. The Marché du Film runs from July 6 to 15 in a hybrid format, while the 74th season of Festival de Cannes is from July 6 to 17 onsite.


“Over the years, the prestigious film market in Cannes has made international partnerships and collaborations available for our filmmakers. This year, regardless of the market being held online, it will continue to provide the same opportunities and experience that will greatly benefit our filmmakers in the industry,” said Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) Chairperson and CEO Liza Diño.


Meanwhile, “Dancing the Tides” by Xeph Suarez is representing the country in the 2021 edition of La Fabrique, a film lab of the Cannes Film Festival. Suarez’s first feature film is about a Muslim transwoman named Astri, who is living in bliss with her boyfriend Tambulah in their conservative community. As Astri turns 16, her father reminds her that as a “man,” she must honor their tradition by marrying the girl betrothed to Astri.


In 2019, the film project was among the participants in the FDCP’s 1st Southern Voices Film Lab (SoVo Lab) where it received a development fund worth PHP 100,000. In the same year, the project was selected for the First Cut Lab Manila that was also supported by the Agency.


Suarez was a delegate to the 2019 Southeast Asia Fiction Film Lab (SEAFIC) and the following year, “Dancing the Tides” was selected for the Pustnik Screenwriters Residency 2020 and Ties That Bind 2020. At the 2021 SoVo Lab Awarding Ceremony in June, it received the Special Jury Prize with a Co-Production Grant worth PHP 500,000.


From July 6 to 17, “Dancing the Tides,” alongside nine other chosen projects, will take part in the film lab, a tailored program to help talented young directors from emerging countries increase their international exposure to create links with various partners.


The Cannes Docs under Marché du Film invited Daang Dokyu Festival Director Baby Ruth Villarama as a guest speaker for the event “Connecting the Dots: Asian documentaries and their home ground windows” to be held on July 8, while Suarez and producer Alemberg Ang will be part of the pitching session at La Fabrique Cinéma 2021 on July 11 to highlight on Coprocity partnership.


For more information on the Marché du Film, visit For the participating Filipino film project in La Fabrique, visit



The Philippine Delegation in the Marché du Film Online:


Producers at Producers Network


      Atom & Anne Mediaworks Corp. - Anne Prado-Magadia, President

      Chimera Visions - Marvin Lyndon Carmelo Matias, Creative Producer / Director

      Creative Caboose - Kim Homer Garcia, Producer

      Digital Dreams Inc. - Danzen Katanyag, President and Producer

      Globe Studios - Pauline Zamora, Producer

      IndieGo Pictures Entertainment Inc. - Vincent Soberano, Director and Producer

      Rein Entertainment Productions - Charmaine Guzman, Producer

      RR Entertainment- Rommel Ricafort, Owner



Filipino Film Producers


      ABS-CBN Film Productions -  John Paul Abellera, Creative Manager - International

      Amaya Films - Clint Taynan, Manager

      Animation Vertigo Asia, Inc. - Cris Dumlao, Animation Producer

      Binisaya Movement Inc - Gale Osorio, Producer

      Cignal TV Inc. - Aileen Samson, AVP-Syndication and Affiliate Sales Head

      Daluyong Studios - Alemberg Ang, President

      Eichief Media/HFilms - Howard Yambao, Managing Director

      Epicmedia Productions Inc. - April Batican, Producer/ Line Producer

      ERK Productions - Robert Rodriguez, Producer

      Filcor Media and Events Production  - Alan Filoteo, CEO

      Firestarters - Real Florido, Chief Creative Officer

      Freelance Commercial/Content Director and Filmmaker -  Jose Carlos Soliongco

      Fullhouse Asia Production Studios, Inc. - Maricel Ticar Santos, Executive Producer

      Globe Studios - Armi Rae Cacanindin, Producer

      Heartleaf Film Production, Carl Adrian Chavez

      Heaven's Best Entertainment - Harlene Bautista, President

      IRONoriel Productions - Noriel Jarito, Producer/Director

      Ladder Production Films - Andy Denson, Founder, CEO

      Lakan Media Creatives - Maria Lourdes Jimenez, Producer

      Mandala Video and Event Productions - Johanna Kirsten Lagman, Owner/Producer

      Micromedia Digital Video Productions - Keisha Therese Halili, Co-Founder

      QCinema - Ed Lejano, Festival Director

      Reelabilities Studios - Alex Poblete, Producer

      Sine Abreno - Dexter Macaraeg, Founder

      Ursa Studios Inc. - Suzanne Richiardone , Producer

      UXS Inc - Maria Madonna Tarrayo Bueno, President/CEO

      UXS Inc. - Grace Quisas, Producer

      UXS Inc. - Noemi Peji, Producer

      Vineyard Films - Raymark Estael, Director

Spanish LGTBI+ short film series at Instituto Cervantes

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

During the month of July, Instituto Cervantes Vimeo channel will host the short-film series “Te estoy amando locamente" (Falling in love with you madly), featuring eight different LGTBI+ stories by various Spanish filmmakers.

This film cycle presents personal stories, reflections, and testimonies that direct our gaze towards underrepresented realities in the cinema —and, one might say, in all artistic manifestations—: these are stories that deal, especially, but not only, with gender identity, homosexual love and transsexuality.

The series will kick off on July 7, Wednesday, with the screening of the 10-minute documentary "Una dedicatoria a lo bestia", released in 2019 by Nucbeade. A shocking documentary, it is a testimony about a little-known rehabilitation center for women between 13 and 21 years old that was in operation in a town near Madrid for four long decades. 

The short film will be available for 48 hours through this link: The film series will continue on July 10 & 11, with Después también (2019), by Carla Simón, a short film about HIV. The movie will be accessible through this link:

The following week, Instituto Cervantes will stream two more short films: On July 14 & 15, "Su", a complex story about love and life, directed by Laia Foguet in 2019 (link to the movie: On July 17 & 18, the award-winning short film "Víctor XX" (Ian de la Rosa, 2015) will take us to the barren and sunny landscapes of the Almeria coast to show a pleasant and absorbing story about the search for one's own sexual identity, the incomprehension of the others and the edginess that the final decision would cause. The movie will be accessible through this link:

The third week of the cycle will feature Cantando en las azoteas (Enric Ribes, 2017), a portrait of the 90-year-old Barcelona drag queen Gilda Love, accessible on July 21 & 22 through the link On July 24 & 25 the Chilean directors Felipe Elgueta and Ananké Pereira will present their short film Snap (2018). The documentary will be accessible through this link:

The final week of the film cycle will open with the short movie Alma (2018), directed by Santiago León Cuéllar in 2018. It will be available on July 28 & 29 through the link "El cuerpo de la mujer sin sombra" (Tamara García Iglesias, 2021) will conclude the film cycle on July 31. The short film will be accessible through this link:

The movies, presented by Instituto Cervantes in collaboration with the cinematographic distributor Marvin & Wayne, will be in Spanish with English subtitles. Admission is free. For further information and updates on this film series, please check out Instituto Cervantes’ Facebook site ( or the event page:

For further information about the cultural program of Instituto Cervantes please log on to Instituto Cervantes’ website (, or Instituto Cervantes Facebook page

Daniel Padilla Starrer ‘Kun Maupay Man It Panahon’ Gets World Premiere in Prestigious Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

Carlo Francisco Manatad’s first feature film “Kun Maupay Man It Panahon (Whether the Weather is Fine)” is part of the official selection of the 74th Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland, where it will have its world premiere in the Concorso Cineasti del Presente (Filmmakers of the Present) section.


“Kun Maupay Man It Panahon” is the only competing film from the Philippines this year in Locarno, an A-List international film festival that provides a platform for auteur cinema. The Cineasti del Presente section for first or second feature films by emerging global talents will bestow the traditional Pardo d’oro and award for directing as well as prizes for Best Actor and Best Actress.


Starring Daniel Padilla, Rans Rifol, and Charo Santos-Concio, the drama on the devastation of Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in Tacloban City, Leyte was filmed in the Waray dialect.


In the aftermath of Yolanda in November 2013, Miguel (Padilla) roams the ruins in search of the two women in his life: his friend Andrea (Rifol) and mother Norma (Santos-Concio). Miguel is determined to flee to the big city before another storm approaches.


“Kun Maupay Man It Panahon” is written by Manatad, who hails from Tacloban, together with Giancarlo Abrahan V and Jérémie Dubois. Its producers are Josabeth Alonso, Vincent Wang, and Armi Rae Cacanindin who remarked, “After seven years, finally, we’ve come to this!”

In 2019, the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) selected “Kun Maupay Man It Panahon” for the FDCP Project Market while in 2021, the FDCP’s FilmPhilippines Office named it as a recipient of the International Co-production Fund (ICOF) worth PHP 2.5 million.


“We are tremendously proud of the journey of ‘Kun Maupay Man It Panahon,’ which is a milestone in Philippine regional cinema. FDCP is honored to have supported Carlo Francisco Manatad’s journey from the development and production of this project until now when it’s ready to be shown to the world. We thank Locarno for giving it a world premiere and express our heartfelt gratitude to all international film labs, programs, and organizations for believing in and extending support to a Filipino regional film,” said FDCP Chairperson and CEO Liza Diño.


The production companies behind “Kun Maupay Man It Panahon” are Cinematografica, planc., iWantTFC, Globe Studios, Black Sheep, Quantum Films, and CMB Films from the Philippines, House on Fire from France, AAND Company from Singapore, KawanKawan Media from Indonesia, and Weydemann Bros. from Germany.


It was also selected at Sorfund Pitching Forum, Talents Tokyo, Cannes Cinefondation L’Atelier, and Hanoi Project Market and was developed at La Fabrique des Cinema du Monde, Torino Film Lab Feature Lab 360, Semaine de la Critique Next Step, and EAVE Ties that Bind.


It has also received support from Aide aux cinemas du monde managed by the Centre national du cinema et de l’image animee and Institut francais, Torino Film Lab | Creative Europe – MEDIA Programme of the European Union, Brot fur die welt - Bread for the World Protestant development service, Visions Sud Est supported by SDC (Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation), Doha Film Institute, Asian Cinema Fund for Script Development, Talents Tokyo Next Masters Support Program, and Berlinale World Cinema Fund, an initiative of the German Federal Cultural Foundation and the Berlin International Film Festival in cooperation with the Federal Foreign Office and with further support by the Goethe-Institut.


The “Kun Maupay Man It Panahon” co-producers are Ling Tiong, Yulia Evina Bhara, Milena Klemke, Yvonne Wellie, Jakob D. Weydemann, and Jonas Weydemann while the executive producers are Carlo Katigbak, Cory Vidanes, Roldeo Endrinal, Jamie Lopez, Ginny Monteagudo-Ocampo, Olivia Lamasan, Quark Henares, Jan Pineda, Alonso, Cacanindin, and Arleen Cuevas.


Other members of the team are Patricia Sumagui (line producer), Lim Teck Siang (director of photography), Whammy Alcazaren (production Designer), Benjo Ferrer III (editor), Andrew Florentino (music), Roman Dymny (sound design), Sam Manacsa (art director), and Thesa Tang (wardrobe).


The Locarno Film Festival, to be held from August 4 to 14, has been showcasing arthouse films since 1946. In 2015, Manatad’s short film “Junilyn Has” premiered in Locarno's Pardi di Domani section.


Philippine Post Office releases commemorative stamps to mark the 75th Anniversary of PHL-U.S Relations

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

The Philippine Postal Corporation (Post Office) has released a commemorative stamp to mark the 75th Anniversary of the Philippines-U.S. Diplomatic Relations on July 04.


Postmaster General and CEO, "Mr. Postman" Norman N. Fulgencio represented by Postshop, Philately and Museum Division Chief Elenita D.L. San Diego presented the Commemorative Stamp Frame to US Embassy in the Philippines Chargé d'Affaires John C. Law held at the Independence Flagpole in Luneta Park Manila.


July 4, 1946 marked the formal beginnings of Philippine-US diplomatic relations when the Treaty of General Relations and Protocol (or the Treaty of Manila) was signed by the Philippines and the United States of America.


The official logo which was incorporated in the 75th Anniversary of the Philippines-U.S. Diplomatic Relations commemorative stamps highlights the common colors of the Philippine and American flags, which symbolize the two countries’ shared history, and the sun, stars, and stripes that represent hope for the future of this deep relationship.


The Post Office has printed 30,000 pieces of the stamp. In-house graphic artist Ryman Dominic Albuladora did the layout of the commemorative stamp which is now available at the Philatelic Counter, Manila Central Post Office in Liwasang Bonifacio. 

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