Philippines in Full Force at Hong Kong FILMART Online and HAFF 2020

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MANILA, PHILIPPINES, AUGUST 2020 — Fourteen companies from the Philippines are part of the 24th Hong Kong International Film & TV Market (FILMART) while four Filipino film projects are included in the 18th Hong Kong-Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF).

The virtual Hong Kong FILMART will take place from August 26 to 29 and the online HAF will be held from August 27 to 29. The Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) will have a Country Session webinar at the HK FILMART upon the invitation of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC).

The FDCP has sponsored production companies for the Philippine Pavilion in the HK FILMART to provide them opportunities to find project collaborators, seek project funding, pursue sales and distribution possibilities, and expand their network of contacts in the international film circuit. 


This year, the FDCP's Virtual Philippine Pavilion will have 11 production companies: Philippine Film Studios, Inc., Project 8 Projects,  Betsy D. Film Productions, Epicmedia Productions Inc., Atom & Anne Mediaworks Corp., Indiego Productions, CMB Films, Sisu Productions, Beginnings At Twenty Plus Inc., VY/AC Productions, and Blindwill Pictures. 


Pavilion meetings will take place on all four days of the FILMART, and these will be concluded by the FDCP’s “Let’s Create Together!” webinar on August 29. Through the live one-hour event, the FDCP will promote three FilmPhilippines incentives to international productions. These are the Film Location Incentive Program (FLIP), International Co-production Fund (ICOF), and Film Location Engagement Desk (FLEX).


Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat and FDCP Chairperson and CEO Liza DiƱo-Seguerra will lead the “Let’s Create Together!” presentation together with the FilmPhilippines Office. The Country Session will premiere two video collaborations of the DOT and FDCP for the “Let's Create Together!” campaign. The 11 companies in the Philippine Pavilion will also be introduced during the webinar.


Department of Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones will be in attendance together with Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-Export Marketing Bureau (EMB) Assistant Director Anthony Rivera, Metro Manila Development Authority Chairman Danilo Lim, and League of Cities of the Philippines National President Evelio Leonardia.


Other attendees are Consorcio Olivan of the Bureau of Internal Revenue and Maria Teresa Loring, Rodrigo Aguilar, and Gliceria Cademia from the DTI. Representatives from the DOT include Woodrow Maquiling, Jr., Sharlene Batin, Howard Lance Uyking, Elisa Jane Camunggol, Ernesto Teston, and Dee Mandigma. National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) Chairman and Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) President Arsenio Lizaso and NCCA National Committee on Cinema Head Rolando Tolentino are also confirmed attendees. 

The Film Academy of the Philippines will be represented by Director General Vivian Velez, Director for Business Development & Communications Ed Totanes, Director for Programs and Events Peter Serrano, and Harlene Bautista and Njel de Mesa of the Project Advisory Committee. Meanwhile, other participating companies in the HK FILMART are GMA Network, VIVA Communications, and Rocketsheep Studio. 


As for the HAF, “Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah Vs. The Amazonistas of Planet X” by Avid Liongoren and “Some Nights I Feel Like Walking” by Petersen Vargas are among the 24 fiction projects featured alongside nine documentaries. Liongoren and Vargas wil get to seek international support and cooperation for their projects at the HAF. 

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Other projects in the HAF lineup are productions or co-productions from Taiwan, China, Canada, Hong Kong, Afghanistan, South Korea, Israel, Mexico, Bangladesh, Thailand, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Vietnam, Singapore, the Netherlands, and France. 

The Filipino-French project “Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah Vs. The Amazonistas of Planet X” is fresh from its success at the Open Doors Locarno where it won the Development Support Grant. The project is co-produced by Liongoren of Rocketsheep Studio and Franck Priot of Ghosts City Films in France. 


The action-comedy animated full length feature is about a shy gay hairdresser who transforms into a flamboyant female superhero after he swallows a magical space rock. In July, it won the B.I.G (BIFAN Industry Gathering) Award from the Network of Asian Fantastic Films (NAFF) Project Market of the Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival (BIFAN) in South Korea.

The Philippine projectSome Nights I Feel Like Walking” by Vargas is a drama about a wealthy teenage runaway who joins street hustlers on a road trip. The street hustlers want to fulfill the final wish of their friend who passed away, which is to go home. At the 2019 Southeast Asia Fiction Film Lab (SEAFIC), the project bagged the SEAFIC Award and SEAFIC-HAF Award. “Some Nights I Feel Like Walking,” produced by Alemberg Ang and Jade Francis Castro, is under VY/AC Productions.

Two more Philippine projects made it to the HAF in the Works-in-Progress (WIP) platform that aims to help filmmakers get post-production funds, sales agents, and film festival support. These are the documentary project “Last Days at Sea” by Venice Atienza, who is also the producer alongside Wu Fan, and fiction project “The Double” by Adolf Alix, Jr. The project with elements of drama, horror, and suspense is produced by Alix, Jericho Rosales, and Kim Jones. There are 12 documentaries and 10 fictions in the WIP.

The HK FILMART and HAF were supposed to take place early this year concurrent with the 44th Hong Kong International Film Festival slated from March to April. The latter was cancelled due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, while it was decided for the HK FILMART and HAF to proceed online.