FDCP’s decision to restrict participation in international film festivals may have negative consequences

The Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) has recently announced a change in strategy in response to budget cuts. Instead of limiting exposure to international film festivals, the FDCP is looking to collaborate with more film-related groups abroad. Award-winning filmmaker Joel Lamangan has voiced his opinion on this decision, stating that participating in festivals is a valuable form of education for Filipino directors and audiences.

Lamangan emphasized the importance of not choosing between limiting exposure abroad and domestic educational programs, but rather finding a balance between the two. He suggested that the FDCP should work with embassies in the Philippines to promote Filipino films and culture internationally.

Coinciding with this discussion, Lamangan is set to release a film titled “Apo Hapon,” featuring Japanese actress Sakura Ayoshi. The film, produced by Japanese outfit GK Productions, tells two stories of love between Filipino and Japanese characters. Lamangan shared the challenges of cultural differences during the production, particularly in explaining certain scenes and expressions to the Japanese actress.

“Apo Hapon,” written by Eric Ramos, also stars Nella Dizon, Lianne Valentin, Perla Bautista, Jim Pebanco, Marcus Madrigal, Rico Barrera, and Prince Clemente. The film is scheduled to start screening nationwide on March 6.

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