Philippines Opens Streaming Channel, Unveils International Subsidy Recipients (EXCLUSIVE)

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The Film Development Council of the Philippines launched the FDCP Channel streaming platform at the Cannes Film Market on Tuesday.

Available at launch will be 140 films, including 100 Filipino titles from the country’s masters including Lino Brocka, Ishmael Bernal, Kidlat Tahimik, Chito Rono, Brillante Mendoza and Dodo Dayao.

In addition, there will be 41,000 film heritage elements available on the platform including news reels and documentaries.

The platform has several tiers. The basic access service is free and has short films, panel discussions and special events. An SVOD tier that costs PHP99 ($1.90) per month provides access to local and international films. TVOD access makes curated local and international films available. In addition the platform also offers event access to free or paid-for live-streamed special events.

The channel began life in the middle of the pandemic in Sept. 2020 as an online platform for the Pista Ng Pelikulang Pilipino, the Philippines’ national film festival, in the absence of in-person screenings. It then became an online platform for FDCP events before evolving into a streaming platform.

Liza Dino, chair and CEO of the FDCP said at the launch event: “Our line-up is a thematic curation of films and audiovisual content, which can be used as alternative materials for inspiration and reference. Our audience are the learners, educators, educational institutions, filmmakers and film enthusiasts.”

The FDCP also revealed that the six 120-seater cinematheques that they operate across the Philippines have now reopened after the pandemic and recent acquisitions, Cannes titles “The Worst Person in the World,” “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” and Berlin title “Petit Maman” were performing well at those box offices.

Earlier this week, the FDCP announced six recipients of its FilmPhilippines Incentives Program’s first 2022 funding round. Together, the projects could receive more that PHP42 million ($803,000) of production funding.

The aid goes to three Film Location Incentive Program (FLIP) projects, where each production can receive a 20% cash rebate on their expenses in the country; two International Co-production Fund grantees who will each be given 25% to 40% recoupable funding at the end of their production; and one recipient for the ASEAN Co-production Fund, which will be getting $50-$150,000 of production support.

The three FLIP-winning projects are “Jamie’s Got Tentacles,” an animation series from Samka Productions of France and Top Draw Animation of the Philippines which is now on its third season; reality television franchise, “Survivor Israel” Season 6, involving Endemol Shine Israel and Philippine Film Studios; and “The Garden of Earthly Delights,” a coming of age feature film, currently in pre-production at Baldr Films of the Netherlands and ACC Cinematografica from the Philippines. It tells the story of an eleven-year-old meth-addict as he struggles with his blossoming sexuality, and his meeting with Dutch tourist Michael who is torn apart by his own dark desires.

The ICOF projects are: “Another World,” an animated short from Point Five Creations of HK, Silver Media Group of Singapore and Overmind Corp of the Philippines, picking up $153,000; and “Call Her Mother,” from Southern Lantern Studios of the Philippines and E&W Films of Singapore, which is set to receive $33,000. It is a short film in pre-production following the story of a mother who goes all out to win in a popular TV game show for the sake of her sick son.

The ACOF grant of $48,000 is awarded to Indonesia’s “Tale of the Land,” set up at Kawankawan Media of Indonesia, In Vivo Films of France and ACC Cinematografica of the Philippines. A magical realist tale that marks the feature directing debut of Loeloe Hendra, it is the story of a woman who decides to live above water following her parents death due to a land dispute.