Cover FDCP encourages foreign filmmakers to use the Philippines as a setting (Photo: Jakob Owens/Unsplash)

The Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) goes to the American Film Market (AFM) 2021 to discuss the plethora of opportunities available for foreign moviemakers who wish to film in the country

The Philippines has some of the most magnificent landscapes in Southeast Asia. The country boasts popular tourist attractions like the white sands in Boracay, diving spots of Coron, old city of Vigan and Intramuros, the Batad Rice Terraces of Banaue, and more. 

Many international filmmakers were drawn to the unique spots in the Philippines, this is evident in the number of foreign films shot in the country. Some of the most famous titles include Tony Gilroy's The Bourne Legacy which was filmed in El Nido and Manila; and Anthony and Joe Russo's Avengers: Infinity War, filmed at the Banaue Rice Terraces.

In light of the matter, the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) joined the panel discussions at this year's American Film Market (AFM). The team seeks to foster and strengthen the relationship between international filmmakers and the Filipino tourism sector. 

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A virtual panel discussion titled It's More Fun to Film in the Philippines was moderated by journalist and film festival consultant Wendy Mitchell. The panel was made up of American and Filipino producers and filmmakers who have had experience working with the Philippine film industry. The panel included Philippine Film Studios, Inc. Executive Producer Jun Juban, Director Pedring Lopez of Counterplay, writer and producer Scott Rosenfelt, Electric Entertainment's producer Francis Dela Torre, and FDCP Chairperson Liza Diño.

According to Diño, the Philippines, through the banner program FilmPhilippines, offers location incentives such as the Film Location Incentive Program (FLIP), which grants one eligible international project a 20 per cent cash rebate on their qualified spend in the country. Moreover, the program also provides logistics support via the Film Location Engagement Desk (FLEX), a one-stop-shop assistance for government permits and interagency endorsements for foreign filmmakers. 

Diño also introduced another program called UniPhilippines which aims to provide Filipino directors who work with their international co-producers. Under this project, Filipino and foreign filmmakers are assured that their films can be exposed to a number of global audiences.

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Diño said that the film industry was one of the hardest-hit sectors in the Philippines during the pandemic. “Participation in festivals and film markets open new avenues to our films and our filmmakers to have a wider reach. Not only does choosing the Philippines as a film destination make the country more visible to the world, but it also helps our economy by creating jobs for our homegrown pool of film workers and generating revenue for service providers in the country.”

To know more about FDCP’s international collaborations and opportunities, you may check out FDCP's official website here.

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