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Bohol launches film body in bid to be filmmaking capital

Bohol launches film body in bid to be filmmaking capital

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Bohol launches film body in bid to be filmmaking capital

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Movie cameras are rolling Bohol to new dimensions of allure and economy with the creation of a provincial film body and introduction of the province as a national, global filmmaking destination.

The Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) has fully committed to promote Bohol as a viable location for national and international movie and television shootings.

FDCP Chairperson Liza Diño-Seguerra herself witnessed Gov. Edgar Chatto’s signing of an executive order creating the Bohol Film Commission (BOFILMCO) at the Governor’s Mansion on Wednesday.

Also for brevity, some who witnessed the unprecedented event would like to call the body BOFILCOM.

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Seguerra said the exciting development will bring Bohol to the spotlight of film tourism and magnify the glamour of the destination while creating a new local economy.

The epic “Lord of the Rings” high-fantasy movie series had shooting locations which were then unpopular but which has since become tourist attractions after the filming.

Seguerra was fascinated when she was told that Bohol has rice terraces among its “hidden” tourism jewels, plus the many Boholano talents that may have just been awaiting to be discovered.

The top FDCP woman is a former Mutya ng Pilipinas-Tourism International and one of the finest Filipina dancers of the Spanish flamenco.

The P2 billion-budgeted American action blockbuster “Bourne Legacy” was filmed in three Metro Manila areas where the huge amount just circulated to the benefit of the local economy.

“I’m very proud of how proactive is Gov. Chatto,” the FDCP head said, adding that the film commission executive order was the “first ever signed” by a governor in the country.

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Seguerra said before the signing she was “still overwhelmed,” in disbelief that “a casual dinner” then with a friend who relayed to her the governor’s idea of creating the film body “would ultimately come to this.”

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She was referring to acclaimed Boholano theatre artist-director Lutgardo Labad, also an advocate of the preservation of the local cultural heritage and a noted musical composer now named no less as the BOFILMCO chairman.

BUILD CINEMATHEQUE

An award-winning actress and a multi-talented performing artist, Seguerra committed to build in Bohol one of the three additional FDCP “cinematheques” in the country this year.

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A part of FDCP’s national cinema program, a cinematheque, which has a capacity of between 50 and 200 seats, is a motion-picture theatre that specializes in important historical, experimental, avant-garde, or art-house films.

For her lead performance in the Flamenco dance movie “In Nominee Matris,” Seghuerra reaped awards from both national and international film festival bodies.

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“We have film festival partners and we can bring them here,” Seguerra said.

The cinematheque is an alternative and accessible venue for classic and contemporary Filipino film showing and a spot for workshops and symposia on directing, scriptwriting, and other aspects of filmmaking.

The project empowers the local educators to teach filmmaking more efficiently and encourage local artists into cinematography.

The BOFILMCO signing was also witnessed by Baby Ruth Villarama, director of the documentary film and recent Metro Manila Film Festival winning entry “Sunday Beauty Queen”; Don Gervin Aranan, program director of the Philippine Film Export Service Office PFESO) of the FDCP; and film couple Hermie Cobrito and Marichelle of the “Saving Sally”.

The signing was likewise witnessed by Rio Anne Rubia of the FDCP, Provincial Administrator Alfonso Damalerio II, and the members of the film commission.

The BOFILMCO members are Marianito Luspo of the Holy Name University-Office of Culture and the Arts Development (HNU-OCAD); Romulo Tagaan, Provincial Council for Culture and the Arts Development (CCAD); Liza Flores, Special Projects Unit of the Governor’s Office; Emilia Roslinda PROCESS Foundation; Albert Uy, Bohol Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI); Peter Dejaresco, Bohol Tri-Media Association (BTMA); Fr. Val Pinlac, Diocese of Tagbilaran; a representative of the Diocese of Talibon; chairperson of the Bohol Arts, Culture and Heritage (BACH) Council; acclaimed Boholano director Mario J. de los Reyes, film industry; Tagbilaran City Administrator Leonides Borja; and Joshibiah Gaa de Juan, City Council for Culture and the Arts (CCCA).

BOFILMCO WORKS

WITH THE FDCP

The BOFILMCO coordinates with the FDCP, National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), CCAD, Bohol Tourism Office, events coordination unit and other agencies, and facilitate filming projects in Bohol.

It mobilizes support for films shot and produced in Bohol while pursuing the utilization of the local talents and promoting the province’s natural and socio-cultural heritage attractions in the film industry.

The commission has the power to review any film production featuring Bohol, document historical events/sites/places/icons in the course of history, and preserve them through cinematic medium.

The BOFILMCO develops programs, interventions and mechanisms to ensure protection and development of indie film producers and enthusiasts in Bohol.

The body is deemed most appropriate and relevant to project and enhance the Boholano artistry and culture and have them recognized nationally and universally.

This is again “our contribution to the national pride,” Chatto said.

Also at the signing were Provincial Board Member Gloria Gementiza; Enriqueta Butalid and sculptor Lalan Paloso, both of CCAD; Liza Quirog, Social, Economic and Environmental Management Cluster; Josephine  Cabarrus, Bohol Tourism Office; Maria Fe Dominise, Bohol Investment and Promotions Center; Peter Retutal, Provincial Planning and Development Office; Rey Anthony Chiu, Philippine Information Authority; and Boris Heberer, tourism industry.

CINEMA HERITAGE

Seguerra would like Bohol to be not just a filmmaking hub but a “Philippine cinema heritage.”

The FDCP’s foremost mandate is to upgrade the craft of Philippine filmmaking and establish filmmaking hubs.

Bohol is “very exclusive,” Seuguerra said, referring to the province’s own history and stories that can be filmed like the Dagohoy revolt of more than 80 years, the longest in Philippine history.

“Nandito na sa Bohol ang lahat.  Wala ka nang hahanapin pa (Everything is in Bohol. You don’t have to look for others),” Esguerra said.

But the FDCP head encouraged the province and its local government units to grant incentives like tax rebate to attract movie producers and filmmakers.

Additional incentives can be given if the filmmakers tap local talents and promote local locations.

“We will empower you.  We have the industry board with us.  We also do marketing.  We are working with the Department of Trade and Industry and Department of Finance for the inclusion of our programs in the investment roadmap.”

The FDCP is coming up with a national incentive program for the film industry.

Seguerra suggested to waive the LGU amusement taxes during the screening of MMFF entries so that they can be simultaneously seen nationwide.

FILM ECONOMY

“We will make film industry a local economy.  We will make film communities and create local economies,” Seguerra said.

She said “things can do happen if a province is aggressive like Bohol and its governor proactive like Chatto.”

“Even the local beauty parlors can gain from film tourism,” Seguerra said, “as we professionalize filmmaking locally.”

The creation of the provincial film commission was hailed as another Bohol “breakthrough.”

“It was the first time that someone reached out to us” in the FDCP and film industry, Seguerra said, referring to then Chatto’s call to Labad about his idea of creating the film body.

At that very moment, Labad happened to have a casual dinner with Seguerra in Manila and, thus, relayed the idea to the FDCP head who instantly liked to link with the governor on the project.

“My God, this is perfect,” Seguerra recounted his swift reaction when told by Labad of Chatto’s creation of the film body, which the FDCP head contemplated to use as a “model, template” for other provinces.

Seguerra is the spouse of Philippine music icon, singer-songwriter and former child star Aiza Seguerra, who is presently the chairman of the National Youth Commission.

She crossed her heart in an instant full commitment when asked at the signing if a Boholano composition, a jingle to promote Bohol as a filmmaking destination, could be sung by no less than Aiza.

In the long run, filmmaking can make even foreign celebrities find Bohol their second home. (Ven rebo Arigo)

 

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