Grace Poe files bill to give incentives for award-winning independent films

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  • Senate Bill 165, or the Philippine Independent Film Incentives Act, aims to give independent films that won international awards incentives

    MANILA, Philippines – As several Filipino films – mostly independent – have received honors in prestigious film festivals abroad, Senator Grace Poe has filed a bill which would give incentives to these.

    According to a press release, Senate Bill 165 or the Philippine Independent Film Incentives Act proposed by Poe, Filipino “independent films winning the Best Film prize in respected international cinema festivals shall be given monetary incentives to honor their work.”

    “We have a great pool of artists and creators who have brought honor to our country through the outstanding films they have produced. It is high time to recognize them and encourage the rest of our indie filmmakers to make their mark, as we help the industry flourish,” Poe said in a statement.

    The Philippine Independent Film Incentives Act would grant an award-winning 90 to 120-minute full-length or documentary film a grant of P5 million, while a short film that runs for 20 minutes or less shall be given a grant of P3 million.

    Under section 4 of the bill, eligible full-length films “must be made by Filipino filmmakers who have not yet directed more than 3 full-length commercial feature films.”

    Furthermore, the total production budget of the full-length or documentary film should not exceed P3 million, while for short films, the budget cannot be more than P1 million.

    In the bill’s explanatory note, Poe said that films are a “mirror of our rich culture and a Filipino identity,” thus it should be given an importance by government.

    “The independent film industry has my unwavering support. Our filmmakers and actors have added greatly to the wealth of our culture and heritage. It is only proper for the government to acknowledge their efforts,” Poe also said in a statement.

    The senator also cited the movie Ma’Rosa directed by Brillante Mendoza which gained international recognition following the Best Actress win of Jaclyn Jose at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival.

    Mendoza also won Best Director in the 2009 edition of the same festival for the movie Kinatay.

    Other films such as Lav Diaz’s Hele Sa Hiwagang Hapis won the Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival, and his short film, Ang Araw Bago ang Wakas, also won at 62nd International Short Film Festival in Germany. – Rappler.com

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