Co-presented by the Filipino Arts and Cinema International (FACINE) and the Philippine American Writers and Artists, Inc. (PAWA, Inc.)
A message from Mauro Feria Tumbocon Jr, Director, FACINE:
NOTES ON FACINE 23: Strategic steps towards sustainability of Filipino cinema - Strengthening critical support and film education
Two things distinguish FACINE 23: the 23rd annual filipino international cine festival from previous festivals and perhaps, any other festival in these parts.
1. Honoring a film critic for its Gawad Lingap Sining award this year, Prof. Joel David, turns our attention to the role of serious film criticism - that which goes beyond the supermarket film valuation - and scholarship in the promotion and eventually, the sustainability of Filipino cinema in the US.
2. Initiating a partnership between FACINE and an academic institution, in this case, the Philippine Studies Department, City College of San Francisco - actually a homecoming of sorts, since one of the home venues of the festival's first three years was this same institution (thanks to its then-Chair, Prof. Leo Paz) - signals the important role of educational institutions in creating awareness and hopefully, again the sustainability of Filipino cinema among the younger and even, the US-born Filipino Americans.
Through these past two decades and more, of shepherding the annual festival of Filipino films - both from the Philippines and the Filipino diaspora - made me realize a few points:
- For Filipino cinema to gain some foothold among a foreign audience in other countries, especially the United States, still the biggest market for foreign films, it should build a strong audience base, meaning the Filipino community first, before the non-Filipinos. It makes sense, how do you encourage non-Filipinos to like and appreciate our cinema if our own community does not support it?
- I believe that the future of Filipino cinema - the independents, if I have to say it - lies not in the immigrant Filipinos, but the growing population of US-born Filipino Americans who should form our audience base, now and in the future.
- The sustainability of our cinema therefore, will need more than mere exhibition and distribution but, the cultivation of this audience through education and critical support - they should read more about our films, they should study its history, its aesthetics, its politics and its cultural basis, etc, at the same time that these films will be accessible at most, if not, all time.
This year's festival is the first step towards achieving these goals. As part of this goal, FACINE has even applied for a grant - organize a curriculum-based film program with a concurrent festival targeting K-8 Filipino American students, but was rejected by a grants-giving body which cannot see beyond barrio fiestas and open mics as means to build a strong Filipino community. We will still keep trying, it happens, it is a long process to teach well.
I wish that our community support this year's festival.
FACINE 23 opens with a lecture on October 18 at the Diego Rivera Theater, City College of San Francisco.
Film screenings run October 19-22 at the Roxie Theater, 3117 - 16th Street, San Francisco. For program schedule and tickets purchase:wwww.roxie.com and click Calendar. For further inquiry, email: email@example.com
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