The Sineng Pambansa (National Cinema) project of the Film Development Council of the Philippines went international with New York and Tel Aviv as the first venues with several local films being exhibited on June 12, 2011 (Tel Aviv) and from June 17 to 23 New York).
As conceived by FDCP Chairman Briccio Santos, Sineng Pambansa will coincide with an international film festival or a celebration of Philippine events, like Independence Day or Rizal Day.
The New York event—which coincided with the 150th anniversary of Rizal’s birthday—featured nine Filipino films. They are:
2010 films: Sheron Dayoc’s Halaw; Jim Libiran’s Happyland; Gil Portes’ Two Funerals; Chito Rono’s Emir; Albert Martinez’ Rosario; Louie Suarez’ RPG Metanoia and Joel Lamangan’s Sigwa.
2009: Ralston Jover’s Bakal Boys.
2000: Mike de Leon’s Bayaning Third World.
Al films were screened at the Producers’ Club Theater on 358 West 44th St.
The Tel Aviv event, meanwhile, featured Tikoy Aguiluz’ Rizal sa Dapitan; Mike de Leon’s Bayaning Third World; Laurice Guillen’s American Adobo; and Olivia Lamasan’s Milan.
The holding of Sineng Pambansa abroad requires the FDCP to coordinate with Philippine diplomatic missions through the Department f Foreign Affairs, Filipino individuals and organizers, as well as international film festival officials.
With the New York and Tel Aviv events, the FDCP in effect fulfilled its mission to bring Filipino films to Filipinos abroad and to show to foreign audiences the best mainstream and independent Filipino films.
The next scheduled international Sineng Pambansa festivals are as follows:
Hong Kong, from July 15 to 17, 2011 at the Hong Ko0ng Arts Center, Agnes B Cinema with these participating films Emir, Red Shoes, Halaw and Sampaguita.
Bogota, from October 10 to 18, 2011, with the FDCP still in the process of selecting the films to be entered. This marks the country’s first participa-tion in a major film festival in a Latin American country.