Filipino filmmakers are invited to participate in three prestigious film festivals scheduled in St. Petersburg, Russia in March, June and July this year.
In a letter to Mr. Ambeth R. Ocampo, Chairman of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, Philippine Ambassador to Russia Ernesto V. Llamas mentioned the three filmfests as follows:
–The 5th Unifilm International Film Festival, to be held on March 24 to 31, 2006.
–The 14th Festival of Festivals International, to be held on June 23 to 31, 2006; and
–The 16th Message to Man International Documentary, Short and Animated Film Festival, to be held on July 18 to 31, 2006.
In his letter, the ambassador, however, said that the deadline for the 5th Unifilm may prove tight as it is February 15, 2006 or Tuesday next week.
The deadline for the two other filmfests are: May 1 for the 16th Message to Man Film Festival and May 10 for the 14th Festival of Festivals.
Production companies, film schools and individual filmmakers who wish to submit their intent to participate in the three filmfests may inquire from the NCCA for details through
e-mail address: mailto:oc@ncca_gov.ph or email@example.com
The participation of Filipino films in either competitive or non-competitive categories in international film festivals in Russia is part of activities and programs drawn up by the NCCA and the Department of Foreign Affairs for the commemoration of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries on June 2, 2006.
In his letter to Chairman Ocampo, Ambassador Llamas stressed that Filipino filmmakers must be encouraged to send their entries to these festivals inasmuch as film remains the most accessible, widespread and inexpensive medium to promote mutual understanding and foster friendships.
Llamas said that there is an evident trend worldwide to include more Asian films in international filmfests because the region now boasts some of the most dynamic film industries in the world.
He added that the government must encourage the presence and participation of Filipino filmmakers in these festivals, especially the Festival of Festivals which will coincide with the 28th Moscow International Film Festival.