The death of Master Director Celso Ad. Castillo cast a pall of gloom on the just recently-launched Sineng Pambansa: Master Directors Edition 2013 project of the Film Development Council of the Philippines.

Director Castillo, who died of an apparent heart attack at dawn on Nov. 26 in his hometown of Siniloan, Laguna, was supposed to lead a group of 12 directors who will participate in the project.

The directors shall receive seed money from FDCP under the Film Investment Program to fund their respective feature films, utilizing their own material, to be set in their hometowns. Director Castillo—known as Kid in the local film industry—hailed from Laguna.

The 11 other directors, who have accomplished body of work, include: Tikoy Aguiluz (Davao), Mel Chionglo (Quezon), Peque Gallaga (Bacolod), Joel Lamangan Cavite), Elwood Perez (Pampanga), Gil Portes (Quezon), Jose Javier Reyes, Maryo J. de los Reyes (Bohol), Carlos Siguion-Reyna, Romy Suzara (Nueva Ecija) and Jun Urbano (Bicol).

FDCP Chairman Briccio G. Santos stressed that the project is meant to recognize the artistic contributions of these filmmakers, by encouraging them to create works exploring the possibilities of digital filmmaking.

Using places in their respective provinces for location will undeniably boost to regional filmmaking and can serve as “a springboard for the promotion of their locales as potential shooting locations”.

The full-selection of the Sineng Pambansa: Master Directors Edition is expected to have their premieres in middle of next year.

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