The Film Academy of the Philippines is now deep in preparation for a far-reaching and once-in-a-decade undertaking that will hopefully enable the various guilds under its umbrella to align their programs to the new and high-tech realities of global filmmaking.
On March 23, a FAP general assembly will be held at the Mowelfund grounds to spell out what it will take to achieve a revitalized and expanded Film Academy and, more importantly, a vibrant and united local motion picture industry.
FAP Director-General Leo G. Martinez has urged all the guilds of the Academy to further invigorate their recruitment of new members who will be admitted to their particular guilds on March 23 with membership fees waived. He added that it is about time that new members and leaders must now have more participation in the activities of the guilds.
Since the Academy was created by executive order more than 30 years ago, the following guilds of filmmakers and film workers have been functioning under the Academy’s umbrella: the producers, the directors, the actors and actresses, the scriptwriters, the cinematographers, the editors, the production designers, the musical directors, the sound engineers, the assistant directors and production managers.
Martinez said that it is time that we finally remove the distinction between mainstream cinema and indie films. All filmmakers and film workers in both mainstream and indie films must unite and join their respective guilds, he stressed.
In this way, we can realize a revitalized and expanded motion picture industry to enable us to meet the challenges of new technologies and equipment in the motion picture-making process worldwide, Martinez said.
Programs and/or seminars on leadership training, an updated data base of film workers, and the issuance of new IDs will necessarily follow, he added.
A special committee headed by Director William Mayo, president of the Philippine Motion Picture Directors’ Association (PMPDA), is now drawing up a program for the March 23 general assembly meeting.
Director-General Martinez said that various speakers will discuss current trends and technologies in the motion picture industry in both local and global levels.
Offhand, there are several special interest subjects that necessitate urgent attention from the Academy, Director Mayo explained, adding that they will invite to the March 23 general assembly agenda resource speaks to expound and better explain these ,matters to the guild members.
One such topic is the new filmmaking technology and movie-making processes, specially in the area of cameras now being used, the process of online editing and the high-tech generation of images by computer. Local filmmakers and film workers must orient themselves with the new system of film exhibition in local cinemas, with SM cinemas now reverting to discs instead of reels of negatives for projection to the screen.
The above-mentioned subject is an integral part of the forthcoming efforts by the local motion picture industry stakeholders and leaders to prime up the Philippines as a competitor in the global film arena.
The general assembly will also tackle the emerging subject of intellectual property rights as they apply to films as the March 23 meeting will feature a resource person from the Performers Right Society of the Philippines who will speak on how filmmakers—from directors to scriptwriters and even performers to cinematographers—may get royalties from the showing of films they were involved in producing.
Further stressing the welfare of film workers as a whole, measures to further revitalize and provide financial assistance to the Mowelfund will be included in the agenda of the March 23 assembly.
Another point of special interest is the Luna Awards which will be on its 31st year this April. Discussions will be rife for strengthening the citer-nominator-voter system of this annual peer award and discuss possible revisions in the criteria for judging. The exhibition in commercial cinema provision might undergo changes that will enable indie films which are exhibited minimally be eligible for awards too.
To be discussed thoroughly is the fact that the Film Academy is a quasi-government entity to find out what advantages such a situation can generate.
Present members of all the guilds under the Academy are enjoined to assist in the recruitment campaign of their guilds. For those intending to seek membership in their guilds without paying the usual membership dues, these are the following guilds to look for at the Mowelfund grounds on March 23:
For actors and actresses—Katipunan ng mga Artistang Pilipino sa Pelikula at Telebisyon
(Philip Salvador, president)
For directors—Philippine Motion Picture Directors’ Association
(William G. Mayo, president)
For scriptwriters—Screenwriters’ Guild of the Philippines
(Dr. Isabel D. Sebullen, president)
For cinematographers—Filipino Society of Cinematographers
(Isagani F. Sioson, president)
For editors—United Film Editors’ Guild of the Philippines
(Jesus M. Navarro, president)
For production designers—Production Designers Guild of the Philippines
(Manny Morfe, president)
For musical scorers—United Film Musical Directors Association of the Philippines
(Josefino Cenizal, president)
For sound Technicians—Motion Picture Audio Society of the Philippines
(Rollie R. Ruta)
The chairmen of the committees formed to prepare the program and oversee the 31st Anna Awards are as follows:
Overall Committee Chairman, William G. Mayo; Committee on Physical Preparation; Chairman, Manny Morfe; Committee on Food, Chairman, Joel Apuyan; Committee on Program, Chairman, Jose N. Carreon: Committee on Technical Requirements, Chairman, Rolly Ruta.
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