Bacolod to hold film fest this September

Photographs courtesy of Bacolod City Government Bacolod City Mayor Albee Benitez.

The Bacolod City government in Negros Occidental has launched a film festival that will serve as a platform to showcase the creativity of filmmakers residing in the city, develop film appreciation and further promote the local film industry.

Mayor Alfredo Abelardo “Albee” Benitez officially announced the call for entries to the Bacolod Film Festival. This is in accordance with the recently approved City Ordinance No. 1061.

Councilor Em L. Ang, the committee chairperson on History, Culture and Arts of the Bacolod City Council, co-authored C.O. 1061, also known as the Bacolod Film Festival Ordinance, with fellow councilors Cindy T. Rojas and Celia Matea Flor.

The ordinance, which provides for the creation of the Bacolod Film Festival Council (BFFC), is made up of 21 sections covering its functions and responsibilities, the role of the Festival Director, the festival theme, selection process, awards night and source of funds, among other provisions.

The BFFC will select filmmakers who will receive subsidies to shoot their short films to be shown during the film festival in September. An awards night will also be held as a culminating event.

Councilor Em Ang,

Ang revealed that the city government will provide production grants worth P300,000 each to 10 filmmakers, whether as a producer, director, or writer, who are bona fide residents of Bacolod City. She clarified that selected filmmakers do not need to shoot scenes entirely in the city.

The ordinance is anchored on Section 16 of Republic Act No. 7160, also known as the Local Government Code of 1991, which mandates local government units to exercise their powers for the enrichment and preservation of culture in their respective jurisdictions.

Ang added that the city government is partnering with the Department of Trade and Industry, pursuant to RA 11904, otherwise known as the Philippine Creative Industries Development Act, for funding assistance.

The act seeks to promote and support the development of Philippine creative industries by protecting and strengthening the rights and capacities of creative firms, artists, artisans, creators, workers, indigenous cultural communities, content providers and stakeholders.

“Bacolod is the very first one to avail of that by way of our film festival,” Ang shared.

The members of the city council unanimously passed the resolution on 14 February on its third and final reading during the 85th regular session of the city’s Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP), with Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran as presiding officer. Benitez eventually signed the ordinance on 21 February.

The BFFC will be chaired by the city mayor, with the SP Committee on History, Culture and Arts chair as vice chairperson, and members composed of the chair of the SP committee on Tourism, City Tourism officer, City Legal officer, City Budget officer, Local Economic Development and Investment Promotion officer, DepEd superintendent and representatives from SM Malls Cinema and from the local film industry.