MANILA, PHILIPPINES, FEBRUARY 9, 2021 — September is extra special for Philippine Cinema because it was on September 12, 1919 when the first Filipino-produced and -directed feature film was shown, “Dalagang Bukid” by Jose Nepomuceno.
Several commemorations have been held to pay tribute to the glory days of the Filipino film industry, including the year-long Philippine Cinema Centennial celebration that ended in 2020.
Starting this year, the heritage and legacy of Philippine Cinema will be celebrated annually through the declaration of September as Philippine Film Industry Month by President Rodrigo Duterte.
Presidential Proclamation No. 1085, signed on February 3 and released by Malacañang on February 4, noted, “There is a need to recognize the invaluable contribution and sacrifices of all stakeholders and sectors of the film industry, as well as provide avenues to showcase and celebrate the achievements and progress of the discipline of film and filmmaking.”
Duterte then ordered the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) to be the lead agency in observing Philippine Film Industry Month in the country every September. The FDCP will also identify the programs, projects, and activities for the celebration.
The President encouraged all government agencies and instrumentalities of the National Government, including government-owned or -controlled corporations and state universities and colleges, as well as the private sector to cooperate with the FDCP in promoting and implementing programs, campaigns, and activities for Philippine Film Industry Month.
“We are grateful to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte for the declaration of Philippine Film Industry Month as this shows that the government recognizes the Filipino film industry’s invaluable contributions to our economy, culture, and history,” said FDCP Chairperson and CEO Liza Diño.
“As the lead agency for the observance of Philippine Film Industry Month, the Film Development Council of the Philippines vows to gather all sectors and stakeholders of the film industry so that there may be many fruitful collaborations for the meaningful celebration of Philippine Cinema every September,” she added.
The FDCP is the national film agency established through Republic Act 9167. It is mandated to undertake initiatives that will promote the growth and development of the local film industry, as well as establish, organize, operate, and maintain local and international film festivals, exhibitions, and other similar activities.
In 2018, the FDCP was the lead agency for the commemoration of the “Centennial Year of Philippine Cinema” as mandated by Presidential Proclamation No. 622. The celebration of One Hundred Years of Philippine Cinema or Sine Sandaan was held from September 12, 2019 to September 11, 2020, with the opening day being the release date of “Dalagang Bukid.”
Photo of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte courtesy of Richard Madelo/Presidential Photo