BY: Rohn Romulo
GENRE-BENDING documentary film project Looter by Jayson Bernard Santos bagged the Best Pitch award at a pitching showcase conducted by the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) and the Motion Picture Association (MPA) for the World Intellectual Property Day celebration last April 27, 2019 at Novotel Manila Araneta Center in Cubao, Quezon City.
Twenty-one (21) Filipino feature and documentary film projects were chosen to join the pitching showcase, and Looter emerged as the victor. Director Santos won $5,000 worth of grant courtesy of the MPA and will have the chance to participate in a four-day Film and Television Immersion Course in Los Angeles, California.
A SineSaysay finalist, Looter, “melds the story of Naomi Flores and the women of the Philippine underground and espionage in World War 2. Straddling the line between different modes, the film employs creative techniques that are interspersed with archival footage, interviews, and unnerving dramatized sequences.”
Meanwhile, Director Keith Sicat impressed the panel during the pitching showcase with his feature film project Unos, a sequel to TOFARM Film Festival’s Alimuom, which became the runner-up.
In celebration of the World Intellectual Property Day, a worldwide observance of spreading awareness about Intellectual Property (IP) rights, FDCP partnered with MPA to conduct a lecture series on Film Distribution, Intellectual Property Rights and Pitching Essentials to help raise understanding of IP rights of Filipino filmmakers. The event was supported by the Department of Trade and Industry-Expert Marketing Bureau (DTI-EMB) and the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL).
MPA, the major sponsor for the World IP Day celebration in the Philippines, is an international association that supports creators by protecting copyrights, reducing piracy, and boosting market success.
As Philippine cinema heads toward a more global direction, FDCP champions the cause of promoting the IP rights of Filipino filmmakers and highlighting the importance of content protection.
“Our films hold a lot of promise and potential to compete in the global market. Having events like these pitching showcase and lecture series is a huge help to our filmmakers for them to learn more about tapping into the international audience and have better chances in penetrating world cinema. They will also be empowered to bring more exceptional stories to the world, especially now that they have a deeper understanding of IP rights,” said FDCP Chairperson and CEO Mary Liza Diño.