The Philippines’ cinematic arts industry is a vital part of the growth of the nation’s well-being because it promotes, enriches, and disseminates Filipino values, culture, and heritage. For the past hundred years, Pinoy Cinema has been the vessel of various voices and an agent of change, so much so that no less than the President acknowledged its importance by proclaiming September 12, 2019 to September 11, 2020 as the Centennial Year of Philippine Cinema.

In support of this cultural milestone, the Department of Tourism (DOT) broke yet another barrier in marketing the Philippines by linking hands with Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) in its filmmaking support program aimed at local and foreign film production partnership.

Under DOT’s Branding and Marketing Communications department together with FDCP’s FilmPhilippines office, the agencies crafted and launched the “Let’s Create Together” campaign to promote film tourism in the Philippines.

“The campaign aspires to feature the country’s cinematic spots and talents through the screens around the world – boosting international awareness of the Philippines as a premiere tourist destination while generating tourism-driven income for the local creative workforce in the process,,” said Howard Uyking, DOT’s Assistant Secretary for Branding and Marketing Communications.

The Program shall offer two incentive options for foreign producers, provided that they work with duly-registered Philippines-based line producers or co-producers. These are: (1) Film Location Incentive Program (FLIP), where feature films in any genre, television series, and web content may be applied for; and (2) International Co-production Fund (ICOF), applicable for feature films in any format (live action, documentary, or animation). To qualify, production cost in the Philippines must be at least PHP 8 million ($155,000). Upon approval, as much as PHP 10 million ($193,000) cash rebate may be availed through FLIP or ICOF.

“There is no better way to underscore the celebration of the One Hundred Years of Philippine Cinema than to finally give our Filipino filmmakers and the Philippines the leverage that it needs to be globally competitive,” FDCP Chairperson and CEO Liza Diño-Seguerra says of the new FilmPhilippines incentive program.

The Let’s Create Together campaign was officially launched during the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) this October. The possibilities are endless for creative content – from reality series, animation, and even documentaries, this campaign anchors on seven (7) key reasons why the country is a premier choice for international producers. They are: (1) Locations – Composed of more than 7,000 islands and diverse cultural wonders, the Philippines is a broad spectrum of settings for practically every story, inspiring hits then and now from Apocalypse Now to The Bourne Legacy; (2) English-Speaking Talent and Crews – Blessed with a supreme English literacy, the local workforce promises better understanding, teamwork, and rapport; (3) One-Stop-Shop for Permits, Visas, and Tax-Free Importation – Ease of doing business has never been better with integrated services, thereby saving time and energy; (4) Skilled Artists and Technicians – A newly-instituted National Registry, a database of film professionals, provides a broad selection of film industry manpower; (5) Available and Dependable Equipment and Facilities – Smooth planning, coordination and execution of all production activities while in the country shall be ensured with the assistance of accredited Filipino line production companies; (6) Enhanced Security in Cities and Countryside – Assurance in safety is well coordinated whether they be in urban or rural areas; and (7) A Location Incentive that Cuts your Costs – A financing grant designed to optimize the potential of a film project whether it’s undergoing pre-production, production, or post-production phase. With all these in place, there’s no wonder why it’s more fun to film in the Philippines.

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