TWO films, an action TV series, and an offshoot of the Survivor reality show franchise were announced as the first recipients of the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) film incentive programs meant to encourage more producers to shoot their films in the Philippines.
“The goal of these incentives is to open up the industry for collaboration with the rest of the world, for people to discover how talented we are, how good we are in providing service, and how the Philippines can be a global creative hub for films,” Mary Liza B. Diño, chairperson and CEO of the FDCP, said in a statement.
Last year, the FDCP announced two incentive programs: the Film Location Incentive Program (FLIP) and the International Co-Production Fund (ICOP). Both programs allow films shot in the Philippines or a Filipino feature film with an international co-production to get a cash rebate of up to P10 million of qualifying production costs which include artist and technician fees, film permits, transport, food expenses, among others, incurred in the Philippines. The minimum spending requirement for the film location incentive is at P8 million while the co-production incentive has a minimum spending requirement of P5 million.
The two incentive programs are under the overarching the FilmPhilippines program.
The first cycle of the incentive program was launched in January 2020.
Almost Paradise, a video-on-demand series directed by Dean Devlin (of Independence Day fame), is the first FLIP recipient as the series was shot in Mactan, Cebu. The series follows the adventures of a former US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) agent who relocated to the Philippines. Meanwhile, Survivor Russia, the Russian edition of the long-running survival reality series, shot 13 episodes in El Nido, Palawan.
Both Survivor Russia and Almost Paradise will receive a 20% cash rebate on qualified production expenses.
For the co-production incentive, FDCP named Nocebo, a supernatural thriller by Lorcan Finnegan, and Kapag Nawala na ang Alon (When the Waves are Gone) by award-winning film auteur Lav Diaz, as the first two recipients of the incentive.
Nocebo, shot in Ireland and the Philippines, tells the story of a Filipina maid who is out to take revenge on the Irish family she worked for. The film is a co-production between Wild Swim Films from the UK, Epicmedia Productions, Inc. from the Philippines, and Lovely Productions from Ireland. Nocebo is getting P6.5 million from the incentive fund to cover qualified production costs.
Kapag Nawala na ang Alon (When the Waves are Gone), meanwhile, is a film shot in Lisbon, Portugal and in Tagaytay and Manila in the Philippines. The film is a revenge drama and a reinterpretation of Alexandre Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo co-produced by Epicmedia Productions, Inc. from the Philippines, Snowglobe from Denmark, and Films Boutique from France. The film will get P6 million to cover qualified production costs.
As an accompanying program, FDCP’s Film Location Engagement Desk (FLEX) helps assist local and foreign productions with government transactions and endorses international productions to Filipino production companies registered with FDCP’s National Registry.
“We need to highlight what sets the Philippines apart from the rest of Asia: English is a second language to us. That’s a significant advantage. We are also flexible when it comes to accommodating sudden changes in production. We certainly make things happen,” Ms. Diño said of the program.
Those interested in applying for the incentive programs can do so starting Sept. 1 to Nov. 27.
For more information, visit www.filmphilippines.com. — Zsarlene B. Chua