During the Opening Night Gala of the first ever Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino, cast members of the 12 participating full-length films showed up in full force to represent their respective entries. The PPP is a nationwide week-long celebration where all movie theaters will exclusively screen Filipino films in line with Buwan ng Wika. The PPP was organized by the Film Development Council of the Philippines under its chairperson Liza Dino.
According to Liza, the PPP does not aim to rival or go against current local film festivals. “Unang-una, it’s not a filmfest eh. It’s more of an industry event. It’s a celebration of our films. Hindi siya competition. It’s an exhibition of what we feel is a very well-curated lineup for the audiences. Hindi sila nag-ko-compete. It’s another platform for our Filipino filmmakers to own the entire Philippines. Solong-solo natin ang mga sinehan. I think that’s something that really makes this unique kasi it’s not just within Metro Manila. It’s nationwide. Every single cinema in the Philippines is involved.”
Liza admitted there is still a lot to be improved on with the event for next year. “I’m very excited. I’m looking forward to the support of our audience and I’m very happy for our filmmakers na talagang naghirap para mapaganda at maging relevant itong Pista para sa mga manunuod. I think because it’s our first year, marami kaming rules na kailangang i-identify na hindi namin talaga ganun ka-specific so we’re learning from it. But I think it’s a learning process where everyone is learning. Developmental project ito so we’re just taking everything as something that we can improve on next year,” she admitted.
During the opening night, some of the stars went up on stage to share their sentiments about the historic event. Jessy Mendiola, who plays a journalist in the horror-thriller Salvage. “Gusto ko lang magpasalamat sa FDCP at sa lahat ng bumubuo ng PPP para sa oportunidad na ito. First indie film ko ito at suwerte ko nakapasok ito sa PPP. Maraming salamat po,” she said.
AWOL co-stars Gerald Anderson and Dianne Medina (who play a couple in the action-thriller film) also showed their support for the local film industry. “Congratulations to the PPP. Thanks for considering our movie AWOL at pinagdadasal ko na maging successful talaga itong event na ito para taon-taon lagi tayong may ganito. Maraming salamat,” Gerald said. Dianne added that she wanted all the entries to do well during the screening week. “Thank you FDCP for organizing this event. This is really such a perfect venue most especially to boost and enhance our film industry so I hope you guys support all the 12 entries and of course most especially AWOL.”
The Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino will run from August 16 to 22, 2017 in all cinemas nationwide.