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Bacolod City partners with Department of Trade and Industry to launch inaugural film festival

BACOLOD, PHILIPPINES — The Bacolod City government is set to launch a film festival that will serve as a platform to showcase the creativity of filmmakers residing in the city, develop film appreciation, and further promote the local film industry.

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Mayor Alfredo Abelardo “Albee” Benitez

Mayor Alfredo Abelardo “Albee” Benitez officially announced the call for entries to the Bacolod Film Festival. This is in accordance with the recently approved City Ordinance No. 1061.

Councilor Em Ang, Committee Chairperson on History, Culture, and Arts of the Bacolod City Council, authored C.O. 1061, also known as the Bacolod Film Festival Ordinance, with fellow Councilors Cindy Rojas and Celia Matea Flor.


The ordinance, which provides for the creation of the Bacolod Film Festival Council (BFFC), is made up of 21 sections covering its functions and responsibilities, the role of the Festival Director, the festival theme, the selection process, the awards night, and source of funds, among others.

The BFFC will select filmmakers who will receive subsidies to shoot their short films to be shown during the film festival in September. An awards night will also be held as a culminating event.

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Councilor Em Ang

Councilor Em revealed that the city government will provide production grants worth PHP 300,000 each to 10 filmmakers, whether producers, directors, or writers, who are bona fide residents of Bacolod City. She clarified that selected filmmakers do not need to shoot scenes entirely in the city.

The ordinance is anchored on Section 16 of Republic Act No. 7160, also known as the Local Government Code of 1991, which mandates local government units (LGUs) to exercise their powers to enrich and preserve culture in their respective jurisdictions.

Councilor Ang added that the city government is partnering with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), pursuant to R.A. 11904, otherwise known as the Philippine Creative Industries Development Act, for funding assistance.

The act seeks to promote and support the development of Philippine creative industries by protecting and strengthening the rights and capacities of creative firms, artists, artisans, creators, workers, indigenous cultural communities, content providers, and stakeholders.

“Bacolod is the very first one to avail of that by way of our film festival,” Councilor Ang shared.

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The city council members unanimously passed the resolution last February 14 on its third and final reading during the 85th regular session of the city’s Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP), with Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran as presiding officer. Mayor Benitez signed the ordinance last February 21.

The BFFC will be chaired by the city mayor, with the SP Committee on History, Culture, and Arts chair as vice chairperson, and members composed of the chair of the SP Committee on Tourism, City Tourism Officer, City Legal Officer, City Budget Officer, Local Economic Development and Investment Promotion Officer, DepEd Superintendent, and representatives from SM Malls Cinema, and three from the local film industry.

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