FilmPress Release

Inaugural Bacolod Film Festival opens call for script submissions under theme ‘Stories with a smile’

BACOLOD, PHILIPPINES — The Bacolod Film Festival is now accepting script submissions with the theme “Stories with a Smile” or those with a “potential to inspire laughter, warmth, and a renewed appreciation for the brighter side of life.”

The film fest, set to be held in September this year, is open to filmmakers who are registered voters and residents of Bacolod City. They can be producers, directors, or scriptwriters of an entry.

The festival accepts short film scripts of any genre, such as romance, drama, comedy, or horror, in any Filipino language with English translation. Entries must be submitted on or before May 18, 11:59 pm, after which 10 finalists will be chosen.


Selected filmmakers will be given a production grant of PHP300,000 each, to be released in two tranches, of which the first one is worth PHP200,000. The remaining PHP100,000 pesos will be released once the picture lock version of the film has been submitted.

Inaugural Bacolod Film Festival opens call for script submissions under theme Stories with a smile INS 5

The total running time of the produced films must be at a minimum of 15 minutes and a maximum of 20 minutes, including opening and closing credits. The short films must be in narrative, live-action form, when taken as a whole. Documentary, experimental, or animation will not be accepted, except if added only as elements within the film.

The Bacolod Film Festival aims to create a venue where local filmmakers and producers can showcase their talents and further solidify Bacolod, known as the “City of Smiles,” as one of the creative hubs for filmmaking in the Philippines.

“Bacolod should be proud of its creatives. We have very artistic directors and actors,” Mayor Alfredo Abelardo “Albee” Benitez, who also chairs the Bacolod Film Festival Council, said.

The Bacolod City Council or Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) recently passed City Ordinance No. 1061, or the Bacolod Film Festival Ordinance, authored by Councilor Em Ang, with Councilors Cindy Rojas and Celia Matea Flor as co-authors. Councilor Ang, chairperson of the SP Committee on History, Culture and Arts, also serves as BFFC vice chair.

Aside from Mayor Benitez and Councilor Ang, the BFFC is 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, Department of Education Division Superintendent, representatives from SM and Ayala Malls Cinemas and the local film industry.

Members of the BFF Organizing Committee and their relatives (up to the second degree of consanguinity) are prohibited from joining the competition. There is no entry fee to participate.

Multiple entries are accepted, but each script must be submitted with a separate entry form and online registration. The selection committee will only consider one entry per finalist.

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