The Sentro Rizal of the Philippine Embassy in Bandar Seri Begawan, in collaboration with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), Film Development Council of the Philippine (FDCP), ABS-CBN, and Jollibee Brunei, celebrated the 100 Years of Philippine Cinema at the 2018 Brunei Film Blitz on 16 December 2018 at the Mahakarya Institute of Arts Asia. The Brunei Film Blitz is part of the Brunei December Festival 2018 which is an initiative organized by the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism of Brunei Darussalam.
Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Anak Hajah Nurul Amal Munjiatul Athirah binti Pengiran Sura Negara Pengiran Anak Haji Muhammad Bey Muntassir, a member of the Royal Family and Founder of the Mahakarya Institute of Arts Asia, together with Deputy Permanent Secretary of Tourism Wardi bin Haji Mohammad Ali, attended the Welcome Ceremony to open the Philippine Film Day. Siti Kamaluddin, Brunei’s first international female director, and Dr. Alex Fischer, Dean of the Mahakarya Institute were also in attendance.
Invited guests from the Philippines were Ms. Sigrid Andrea Bernardo, director of Kita Kita (I See You), one of the Philippine featured films during the festival, Dr. Roland Tolentino, a member of the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino and a faculty at the University of the Philippines Film Institute, and Mr. Rito Asilo, Film Critic and Entertainment Editor of the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
In his welcome remarks, Chargé d’ Affaires Pete Raymond V. Delfin highlighted that “the Philippine movie industry is one of the most influential in the Philippines. The three featured films for this day are a selection which intend to show the rich Filipino experience, whether we are in the Philippines or abroad.” On behalf of the Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines, he also handed over to Mahakarya Institute of Arts Asia two copies of the book titled Direk: Essays on Filipino Filmmakers, donated by the De La Salle University Publishing House.
The three Philippine featured films were Sonata, directed by Peque Gallaga and Lore Reyes, Kakabakaba Ka Ba? (Will Your Heat Beat Faster?), directed by Mike De Leon, and Kita Kita (I See You) directed by Sigrid Bernardo. Sonata features Cherie Gil who won for Best Performance in the 2015 ASEAN International Film Festival; Kakabakaba Ka Ba? is the first film included in ABS CBN Film Restoration Project; and Kita Kita is currently the Philippines’ highest-grossing independent film.
Director Sigrid Bernardo, Dr. Roland Tolentino, and Consul Pete Delfin, promoted the event in tri-media platforms at a Press Conference held on 14 December 2018, at the morning TV show Rampai Pagi, and radio shows Pelangi and Pilihan on 15 December 2018 where the celebration of 100 Years of Philippine Cinema and the three featured films were discussed.
After the film screenings, the members of the audience participated in a discussion with Director Bernardo, Dr. Tolentino and Mr. Asilo about the films, the history of the Philippine Cinema and how Brunei can emerge in the ASEAN and global film industry. END