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More perks for films vying for Oscars, Camille Villar proposes

By Billy Begas

House Deputy Speaker and Las Piñas Rep. Camille Villar is seeking to provide more incentives for Filipino filmmakers vying for the elusive Oscars award.

In House Resolution 451, Villar also sought the creation of a seed fund to increase the allocation for the Film Development Council of the Philippines’ (FDCP) Oscars Assistance Program for the development and marketing campaigns of world-class Filipino films to be sent to the Academy.

Villar also urged the House Committee on Creative Industry and Performing Arts to look into the plight of Philippine cinema in order to promote more film productions and revive its “renaissance and golden era.”

Villar made the call as the Philippines officially sent director Erik Matti’s “On the Job: The Missing 8” as its official entry for Best International Feature Film for the upcoming 95th Oscar Awards.

The film premiered at the 78th Venice International Film Festival in September 2021 where actor John Arcilla was awarded Best Actor for his portrayal of Sisoy Salas. The film also received a five-minute standing ovation in Venice.

While the country has a vast supply of creative people who produced world-class films that won awards in various international film festivals, Villar lamented that the Philippines has yet to secure a nod or even a shortlist for the coveted Academy Awards or the Oscars.

“Securing a nomination, win or even a shortlist in the prestigious Oscars will put the Philippines on the map for world-class talents, thus potentially opening more employment and livelihood opportunities for Filipinos,” Villar pointed out.

The Philippines has sent more than 30 films to the Academy—the first was in 1953 with the film “Genghis Khan” by National Artist for Film Manuel Conde.