New head of film development council chosen

New head of film development council chosen homepage

Malacañang has chosen his replacement as chair of the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), according to Tirso Cruz III. 

Citing “personal reasons,” Cruz resigned as FDCP chair early this month after one year and eight months of service. His replacement will cover his term remainder of one year and four months. 

Cruz said that before his resignation, he submitted for the Palace’s consideration a list of candidates for the chairmanship of the council. The list includes independent filmmaker Rica Arevalo, who is serving as officer in charge as of this writing, and film director Jose Javier Reyes, who was Cruz’s technical adviser.

“I heard from Malacañang sources that the President has chosen a new chairman,” Cruz said. “I am not sure if the appointment paper has already been signed, and why it has not been signed.”

Enslaved to money


In a casual conversation with this writer on the set of a new drama series he is doing for ABS-CBN, Cruz said his salary as a government employee, albeit as head of an agency, is not enough to ensure the comfortable life he wants for his family. He jokingly described himself as enslaved to money: “Alipin ako ng salapi.” 

Turning serious, he said that he identifies as an actor, and that acting is what he is good at and what he really wants to do.

He said he had had to turn down several film projects that required him to be absent from work. “I didn’t want to short-change the government. While probably I could do management work while on the set, it was still not the same as being in the office with the staff to attend to daily operations,” he said. 

Cruz’s predecessor at the FDCP chair was Liza Diño, a former beauty queen and actress, who served for two terms (or six years) under the previous administration. 

Financial support

During his term, the FDCP “managed to increase financial support to our various stakeholders—from producers, directors, film workers, and students, to the film labs, workshops and film festival assistance,” Cruz said in a statement issued on his resignation. He said the council “continued partnerships with film exhibitors, institutions, festivals and embassies to bring Philippine cinema to the world and the local audience back to the cinemas.”

The FDCP awarded P1 million each to the 10 entries to the independent film festival Cinemalaya, and eventually increased the grant to P2 million each. It also initiated Sine 50, which offered local and international award-winning films for P50 admission tickets in selected cinemas. 

Prior to his resignation, Cruz was in a series of talks with local executives for the grant of a three-year moratorium on the collection of entertainment tax. He said the moratorium would help lower the price of movie tickets to make these more affordable to the public. 

Cruz believes that the only way to keep the film industry alive is to entice the movie-going public back to the cinemas. “That means improving our storytelling and making admission [to cinemas] affordable,” he said.
Currently, Cruz is out of town for the filming of his new teleserye. “I will continue to support the Philippine film industry as an actor and as a private citizen,” he said.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.