27 October 2020 via Facebook Live

Colleagues, fellow film enthusiasts, ladies and gentlemen: Magandang gabi po sa inyong lahat.

Firstly, I would like to congratulate the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) and its Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer, Ms. Liza Dino, for hosting the Philippine pavilion at this year’s virtual Asian Contents and Film Market (ACFM).

It is with great pleasure that we welcome everyone to Philippine Cinema Night at the 25th Busan International Film Festival. And as we celebrate Filipino talent and expertise tonight, we would also like to congratulate the members of the delegation that were selected to represent our country.

The fact that we are gathered here today through Zoom instead of being in Busan is evidence of how the world has changed because of COVID-19. Likewise, as the majority of the world stays at home for months at a time, many of us have sought comfort in the films and television shows available on the Internet. However, the pandemic has also made us realize the importance of good content and a strong creative industry. COVID-19 has shown us what artists for centuries have been saying: Art is important. Moreover, Art isn’t just a luxury, it’s a necessity.

Under the leadership of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) had partnered with the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) to promote our entertainment industry as a viable industry for investment. Furthermore, our films and television series serve as valuable global commodities on the international market.

This is only possible because of the capable, creative, and competent men and women in our country’s film industries. We can see this in the ten companies that make up the Philippine delegation in this year’s Asian Contents and Film Market. As representatives of the Philippine creative industry, these companies have portfolios that speak for themselves and we’re proud to see their work being shown on the global stage.

We would also like to commend the teams behind CLEANERS, DEATH OF NINTENDO, HOW TO DIE YOUNG IN MANILA, and KIDS ON FIRE for being selected to be part of this year’s Busan Film Festival. Likewise, we commend the team behind 6TH FINGER for being selected to be part of the Asian Project Market. The work you have done proves that our Filipino stories are appreciated by international audiences and that there is a market outside for new engaging plots, similar to the awards and recognitions received by the famous Korean films like “Parasite” and who would forget the “Train to Busan.”

That’s why as we watch the films and series that were created during the country’s community quarantine, we would like to thank the filmmakers for their dedication to their craft and their bravery in filming despite the restrictions, challenges, and risks.

That’s why DTI fully supports the Philippine creative industry so that we can strengthen our export sector and create more jobs and employment opportunities for our people. Via our Creative Economy Roadmap, we hope to make the Philippines as one of the top creative economies in

the ASEAN region in terms of size and value by 2030. We’re proud to say that our country has a natural competitive edge in this area, considering the rich pool of Filipino creative talents.

Again, congratulations to the Philippine delegation. You make us proud. And with that, let me borrow a line very commonly said in your industry: sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.

Maraming salamat po at mabuhay tayong lahat.♦

Date of Release: 29 October 2020