By: Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines, Seoul

Busan, 07 October 2018 - This year, the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF), one of the most significant film festivals in Asia, has recognized and given honor to the Philippines by designating it the "Country of Focus."

Philippine Ambassador to South Korea Raul S. Hernandez, together with his wife, Madame Maria Ana A. Hernandez, join the Philippine delegation, led by Ms. Liza Dino-Seguerra, Chairperson of the Film Development Council, at the 23rd Busain International Film Festival Red Carpet event on 04 October 2018.
As the "Country of Focus," Philippine cinema was highlighted in a number of activities and events during the weeklong festival. This includes the launching of the commemorative book published by the BIFF, titled "Centennial Anniversary of the Philippine Cinema," as well as the staging of BIFF's Special Program titled "Cinema as a Response to the Nation" which features the following Philippine movie classics: Lamberto V. Avellana's "A Portrait of the Artist as Filipino" (1965), Eddie Romero's "Ganito Kami Noon, Paano Kayo Ngayon?" (1976); Mario O'Hara's "Tatlong Taong Walang Diyos" (1976); Fernando Poe Jr.'s "Ang Panday" (1980); Lino Brocka's "Cain at Abel" (1982); Marilou Diaz-Abaya's "Moral" (1982); Ishmael Bernal's "Himala" (1982); Mike de Leon's "Bayaning 3rd World" (2000); Chito Rono's "Dekada '70" (2002); and Remton Siega Zuasola's Ang Damgo ni Eleuteria" (2010).

At the "Window on Asian Cinema" event of the BIFF, the Philippine films being showcased include Mike de Leon"s "Citizen Jake"; Brillante Ma Mendoza's "Alpha, The Right to Kill"; Alec Figuracion's "The Eternity Between Seconds"; Dwein Baltazar's "Gusto Kita with All My Hypothalamus"; Chito Rono's "Signal Rock"; and the omnibus "Lakbayan," by Lav Diaz, Brillante Ma Mendoza and Kidlat Tahimik. Meanwhile, part of the "Wide Angle Short Film Showcase" are Joji Alonso's "Last Order" and Stephen Lee's "Manila is Full of Men Named Boy." Kevin Piamonte's "Land from God" is part of the "Wide Angle Documentary Showcase."

The Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), headed by its Chairperson, Ms. Liza Dino-Seguerra, led the Philippine delegation to the BIFF, which included Filipino actors Piolo Pascual, Christopher de Leon, Sandy Andolong, Joel Torre, Max Collins, filmmakers Kidlat Tahimik, Brillante Mendoza, Joyce Bernal, Remton Siega Zuasola, Manunuri member Tito Valiente, and FPJ Productions's vice president Jeffrey Sonora.

The 23rd BIFF opened on 04 October with a Red Capet event and an Opening Ceremony at the Busan Cinema Center in downtown Busan. Philippine Ambassador to South Korea Raul S. Hernandez and his wife, Madame Maria Ana A. Hernandez, joined the Philippine delegation on the red carpet.

On 07 October, FDCP hosted the "Philippine Night" to introduce Philippine delegates to international partners for exposure and possible collaborations. Amb. Hernandez was the guest of honor.

In his remarks at the Philippine Night, Ambassador Hernandez lauded Philippine filmmakers and artists for being catalysts for change. "You inspire and encourage people to reach beyond their grasps. Through your work, you can rouse your audience to think and feel deeply, pursue excellence, and contribute to the community. You can galvanize people into action and reawaken their love for kin and country. Artists serve a very important function in society and this is very true in the Philippines," the Ambassador emphasized.

He also called on the Philippine government and other non-government groups to continue its support for the Philippine Cinema, underscoring that they are "essential in ensuring the success of Philippine cinema in the long-term. I hope that this trend will continue into the future, as the success of the Philippine film industry is the success of the entire country."

The 23rd BIFF opened on 04 October and will run until the 13th.

- END -