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Capacity Building Workshop empowers Film Festival Leaders in Dumaguete City

The recently concluded “Capacity Building Workshop for Festival Directors and Leaders” rallied the development of regional film festivals in the Philippines. Held in Dumaguete City from May 9 to 11, 2024, this three-day event aimed to enhance the management skills of film festival directors and leaders, bringing together over 30 participants from various regional and national film festivals across the country.

Themed “Sanga’t Daan: Festivals at the Crossroads to the Future,” the workshop was spearheaded by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts-National Committee on Cinema (NCCA-NCC) and implemented by Foundation University. It focused on two primary components: workshop sessions on festival management and a festival forum.

The first two days of the event, held at the Sierra Hotel, featured intensive workshop sessions designed to address critical aspects of festival management. Seven distinguished resource persons led these sessions, covering a wide range of topics essential for festival sustainability and growth: Festival Sustainability by Ed Lejano, artistic director of QCinema International Film Festival; Beyond Screenings by Chris Millado, director of Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival; Regional Branding and National Identity by Tito Valiente, NCC vice head and film critic; Digital Marketing by Jan Dela Peña, instructor at De La Salle–College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB); Grants and Proposal Writing by Danz Katanyag, film and television producer. Intellectual Property Lecture by Atty. Janice Tejano, director of DLS-CSB Intellectual Property Office; and Design Thinking by Jag Garcia, NCC executive committee member and academician.

On the final day, the workshop transitioned to a festival forum held at Lawak Kauswagan in Foundation University. This session served as a collaborative townhall meeting between participants and NCC members, focusing on the future of regional film festivals. Two key agendas were discussed, first is the production of a film festival calendar that aims to provide a consolidated view of festival schedules, ensuring better coordination and resource sharing among festivals, especially those engaging the same set of resource persons and guests. This calendar is also tied to the ‘mother festival,’ Cinema Rehiyon, scheduled for its next edition in September 2025.

Apart from this, the NCC initiated the Festival Directors’ Network (FDN) to facilitate communication among directors in response to festival directors’ requests at the CR15 film forum in Baguio City in 2023. While it was initially proposed to form an official guild to be SEC-registered in the future, the group decided to start with a Messenger chat that includes all identified directors and an NCC representative, Ms. Juliet Cuizon. This activity also resulted in creating a directory of all NCC-recognized and affiliated film festivals.

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