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GMA international boosts prospects for enduring Pinoy film fest in Los Angeles

Jush Andowitt © Jush Andowitt’s facebook page

EFFORTS to establish an enduring international Filipino film festival in Los Angeles gain steam after its organizers were able to get the support of GMA International.

Jush Andowitt, US affiliate on development and marketing of GMA International, confirms the television network’s partnership with the Los Angeles Philippine International Film Festival (LAPIFF) during a press conference in Carson City Wednesday.

Two film festival information commercials were also unveiled during the event, which Andowitt says would be seen in GMA Pinoy television starting next week.

“Every first is a real challenge,” Andowitt notes, “and we are expecting the go through the same thing in this endeavor.”

The LAPIFF founders hope to establish the Philippine international film festival as a yearly event in Los Angeles, California. It is not the first time that such an event was attempted in the city. There has been at least a couple of Filipino film festivals held in Los Angeles in the past but none was able to become annual affairs.

Abe Pagtama, founder and chairman of LAPIFF, report that 1,500 entries have been submitted for their first entry deadline (June 1, 2016) but only about 500 of them were admitted.

“There is no cost in submitting the films. The next and last deadline would be on July 31 (2016),” he adds.

The public will get to enjoy the Filipino film festival on October 7, 8 and 9 at Cinemark Carson. Screening will start from 10 a.m. to 12 midnight.

Winston Emano, chair of the LAPIFF screening committee, says the 72 hours of Philippine cinema, the longest ever attempted in Los Angeles, “should make Filipino Americans very proud of themselves.”

“We should not be comfortable in letting others do our story. Somehow, somewhere they’re going miss out on something and we would be prompted to complain,” Emano adds in jest.

Members of the LAPIFF committee include noted indie filmmaker Janice Villarosa, Marie Jamora, Oliver Carnay, Walter Boholst, David Maquiling and Anthony Buncio.

Fe Koons, one of the founding members, says LAPIFF will give awards for best feature picture, best short film, best documentary, best animation, best director, best actor, best actress and best audience film.

LAPIFF, a non-profit organization, is dedicated to “work for the advancement, development and showcasing Filipino filmmakers and artists around the world.

It will accept films and other media works that were made by Filipinos (or with Filipino ancestry but are now of different nationality) and/or about Filipinos.

Subtitles must be used for films spoken in Filipino and other languages.

Feature film duration should be at least 80 to 150 minutes while short films must not exceed 30 minutes.

A digital Cinema Package is required for all entries.

Abner Galino
The author is a poet and a writer. He was a cultural worker before he became a reporter for Tinig ng Masa and Malaya Midday Edition during the Marcos regime. He later became a reporter of People's Tonight shortly after 1986 EDSA Revolution. He went on to become its Chief of Reporters, City Editor and News Editor. He retired after 15 years in the Journal Group of Publications. He now writes for Weekend Balita and the US Asian Post (USAP), weekly Filipino-American newspapers based in Los Angeles, California.

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