Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista believes The City of Stars deserves a film festival of its own.
Bautista announced on Tuesday that his city will stage QCinema: 2012 Quezon City Film Festival in December, and it will showcase three independent films to be produced from grants awarded by the city government.
The festival is the flagship project of the Quezon City Film Development Commission, which Bautista heads along with Vice Mayor Ma. Josefina G. Belmonte. The QCFDC will select three film projects to be granted a seed funding of P800,000 each.
Because the QCFDC aims to fevelop and promote the art and craft of filmmaking among Quezon City citizens, there must be at least one bona fide Quezon City resident among the project’s main proponents (director, writer, and producer).
Interested filmmakers must submit their proposals immediately because the deadline is on July 31.
Bautista said this project will show that Quezon City is not a just a City of Stars in name, referring to the official tagline championed by German Moreno and enacted by former councilor Dingdong Avanzado.
“It is not enough na maging City of Stars tayo. Kailangan there is something happening. Kaya, eto na ‘yon, to kickstart all the acitivities,” he said.
“Eto na ‘yung meat, ‘yung substance of that declaration making Quezon City the City of Stars. We want Quezon City to be known. Na ito ang maging kapitolyo ng ating mga pelikula,” explained Bautista, an actor who came from a showbiz clan,” he added.
Bautista said Quezon City has long shown its concern for the film industry by lowering the amusement tax from 30 to 10 percent.
He has also discussed with MTRCB chair Grace Llamanzares-Poe his plan to turn the FPJ Studios compound along Del Monte Avenue into a museum in honor of the departed King of Philippine Movies.
He has a similar plan for the Sampaguita Pictures compound on Gilmore Street.
“Para there will be a place for film students, or Masscomm and Journalism students, may library, may film archives. Kung maaayos uli, it can earn at maraming mga tao ang mabibigyan din ng trabaho,” Bautista said.
He also spoke of turning Morato Avenue into a showbiz district where monuments of film icons like FPJ and Dolphy can be erected.
Bautista calls Dolphy “Ninong”, although it is his brother Hero who is Dolphy’s godson. “Ang ninong ko talaga si FPJ,” he said.
He said his father, Herminio “Butch” Bautista, was hit hard by Dolphy’s recent death.
“Siya ang director ni Ninong Dolphy sa first ‘Captain Barbel’. Kaya, they were really very close. Kaya nga ang bituka namin, parang tahi-tahi na. Magkaka-grupo na sila during Ninong’s Sampaguita days,” he said.
He revealed that the Quezon City government bought a property from Dolphy early this year for P13 million, and he plans to put up a high school on the lot that will honor the Comedy King’s memory.
“This year only, Ninong sold us a property in Barangay Gulod in Novaliches. And ang plano namin sa lupa eh tayuan ng high school. Dahil ganoon kalaki ang lupa niya. And we will be calling it Rodolfo Vera Quizon High School,” he said.
Bautista said more showbiz-related activities are in the pipeline in preparation for Quezon City’s diamond anniversary in 2014.
Filmmakers interested in the film grants for QCinema may obtain the contest mechanics, application form and other pertinent documents from the QCFDC Facebook page. Or they can call 4447272 local 8208 and inquire with Ms. Giana Barata.