PH directors’ guild slams FDCP meddling in film productions under ‘new normal’

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 1) – The Directors’ Guild of the Philippines Inc. (DGPI) called out the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) for its supposed intrusion into regulatory and oversight functions over production matters, as stated in the Council’s latest advisory.

In a statement released last Monday, DGPI stated they made their concern clear to FDCP in a prior meeting and were puzzled why such rule was still released.

"Yet the release of this advisory underlines a disturbing turn of events about the mandate of FDCP," said the Filipino directors’ group.

Under the FDCP Advisory No. 06 which was made public last June 27, the film body requires production companies to register their film and audiovisual productions with them at least seven days before their commencement.

The FDCP directive covers productions in television, film, advertising, live events, and animation, among others.

The FDCP advisory also outlined the health and safety protocols that should be followed in production shoots under the new normal brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The DGPI noted that while it appreciates the FDCP's development programs and achievements, the group “protests and denounces its overreach into regulatory and oversight functions over productions.”

The Filipino directors' group also called on government agencies including the FDCP to consult stakeholders, particularly film workers, in deliberations on regulatory matters. It highlighted the FDCP "does not necessarily represent film workers or producers."

“As the film industry struggles to get back in its feet, the DGPI reiterates that it opposes any form of additional agency intrusion on productions. Not during a pandemic. Not ever. The slippery slope from 'reporting' to 'monitoring' to 'controlling' is steep and dangerous to freedom of expression,” the directors’ guild added.

Veteran film director Erik Matti supported the DGPI’s statements, noting the agency has been outlining new industry practices that restrict the film business.

“The Film Development Council of the Philippines managed to divide this industry with their arbitrary mandates that are so far off from the needs of the industry that it just leaves everyone scratching their heads,” said Matti in his Facebook post.

Matti also lamented that none of their concerns were addressed by the FDCP despite numerous consultations with some film industry workers.

"How hard is it to listen to us working on the ground? How difficult is it to see and feel the present economic situation of not just our industry but the entire country to know that we need help rather than inane restrictions and bureaucratic red tape?" he added.

FDCP, headed by actress Liza Diño-Seguerra, has yet to issue their response on the concerns raised by DGPI and Matti.