In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Philippines-Singapore Diplomatic Relations and the Centennial Year of Philippine Cinema, the Philippine Embassy in Singapore, in cooperation with the National University of Singapore — Office of Alumni Relations (NUS-OAR), the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), and the ABS-CBN Film Productions, Inc./Star Cinema, successfully held the inaugural Philippine Film Festival from 12 to15 November 2019 at the Shaw Foundation Alumni House in NUS.
The opening night of the Philippine Film Festival on 12 November 2019 featured Mr. and Mrs. Cruz, a romantic comedy-drama set in Palawan. The director of the film, Sigrid Andrea Bernardo, attended the opening night and briefly introduced the film.
The film’s by-invitation reception and screening was attended by Ambassador to Singapore Joseph Del Mar Yap, NUS Director for Alumni Cultivation & Engagement Florence Neo, FDCP International Relations Division Jo Andrew Torlao, Head of Star Cinema’s International Sales Distribution and Branded Entertainment Unit Karen Almeida, members of the diplomatic corps, Filipino community in Singapore, and the NUS alumni and students.
“Philippine cinema has found a new calling as a global brand. Gone were the days when Philippine cinema was only for Filipino moviegoers. The world has become our stage and the international community has become our target audience. We aspire to be part of the resurgence of a new breed of Asian cinema. Uniquely Filipino but with an international appeal,” Ambassador Yap said in his welcome remarks.
Other films featured during the Philippine Film Festival were Seven Sundays, Bakwit Boys and Siargao. The film screenings for 13 to15 November were free of charge.