Political Thriller Film Project ‘Filipino’ Wins Top Prize at Singapore Project Market

A film project from the Philippines stood out and won the prestigious Cre8 Co-Production Award during the Southeast Asia Film Financing Forum (SAFF) Project Market, beating out 15 projects from Southeast Asia. The project-in-development titled Filipino by Mel Allego wowed the jury for its powerful storytelling and potential to be commercialized and co-produced globally. Allego took home a co-production deal worth up to $200,000 from Cre8 Productions.

“I always have had (these) thoughts and ideas about my experiences living in contemporary Philippines. I wanted to do a film that is something nonconventional, and get people thinking about what is correct, what is incorrect–against the backdrop of the current uncertain socio-political landscape,” said Allego.

Set in Cebu, it tells the story about a journalist who sneaks through the blockade and inevitably gets caught up with five individuals cornered in a deadly chess game between fundamental extremists and higher powers.

The SAFF Project Market is back for its fourth edition this year to offer opportunities for investment and co-production to feature films from Asia and Europe and featured five (5) Filipino projects in its slate, including:

Ani (The Harvest)

Science Fiction, Coming-of-Age

Producer: Toni Zuniga

Director: Kristine Zuniga

Bangsa Badjao

Drama Thriller

Producer: Suzanne Richiardone/Jessel Monteverde

Director: Jessel Monteverde


Feminist Action Drama

Producer: Bianca Balbuena and Kriz Gazmen

Director: Gino M. Santos

John Denver Trending

Drama, Social Satire

Producer: Sheron Dayoc and Sonny Calvento

Director: Arden Rod Condez

Launched by ScreenSingapore in partnership with the Southeast Asian Audio-Visual Association (SAAVA) and Ties That Bind: Asia/Europe Producers Workshop (TTB), the annual summit was established in 2015 to bring together key players in the international film industry and promote fruitful collaborations.

Meanwhile, in line with the celebration for the Philippine cinema’s 100th year anniversary, the Singapore Media Festival (SMF) puts the Philippines in center stage as this year’s country of focus. The Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) was the lead agency in the Philippine participation to the SMF, and brought together thirty (30) companies including film buyers, producers, service providers, distributors, and animation agencies to attend SMF-established events, including the Asia TV Forum & Market (ATF) Leader’s Summit and SAFF Conference.

The SAFF Project Market 2018 was held from December 5 to 7, 2018 at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.

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