For the first time, European cinema is coming to Iloilo City and is being envisioned to become an annual event highlighting cultural and tourism potentials of the metropolis.

The Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) and European Union launched the Cine Europa 15 at Cinematheque-Iloilo at B&C Square Bldg. loacted at corner Iznart-Solis Sts., City Proper Oct. 18.

Mayor Jed Patrick E. Mabilog said the endeavor is an avenue to showcase cultural and tourism promotions between Iloilo City and European countries.

“Being the first of this kind in the City of Iloilo, we hope that the festival will be a yearly event in the city. Under FDCP’s Film Cultural and Exchange Program (FCEP), exposure of European films to Iloilo is noteworthy and an opportunity to open the city to the world through the corridors of cinema,” FDCP chairman Briccio Santos wrote Mabilog.

Dignitaries including Monika Junker-Guidin, political counselor of the Embassy of Austria; Yannick Reichenau of the Embassy of Switzerland; and Robert Leon, Information Officer of the European Union delegation graced the launching rites highlighted by the screening of Austrian film “Breathing.”

This is the second time that European dignitaries visited the city after they also attended the 2nd Iloilo International Film Festival during Dinagyang last January.

The Cinematheque is designed and destined to be an alternative and accessible venue for free showing of classic and contemporary Filipino films, both mainstream and independent for state-of-the-art foreign films sourced through FDCP’s Film Cultural Exchange Program with other countries, and for workshops and symposiums on directing, scriptwriting, editing, cinematography, and all other aspects of filmmaking.

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