Is the Philippines the Next Global Film Hub?

by Celina Agaton

On March 1st I joined the American Chamber of Commerce’s Creative Industries Committee panel on supporting the Philippine film industry. Per usual, I spoke about the practical aspects of developing the film and creative industry: lack of accurate data and prioritization in a largely informal sector. I shared our local Open Knowledge Kit methodology that provides faster, cheaper, more accurate and verifiable data while creating local data employment opportunities well above the minimum wage. I also shared footage from one of the creative industry production hubs we are developing in the Philippines, with another location set in Indonesia to support the ASEAN region.

Media use is seen as a very important part of Filipino life as exposure to media mirrors the desire to be part of both society and the environment. Among the Filipino people, films are considered to be one of the popular forms of entertainment as it directly employs around 260,000 Filipinos and generate generating around ₱2 billion incomes per annum. Within the Southeast Asian region, Philippine cinema remains the most vibrant and diverse as the majority of films made in the region came from the Philippines along with the film industries of Thailand and Indonesia.

However, on a global scale, the downfall of Philippine cinema is traced to Filipinos’ exposure to foreign films rather than mainstream cinema. The competition from foreign films with better editing techniques, cinematography, story concept, and far bigger production made it difficult for Filipino films to compete. Also, high taxation for film producers affects the number of films available. Hence, with the advent of new technologies and new media platforms, the industry is faced with new challenges.

The technical quality of foreign films made it difficult for the local industry to compete since moviegoers mostly watched films for entertainment and a sort of enjoyment and diversion. Furthermore, the Philippine film industry has faced incredible drawbacks since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic – from the continued closure of cinemas that affected the production of local films, to the challenges plaguing the safe conduct of production activities and onsite events.

Media use is seen as a very important part of Filipino life as exposure to media mirrors the desire to be part of both society and the environment. Among the Filipino people, films are considered to be one of the popular forms of entertainment as it directly employs around 260,000 Filipinos and generate generating around ₱2 billion incomes per annum. Within the Southeast Asian region, Philippine cinema remains the most vibrant and diverse as the majority of films made in the region came from the Philippines along with the film industries of Thailand and Indonesia.

Read the full session description.



ASEAN Creative Economy Business Forum

by Celina Agaton

This past November I represented the Philippines at the ASEAN Creative Economy Business Forum and shared progress on the Creative Industries Bill and Tax-Free program to support micro to medium enterprise. I also shared our Open Knowledge Kit program that provides local employment through remote and in-person training using free and open source data collection, mapping, and analytics tools to help inform and provide better cross-sector prioritization, coordination and monitoring of initiatives.


Macrowikinomics Illustrated Video

by Celina Agaton

Macrowikinomics Video

I was a contributor to Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams’ Macrowikinomics: New Solutions for a Connected Planet, the follow up to their international bestseller, Wikinomics. I led the creative direction for this promotional video and wrote the script, visualizing the book concepts from energy and the environment, government, science and finance to healthcare technology and media and more, through a series of illustrated vignettes. Illustrations done by the fabulously talented Liisa Sorsa from ThinkLink Graphics.


A Heart to Art Chat at the Art Gallery of Ontario

Celina Agaton with the Art Gallery of Ontario's Education Committee

Celina Agaton with the Art Gallery of Ontario’s Education Committee

A Heart to Art Chat was an unconference-style event I developed to co-create ideas for the Art Gallery of Ontario. 70 community leaders and participants from the arts, culture and events communities came together in the beautiful new 35,000 square foot Weston Family Learning Centre. Over a six month process, I led the strategic planning, digital and community strategy for the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) and currently sit as an advisor to the AGO’s Education Committee.

I am currently developing a plan to create a sustainable infrastructure for youth and the arts through museum, NGO, government, and business partnerships and crowdfunding.

View the full gallery on Facebook.

Learn about the Weston Family Learning Centre at http://www.ago.net/weston-family-learning-centre.

Follow the AGO on Twitter at http://twitter.com/agotoronto

Photos courtesy Rannie Turingan Photography http://www.rannieturingan.com/

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National Volunteer Week ChariTee Design Contest

by Celina Agaton

ChariTee Design Contest

I created the ChariTee T-Shirt Design Contest in partnership with George Brown’s School of Design and social enterprise, Me to We Style to commemorate National Volunteer Week in Toronto in 2009. George Brown’s art foundations class produced t-shirt designs as part of their course curriculum, and we opened up the voting to the public to select the winning design.

Voting closed on Friday, April 10th with over 10,000 votes for the winning ChariTee design by Tlell Davidson. Her winning design was printed by Me to We Style and showcased on their site.

On April 15th, the ChariTee Design Contest exhibit and winner announcement took place at George Brown’s School of Design art gallery. Volunteer Toronto, Me to We Style and the School of Design awarded certificates and prizes for the top 20 designs, finalists and contest winner.