Movies & TV

Filipino Film About Typhoon Haiyan Gets Over P7.6-M Financing Aid from France

Carlo Francisco Manatad's "Whether the Weather is Fine" receives €130,000 from the Centre National du Cinéma et de l'Image Animée and Institut Français.
IMAGE Film Development Council of the Philippines
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In November 2013, Typhoon Haiyan, considered one of the most powerful tropical cyclones in world history, hit the Philippines.

Over five years have passed since the typhoon ravaged huge parts of the country, but there are still many stories it left behind. These stories, both devastating and inspiring, are what Filipino film director and editor Carlo Francisco Manatad wants to tell in his feature film.

Manatad and his team have been developing the project since 2014, and they are now one step closer to making their project come to life.

Whether the Weather is Fine (Kun Maupay Man It Panahon), a film about the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan aka Super Typhoon Yolanda, received financial aid worth €130,000 (around P7.57 million) from the Centre national du cinéma et de l'image animée (CNC) and Institut Français.

The fund, which is called the Aide aux cinémas du monde (France’s World Cinema Support), is a subsidy granted to foreign filmmakers who are seeking support from French co-producers for feature-length projects. It's managed by the CNC and Institut Français, and was co-established by the Ministry for Culture and Communication and the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs.

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“Almost 100 films supported by France’s World Cinema Support were selected during Cannes International Film Festival, one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world. This year, the Cannes Film Festival will take place from May 14 to 25,” the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) said.

The team is composed of Manatad, producer Armi Rae Cacanindin, and co-writers Giancarlo Abrahan and Jeremie Dubois. The film will be co-produced by Cinematografica Films, a production company in France, House on Fire, Plan C, House on Fire, Globe Studios, Quantum Films, and AAND of Singapore.

“Fifty percent of the grant money should be spent in France. This is a great chance to collaborate with French talents, which we already started with Carlo and Jeremie working together for the script. Because why do we co-produce? It is not just about getting additional funding for our projects, but also about collaborating and learning from each other’s practices, background, and more,” Cacanindin said.

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The film will be set in Tacloban, Leyte, one of the places most severely damaged by the super typhoon's catastrophic landfall. Manatad and his team plan to start filming in October 2019, and already the project has gained acclaim abroad.

In 2014, it was recognized by Busan’s Asian Cinema Fund for script development. In 2017, it was awarded by the Talents Tokyo Next Masters Support Fund, as well as the Co-Production Award at the TorinoFilmLab – FeatureLab 360, where it was exhibited.

The project was also presented at the EAVE Ties That Bind 2015, La Fabrique Des Cinema du Monde – Festival de Cannes 2016, Cinefondation’s L’Atelier 2018, and the Sørfond Pitching Forum 2018.

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Pauline Macaraeg
Esquire Philippines
Pauline is Esquire Philippines’ data journalist. Follow her on Twitter @paulinemacaraeg.
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