12 Filipino interns in Van Damme film

12 Filipino interns in Van Damme film
Jean-Claude Van Damme

The Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) has sent 12 aspiring filmmakers to Guangzhou, China, for a month-long internship on the set of a Hollywood production featuring action star Jean-Claude Van Damme, FDCP chairman Briccio Santos announced during the weekend.

"They were picked by the council's technical panel," Santos told the Philippine Daily Inquirer. "It was the panel that advised producers, consultants and film institutions to recommend nominees for the boot camp."

Vital exposure

The interns, who left Manila on Thursday, will participate in the production of the Van Damme movie, "Pound of Flesh," up to May 5. "The goal is for them to learn the ins and outs of a Hollywood production," said Santos. "They will be assigned different tasks; they may also appear in the movie as bit players."

The venture was launched under the auspices of the FDCP Film Cultural Exchange Program, with the support of the Chinese government. It was made possible through an agreement with the China-based Ace Studio. "The experience and wisdom that they stand to learn from the exposure will be vital in their overall development as filmmakers," said the FDCP chief.

The chosen 12

The interns are Richelle C. Adevoso, Audrey Shane A. Alminaza, Brian Anthony B. Bagoyo, Alfred John M. Brian, Therese Gracielle V. de Guzman, April B. Marañon, Anna Francesca Z. Marfori, John Marvin S. Nueva, Seline Mae T. Ong, Jonathan M. Paredes, Diomar Joseph G. Parulan and Eleaverne Shayne Ruebe.

Directed by US filmmaker Ernie Barbarash ("Cube Zero," "Assassination Games," "6 Bullets"), "Pound of Flesh" is a coproduction of Canada and China, and involves production companies Ace Studio and Odyssey Media. "This could pave the way for the next Van Damme movies to be shot in the Philippines," said Santos.

First time in Beijing

Meanwhile, the FDCP will represent the country for the first time at the fourth Beijing International Film Festival and Film Market (BJIFF) set April 17 to 19. "The Council is proud and looking forward to being present at the event's film market," Santos said.

According to a statement from FDCP, the aim of the BJIFF is to develop China's film industry and provide comprehensive support and services to domestic and international participants by setting up two large professional markets- the Film Factor Market and the Film Project Market.

Santos elaborated: "Film locations being one of the main demands of this specific market, it is the FDCP team's hope to promote the Philippines as such-a versatile filming location. The opportunity to mingle and forge potential partnerships with exhibitors and visitors from all over the world is one that the FDCP team cannot wait to accomplish."

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