Cebu’s creative district to nurture film, animation, game developers
CEBU City will hold a creative summit in 2024 as part of its plans to establish a creative district in the North Reclamation Area which will focus on four sectors in the creative industry: film, animation, video game development and original content.
This was revealed by Vice Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia and Caesar Atienza, adviser to the vice mayor on the creative industry.
Garcia also told SunStar Cebu Monday, July 31, 2023, that he met with the chief executive officers of House of Moves, 1913 Media Group and Animation Vertigo last Saturday after the companies said they were looking to set up operations in the Philippines.
During their meeting at Oakridge Business Park, Garcia discussed with them the city’s plans regarding the creative district, and he said the companies wanted to learn more on how to participate in the district’s establishment.
On Tuesday, Atienza told SunStar Cebu that they are engaging in activities in support of the plans for the creative district, including a series of focus group discussions with stakeholders in Cebu and that they are focusing on four sectors within the creative industry: film, animation, video game development and original content.
Atienza said stakeholders welcomed the plans of the city for the creative district. Atienza also said they had formulated a seven-point agenda for the promotion of the creative industry:
1. The establishment of the Creative Entertainment Industry District in Cebu City;
2. The establishment of a mechanism where academe and industry can address gaps in the skills required by the industry;
3. A cooperation agreement between various creative industry-related associations for an open system for collaboration;
4. The development of a competitive incentive package for the industry and a comprehensive and supportive intellectual property framework;
5. The creation of a venture capital fund for the industry;
6. The development of an industry-focused and market-specific promotion program; and
7. The establishment of a Creative Industry Council
Atienza also said they are currently working on a targeted promotion plan for Japan in the animation and game development sectors, and for the original content sector their promotion plan will be targeted towards the United States and Korea.
“That’s where music will come in,” Atienza said of the original content sector.
The creative summit next year will bring various stakeholders to agree to plan to position Cebu as a hub for the development and promotion of creative industries within the country.
The Cebu City Government plans to build the Creative District at the North Reclamation Area due to the availability of large warehouses in the area that can be converted into studios.
Last May, Joseph Michael Espina, head of the City Planning and Development Office (CPDO), said the North Reclamation Area was chosen because it has areas like Barangay Mabolo containing warehouses and big enterprises that make it easy to move in and ready to convert into studios like Hollywood, which has studios that are often warehouses.
Garcia said Cebu is the perfect place for a creative industry.
“When you talk about film, you’re talking of studios. Warehouse ra man gyud na. Naa na man ta in that area,” said Garcia. (That’s basically warehouses. We already have those in that area.)
The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said the creative economy in 2022 amounted to P1.6 trillion, contributing 7.3 percent to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).
GDP is the value of all the goods and services produced within a country’s borders in a year.
According to the PSA, the following industries make up the creative economy: audio and audiovisual media activities; digital interactive goods and services; advertising, research and development, and other artistic service activities; symbols and images and other related activities; media publishing and printing activities; music, arts and entertainment; visual arts; traditional cultural expression activities; and art galleries, museums, ballrooms, conferences, and other venues for the visual and performing arts.
The creative district is one of three districts that is part of the waterfront development plan of Cebu City which will develop the waterfront area into three districts: Housing District, Heritage District and Creative District which will improve accessibility, open economic opportunities and improve depressed areas.