UMak senior film students secure FDCP financial grant for their thesis film

Five senior Film students from the College of Arts and Letters have been awarded a financial grant worth Php50,000 from the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) for their thesis film titled “Undefended: On Asia’s Most Dangerous Place for Environmental Defenders.”


Dubbed “SineMapa Productions,” the quintet student-filmmakers include Jacob Aaron Hinanay, Danielle Castillet, Christian Alupay, Lee Robert Dollente, and Alyssa Kate Litang.

The Student Film Assistance Program (SFAP) is a funding initiative exclusively offered to students enrolled in AFS-registered colleges and universities for the production of their thesis films.

As you all know, the SFAP included a meticulous process that involves a Pre-Selection and Final Selection,” the notice of acceptance from FDCP reads.

According to FDCP, “successful projects may receive a grant amounting from PHP 30,000.00 to PHP 50,000.00 for the production of a thesis film project.”

Directed by Jacob Hinanay, “Undefended” is a documentary film produced during their thesis film class under the guidance of their professor, Atty. Eduard M. Riparip. The documentary sheds light on the critical issue of the security and protection of Filipino environmental defenders, as the Philippines is considered the most dangerous place in Asia for nature advocates.

The City Government of Makati and the University of Makati’s College of Arts and Letters, through its Dean, Assoc. Prof. Mary Acel D. German, and Asst. Prof. Stanley G. Rovira, Chair of the Mulmedia Department, have been instrumental in supporting the students’ efforts, offering resources and guidance throughout the filmmaking process.

The financial grant also includes one-day masterclass with award-winning director Direk Zig Dulay.

In May 2024, “Undefended” won several awards at CineMakati, held at the University of Makati, including Best Film Presentation, Best Director, Best Script, Best Storytelling, Best Editing, Audience Choice Award, and Emerging Documentary Filmmaker Award.

Hinanay has directed several award-winning student films, including “Busina” and “Ang Pangamba sa Brgy. La Huerta.”

The FDCP is government agency mandated by law to formulate and implement policies and programs to upgrade the art and craft of filmmaking in the Philippines. ###

Written by: Eduard M. Riparip.