About Us


Since it was established in 1979, the Mowelfund Film Institute (MFI) has immensely contributed to producing quality films and educating filmmakers that cater to the constant development of local cinema. MFI is one of the major programs under Movie Workers Welfare Foundation, Inc. (MOWELFUND) that conducts trainings and workshops not just for filmmakers, but for people (actors, producers, film enthusiasts) who are interested in entering the film industry.

Even in the early years of its operation, MFI has proudly dedicated it’s time on improving film education that brings emphasis on building the creativity and uniqueness of each of its students. Various acclaimed local and foreign lecturers are constantly invited to conduct seminars and workshops which entice filmmakers, film enthusiasts, and various students from different universities to attend.

A number of notable alumni who have entered reputable film festivals and have taken home prestigious awards include Raymond Red, Brillante Mendoza, Lav Diaz and more.

With the hopes of uplifting the state of the local cinema, MFI proudly teaches its students to produce films that are of relevance from which they could freely voice out their opinions on significant issues as well as to accentuate the importance of creating art through compelling stories that would turn into eye-opening films.



March 7, 1979


April 19, 1979

MOWELFUND launches its Scholarship Program, comprising of study and training grants in the seven fields of the cinematic arts: Film Direction, Scriptwriting, Cinematography, Editing, Production Design, Production Management, and Sound Engineering.


June 1980

Twenty-one film scholars study filmmaking at the Ateneo de Manila University through the “Ateneo-Mowelfund Program for Artists in Cinema and Television (AMPACT).” Film training produces three versions of “Buhawi” (Whirlwind) shot in 16 mm, the basis for overseas scholarship of seven scholars.

September 1980

MOWELFUND sponsors Vittorio Romero’s film study at the Loyola Marymount University in California, USA.


June 1981

Selection of seven scholars to study filmmaking in the US for two years: Johnny Cruz, Rafael Oyales, and Ed Palmos for Film Direction; and Scriptwriting; Vic Palileo for Cinematography; Robert Lee for Art Direction; Tom Bismark for Editing; and Remberto Sanchez for Sound Engineering.

September 1981

Serafin “Surf” Reyes joins MOWELFUND as Director of institute, with his concept of Super-8mm as training format

November 28, 1981

Opening of the “MOWELFUND FILM INSTITUTE’s Filmmaking Workshop,” a practical, hands-on introduction to the operation of super-8mm equipment and facilities by Surf Reyes.


January 1982

Seven MOWELFUND Scholars leave to take-up two-year courses on cinematic arts at the Columbia College in Los Angeles, with seminars at UCLA, NYU, USC and Brooks Institute.

March 27 1982

Formal launching of the MOWELFUND FILM INSTITUTE coinciding with the 8th Anniversary of the MOWELFUND, INC.

April 1982

AMPACT opens a 14-month course leading to Artist’s Certificates for Cinema and Television at the Ateneo de Manila University.

May 6, 1982

MFI opens special “Filmmaking Workshop” for teachers.

November 6, 1982

MFI opens second “Filmmaking Workshop” lasting for four months.


Janunary 1983

Rodolfo Velasco and Surf Reyes bring home complete super-8mm production and post-production equipment from USA.

March 1983

MFI opens “First Animation Workshop” for Optifex Animation, the first Filipino animation company. All graduates absorbed for employment.

June 1983

The 3rd MFI Filmmaking Workshop is held.

November 1983

AMPACT produces two 16 mm films on women: “Panaginip sa Tag-araw” (Summer Dream) and “Babae sa Bintana” (Woman by the Window).


February 11, 1984

Rodolfo Velasco and Surf Reyes bring home Beta and U-Matic cameras and editing equipment from Hongkong.

February 24, 1984

MFI offers workshops in Cinematography and Lighting.

February 28, 1984

Opening of “Basic Still Photography and Darkroom Techniques.”

March 3, 1984

Opening of “Basic Filmmaking Workshop”.


March 1985

Nick Deocampo, Raymond Red and Mac Alejandre join the MOWELFUND FILM INSTITUTE. They organize the annual Summer Cinema Workshops (April). Lecturers this year include: Peque Gallaga, Marilou Diaz-Abaya, Cesar Hernando and Don Escudero.

April 22, 1985

“Children’s Film Workshop” opens for children up to 15 years old.

June 30, 1985

Holding of MFI’s first “Scriptwriting Workshop” under Ricky lee.

September 1985

Maiden publication of Movement, the country’s only magazine on independent cinema.

September 13, 1985

Graduation of participants from the first Scriptwriting Workshop.

October 2, 1985

MFI in cooperation with SONY’s Solid Video, offers Video Grants for the production of short feature and experimental works. Prize winning grants produced: Larry Manda’s “Salamisim” and Rey Allones’ “Baligtaran.”.

October 4, 1985

MFI participates in a seminar on “Film and National Development” at the 34th Int’l. Filmweek in Mannheim, West Germany.


January 27, 1986

MFI participates in a seminar on “Film and National Development” at the 34th Int’l. Filmweek in Mannheim, West Germany.

January 28, 1986

Opening of “Basic Photography Workshop”.

September 1986

Holding of the “16 mm Experimental Film Workshop” under Ingo Petzke, West German filmmaker, at the MFI in cooperation with the Goethe Institute-Manila.

September 23-28, 1986

MFI organizes country’s first “Independent Film & Video Festival” featuring banned documentaries, experimental works, films on women and gays, and other non-commercial film and video productions. Festival is held at the WAVE Cinema in Cubao, a commercial theater in the heart of Quezon City. Holding of Film Seminar at the Goethe Institut-Manila. Topics touch on history, theories, aesthetics, video tech and other matters related to Philippine Independent Cinema. Guest speakers include film pioneer Ben Pinga and National Artist for Film and Theater Lamberto Avellana as well as filmmakers Jim Shum and Roger Garcia from Hong Kong, Ingo Petzke from West Germany and Dr. Uwe Schmelter, Director of the Goethe Institut-Manila.

November 11-21, 1986

MFI hosts “1st Asian Directors Workshop” sponsored by Goethe Institut-Manila. Participants include Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.

December 1-7, 1986

MFI-produced short films are screened in the Alternative Film and Video Festival sponsored by the Phoenix Cinema Club in Hong Kong.

December 3, 1986

Airing of MFI’s video documentary, “Beyond the Mainstream: Salute to Philippine Independent Cinema” on Channel 2.


January 22, 1987

Screening of 16 mm Experimental films produced by the MFI and the Goethe Institut-Manila at the German Cultural House. Film include Roxlee’s Lizard.

March 26 - May 30, 1987

MFI holds “Summer Cinema Workshops in Film & Video Production” (March 26 – May 30), “Acting for Beginners” (April 20 – May 22), “Basic Photography” (May 4 – 22), and “Movie Reporting Seminar” (March 26 – May 29).

May 11, 1987

MOWELFUND President Joseph Estrada elected as Senator.

March 28 - May 31, 1987

MFI’s 16 mm experimental films co-produced with Goethe Institut-Manila gain honors in 7th Experimental Film Workshop in Osnabruck, West Germany. Roxlee’s “Lizard…” and Louie Quirino’s “Boy Goto” are included in Festival’s Best Films List.

June, 1987

“Super-8 Film Workshop” under Birger Bustorff, with the Goethe Institut-Manila.

July 12, 1987

British film critic and international film festival consultant Tony Rayns lectures on Film Criticism.

July 17-19, 1987

Holding of “New Breed: New Works,” a festival featuring film and video productions as well as photographic works by the graduating students of MFI’s Summer Cinema Workshops.

August 8-15, 1987

MFI-produced experimental film “Tronong Puti” (White Throne) by Ted Arago and Roxlee wins Bronze Medal with Juan and Miguel Alcazaren’s “Hari” (King) Special Jury Prize at 13th International Amateur Film Festival in Kalibia, Tunisia.

August 27 - September 1, 1987

MFI assist Cultural Center of the Philippines’ 1st CCP Independent Cinema & Video Festival. MFI student’s production win major awards.

September 8, 1987

MFI opens “Basic Video Production Workshop” for students and professionals.

September 15, 1987

MFI opens “Advanced Photography Workshop”.

November 10 - 15, 1987

Nick Deocampo and Raymond Red participate in 9th International Festival of Super-8 & Video in Brussels. Deocampo wins Grand Prize for his film trilogy, “Oliver,” “Children of the Regime” and “Revolutions Happen like Refrains in a Song”. MFI accepted as member of International Federation of Super-8 Film and Video while Deocampo is elected Vice-President for Asia.

November 22 - December 7, 1987

MFI’s Larry Manda participates in Seminar on Film Sound in Jakarta, Indonesia sponsored by the Goethe Institute-Manila.

December 11, 1987

MFI’s Larry Manda participates in Seminar on Film Sound in Jakarta, Indonesia sponsored by the Goethe Institute-Manila.


January 1988

Deocampo leaves for New York University as Fulbright scholar in Cinema Studies.

March 1988

Goethe Institut-Manila and MFI jointly cooperate in a “35mm Cinematography Workshop” under Thomas Mauch.

April 4 - June 11, 1988

MFI holds “Summer Cinema Workshops in Basic Video Production” (April 4 – June 11), “Basic Photography” (April 4 – May 9), “Basic Film Production” (April 11 – May 28), and “Basic Animation” (April 11 – May 28).

August/September 1988

MFI holds “Seminar on Production of TV Programs for Young People” with the Goethe Institut-Manila at the German Cultural Center.

August 24-28, 1988

1st Sights and Sounds Manila at the Philippine Center for International Trade and Exposition. MFI conducts “On-The-Spot Video Workshop”.

August 25, 1988

Centre International de Liaison des Ecoles de Cinema et de Television (CILECT) accepts MFI as Associate Member.

September - October 26, 1988 / January 1989

“16mm Experimental Film Workshop” under German filmmaker Christoph Janetzko with the Goethe Institut-Manila.

November 8 - 13, 1988

MFI short films compete at The 10th Int’l Super-8 & Video Film Festival in Brussels, Belgium (Mark Meily, Larry Manda, Cesar Hernando, Nonoy Dadivas, Alcazaren Bros. & Louie Quirino).


April 1, 1989

Festival of Short Films by Young Filipino directors is held.

April 3 - May 19, 1989

Start of “MFI Summer Cinema Workshops in Basic Video Production” (April 3 – May 19), “Elementary Photography I” (April 3 – 8), and “Elementary Photography II” (April 10 – 29).

May 28, 1989

Experimental films produced by Goethe Institut-Manila and MFI participate in the “World Congress of Experimental Films” in Toronto, Canada. Earlier tours include Berlin, Hongkong and Washington, D.C. Screenings of Super-8 films at Open-air Theater, Rizal Park.

July 28, 1989

Rodolfo “Rolfie” L. Velasco attends the “Tribute to Mowelfund” during 12th International Asian-American Film Festivalin New York. Nick Deocampo designated as new MFI director.

August 14 - September 1, 1989

MFI holds the “16mm Workshop on Compilation Film with Sound Collage (Optical Printing Workshop)” under Christophe Janetzko with Goethe Institut-Manila and Philippine Information Agency.

September 5 - 9, 1989

“One-Day-On-The-Spot Video Workshop” at the 2nd Sights and Sounds Manila.

September 16, 17, 23, 24, 30 to October 1, 7 & 8 1989

The Screenwriters Guild of the Philippines and Fernando Poe, Jr. partners with MFI in holding a “Basic Screenwriting Seminar-Workshop”.

October 16 - November 3, 1989

Goethe Institut-Manila partners with MFI in holding the “Aesthetics on Film Editing Workshop” under German film Editor Helga Borsche in cooperation with Luftansa and Philippine Information Agency.

October 27 - November 2, 1989

Joey Agbayani’s “Kidlat” and Roxlee’s “Lizard or How To Perform In front of the Reptile” participate at 1989 International Asian-American Film Festival.

November 4 - 26, 1989

The Kapisanan ng mga Director ng Pelikulang Pilipino and Manuel De Leon partners with MFI in holding the “Film Direction Seminar”.

November 7 - 12, 1989

Mark Meily’s “Sentry” competes at the 11th International Super-8 Film & Viddeo Festival in Brussels, Belgium.

November 27, 1989

The Film Academy of the Philippines and Kodak-Philippines partners with MFI in holding the “Kodak-Philippines Fellowships in Cinematography FAP/FSC Cinematography Workshop”.


January 1990

Participation in “Festival des Grandes Ecoles de Cinema du Monde”, Canada.

February - March, 1990

Holding of “International Super-8 Film Festival” at Fiesta Cinema, participated in by local and international filmmakers.

March, 1990

Joey Agbayani’s “Kidlat” and Raymond Red’s “A Study for the Skies” win in 13th Gawad Urian. “Kidlat” joins Hollywood’s 17th Annual Student Film Awards (Student Oscars).

February 9, 11, 16, 18, 24 & 25, 1990

The Film Academy of the Philippines and Lily Monteverde partners with the MFI in holding a “Production Design Workshop”.

April 16 - May 19, 1990

The Goethe Institut-Manila partners with MFI in holding the Asian Documentary Workshop under Michael Wulfes and Christian Weisenborn in cooperation with the Philippine Information Agency. MFI films win student awards in the 8th Film Academy of the Phils. Awards Ceremony.

May 2 - June 30, 1990

MFI holds its “Basic Film and Video Workshop” (May 2 – June 30), and “Photography Workshop” (May 5 – 31).

May / June, 1990

Mel Bacani III and Roxlee participate in 6th Hamburg No Budget Short Film Festival, Germany.

May 5, 6, 12, 13 & 19 to June 23, 24 & 29, 1990

The Film Academy of the Philippines, Film Editors Guild of the Philippines and Dr. Jose R. Perez partners with MFI in holding an “Editing Workshop”.

June 23, 24 & 29 - July 1, 14 & 21, 1990

The Film Academy of the Philippines, Sound Technicians’ Association for Motion Pictures (STAMP) and Antonio Dulalia partners with MFI in holding “The Antonio Dulalia Scholarships in Sound Recording”. (

June 25 - August 15, 1990

MFI holds its “Basic Film and Video Production Workshop” in Iloilo.

August 11, 12, 18, 19, 25 & 26 - September 1, 1990

The Film Academy of the Philippines and Vicente Del Rosario partners with MFI in holding a “Musical Scoring Seminar”.

September 22, 23, 29 & 30 - October 6, 7 & 13, 1990

The Film Academy of the Philippines, AD/PM Guild and “M-7” Yalung partners with MFI in conducting a “Seminar for Assistant Directors and Production Managers”.


April 15 - May 15, 1991

MFI holds its “Basic Film and Video Workshop”.

May 25 to 31, 1991

MFI holds it’s “Women’s Video Communication Workshop” sponsored by The Kamalapina & CCP Women’s Desk.

September 9 - October 11, 1991

MFI holds its “Basic Film and Video Workshop”.


February 10 - March 3, 1992

MFI conducts “Animation Workshop” in partnership with the Philippine Children’s Television Foundation (PCTV).

April 2 - May 30, 1992

MFI conducts “Summer Workshop for Student Directors”.


February 18 - 24, 1994

“Pelikula at Lipunan,” a week-long celebration of Philippine cinema at SM Megamall Preview Theater. It is a project of the National Committee on Cinema of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts and implemented by the Mowelfund film Institute.


September 23 - October 1, 1995

MFI organizes the “World Cinema Centennial Celebration.”


April - August 2002

MFI conducts “Poetic Film Workshop”.



MFI student cinematographers Kiri Dalena and Claude Santos of the film “Red Saga,” won the 2004 KODAK Student Film School Competition to represent the Philippines in the Regional Competition in Australia.


May 12 to 31, 2008

MFI conducts “Intensive Filmmaking Workshop”.