“Badjao,” one of the great LVN classics will be screened tonight, Friday, restored and for free, at the ABS-CBN Film Restoration page on Facebook. The first time it was shown to the public was almost 64 years ago.
The screening tonight is not geo restricted so Filipinos and film buffs outside the Philippines can watch it. It is also subtitled in English. The version viewers will see at 7:30 PM is a brand new 4K scan of the 1957 film. “This is probably the best of the scans and restorations given the quality of the surviving 35mm print,” says Leo Katigbak, Head of ABS-CBN Film Restoration on his Facebook post.
The film was scanned in 4K using the subtitled 35mm print from LVN Pictures, Inc. stored at ABS-CBN Film Archives. This is according to the announcement on the ABS-CBN Film Restoration group. “The film had undergone automated restoration in 2K resolution that took 30 hours to help diminish the impairments such as scratches, specks, flicker, picture warps, and image instability. Color adjustments were made to closely achieve the contrast and brightness of the original material. The scanning and automated restoration were done at the ABS-CBN Film Archives in 2020.”
“Badjao” was directed by the brilliant Lamberto Avellana who was joined again here by his superbly talented leads from the award-winning “Anak Dalita” (1956), Rosal Rosal and Tony Santos Sr. The cast also includes Leroy Salvador, Jose de Cordova, Vic Silayan, Oscar Keesee, and Pedro Faustino. It is about a couple whose romance gets caught in the tension between two warring cultures. Santos Sr. plays Hassan who comes from the sea gypsies of Southern Mindanao called the Badjaos. When, coming in peace, he asks the Muslims to let their group live quietly and unthreatened, she meets an enchanting Muslim lady named Bala-amai played in the film by Rosal.
The film won for its director the Asian Film Festival best director award in 1957. It also won best screenplay (Rolf Bayer), cinematography (Mike Accion) and editing (Gregorio Carballo).
“Badjao” screens tonight, January 8 (Friday), at 7:30. Just visit the ABS-CBN Film Restoration FB Page to watch the movie for free.