Filipinos will get to see more restored classic Filipino films on the big screen for free after the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) inked a partnership with the National Commission for Culture & the Arts (NCCA).
The FDCP and NCCA on Wednesday signed a memorandum of understanding to relaunch “Mga Hiyas ng Sineng Filipino” (Gems of Filipino Cinema), a free monthly screening of restored movies at the NCCA-administered Metropolitan Theater (MET).
Dr. Rene Escalante, chairman of the NCCA and the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), said they have allocated a movie slot for the FDCP on the 3rd Sunday of each month at 1 PM.
Escalante said the screening gives a venue for more people to see the rarely accessed movies in the Philippine Film Archive and those restored by ABS-CBN’s “Sagip Pelikula” Film Restoration project.
“Hindi po kami makikipagkompetensya sa SM at sa iba pang commercial cinemas kasi hindi iyon ang nasa mandato ng aming ahensya. Kaya kami po ay nakatutok doon sa mga lumang pelikula na itinuturing naming mga klasik, lalong-lalo na ‘yong pelikulang gawa ng ating mga pambansang alagad ng sining, kasi ang pagpapahalaga sa kanila at kanilang mga obra ay nasa mandato ng NCCA,” he said.
The first movie set to be shown is “Himala”, directed by National Artist for Cinema Ishmael Bernal and starring National Artist for film and broadcast arts Nora Aunor, on September 25.
The screening will also include a talkback session with Aunor and fellow National Artist Ricky Lee, who wrote the film’s screenplay.
Those who plan to watch will need to register online.
Movies being screened will be picked according to a monthly theme, said FDCP chairman and CEO Tirso Cruz III.
Cruz said they have provided an initial list of 100 classic movies from the archive for the NCCA to choose from.
“The archives are very dear to me, because alam kong this is very important, especially for the generations to come, ‘di ba?” he said.
“It would be nice if we could let them watch these movies and ma-realize nila na ‘Wow, ano pala tayo, we can really compete worldwide kung sa talent and talent alone’.”
Cruz, who was appointed to the FDCP in July, added the council is drafting programs to revive the public’s support for Filipino movies and encourage local producers to create more films.
The FDCP and NCCA’s partnership coincides with the first celebration of Philippine Film Industry Month.
The first iteration of “Mga Hiyas ng Sineng Filipino” last February screened “Dalagang Ilocana” by Olive La Torre, “Pagdating sa Dulo” by Ishmael Bernal, and “Sana Maulit Muli” by Olivia Lamasan.