The lost art of hand-painted movie posters

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 05 2018 04:56 PM

Thirty-six-year-old William Encenares is the only painter left in Sagmit Enterprises. This family-owned business used to cater to movie houses, making hand-painted movie posters until the decline of orders in the 1990s.

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William’s father used to be a sketcher in the same company. Seeing the works of art by the many painters of the Sagmits, William aspired to be a painter himself. 

He was employed right after he finished high school. Around this time, malls with built-in theaters attracted more business than stand-alone movie houses. Shortly after, digital printing introduced tarpaulin prints, hence business slowed down for the stand-alone movie houses and painted posters.

The Sagmits had to let go of their workshop space, and some of their best painters left to find other sources of income. William also left to work outside, but eventually realized he would still rather work for the Sagmits. It’s the only place where he could still practice his craft and passion for painting.

To answer the demand for digital printing, the Sagmits supplied prints and installation services for cinemas. This way, they were able to keep their heads above water. William stayed with the Sagmits as a manual laborer.

William now gets occasional orders for painted posters from the lone surviving stand-alone movie house in Metro Manila. His hope to continue painting never falters.

Get to know William and the different strokes of luck, struggles and hope that painted his life on this week’s episode of Mukha, Wednesday at 6:30 P.M. only on ANC.