A Home For Philippine Cinema: Cinematheque Centre Manila

The story of Philippine cinema is one of the most interesting, a lot of times tragic, stories out there in the realm of world cinema. Back in the day, Philippine cinema was one of the pioneering film industries in Asia, churning out hundreds of film every year during the 1950s to the early 1960s (the First Golden Age of Philippine Cinema) to a constant output of quality films during the 1970s to early 1980s. (the Second Golden Age of Philippine Cinema) Today, Philippine cinema is struggling to get up on its feet once again in the midst of various problems such as piracy, low output, and thousands of films made in the past that are now lost thanks to a lack of a national film archive.

In the midst of these problems, it is good to know that at least one of these issues has now been addressed: a facility for a national film archive that would help preserve some of the remaining gems of Philippine cinema (some surviving films are in the possession of ABS-CBN’s film archives, FYI) as well as a place that Philippine cinema can call its own: the Cinematheque Centre of the FDCP or Film Development Council of the Philippines.

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CinemalayaX at the CCP

It is that time of the year once again when the moribund Philippine cinema manages to come alive for a while. No, I’m not talking about the Metro Manila Film Festival, when the opposite usually happens…but I digress. It is the season of Cinemalaya, the Philippine independent film festival which is now marking its 10th year.

For those who are not familiar with this event, Cinemalaya is an annual film festival organized by the Cinemalaya Foundation (headed by Tony Boy Cojuangco)  with the support of the Cultural Center of the Philippines that is meant to showcase contemporary, independent Philippine cinema, as well as to give opportunities for new filmmakers and artists, as well as for veteran filmmakers to show their stuff in the indie setting. Continue reading