Now on its 13th year, the International Silent Film Festival in Manila runs over the weekend of August 30 to September 1 at the Samsung Hall of SM Aura Premier. Admission to all screenings is free and open to the public on a first come, first served basis.
Who says silent films are boring? Certainly not the loyal audiences who, year after year since 2007, join the International Silent Film Festival (ISFF) to witness an exceptional array of curated silent films, made fresh with original scores performed live. First of its kind in Asia, the ISFF prides itself in being a venue for eclectic musicians to infuse their art into forgotten classics, adding new gradients to black and white films, their flavor to spark new interest in the younger set.
Once again, the Film Development Council of the Philippines, the Japan Foundation Manila, the Instituto Cervantes, the Philippine-Italian Association, the Goethe-Institut Philippinen and the Embassy of Austria bring you a one of kind, quirky experience that won’t disappoint.
On its 13th edition, the ISFF joins the Philippines in celebrating its first centenary in Cinema, a milestone in South East Asia: Professor Nick Deocampo, author and film historian, will share his extensive knowledge in Asian film making during his lecture on August 31, at 1 PM.
The Film Development Council of the Philippines proudly opens the Festival on Friday, August 30th at 8:30 pm presenting a 37-minute documentary about the Kalingas, directed by Dean C. Worcester in 1913, selected by Teddy Co who chairs the film commission of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCAA). The film will be live scored by local indie band, Munimuni.
On Saturday, August 31st, at 3:00 PM, the Japan Foundation, Manila will present The Downfall of Osen (1935) by Kenji Mizoguchi, a story about a beautiful servant girl, Osen, used by her unscrupulous employer, an antique dealer, to help his illegal business. A live musical performance by Kaduma ni Karol will accompany the film.
Still on August 31st at 5:30 PM, the Instituto Cervantes will present a comedy directed by Carlos Fernández Cuenca, Es Mi Hombre (He’s My Man – 1926). The film tells about Don Antonio who, beset by misfortune, must fend for himself and his daughter Leonor, until luck smiles upon him unexpectedly after a series of odd jobs. Tarsius, a Manila based duo, shall take on the live score for the film.
The Philippine-Italian Association capsthe August 31st offerings at 8:30 PM, presenting L’Onestà del Peccato (The Wife He Neglected – 1918), directed by Augusto Genia. The film revolves around the tragic character of Maria d’Alconte played by an intense Maria Jacobini. Her sacrifice restores order and justice in a world weighed by greed and arrogant intellectualism. A collaboration between Stef&No, a sax player and composer from Turin, together with the Pocket Orchestra will provide a fresh score for the film.
On Sunday, September 1st at 4:00 pm, the Goethe Institut will screen Von Morgen Bis Mitternachts (From Morn to Midnight-1920) directed by Karlheinz Martin. An adaptation from the Expressionist theater play by George Kaiser, the story centers on a bank teller who gives into temptation and steals from a rich old lady. The movie, which never saw the light of day in Germany, was thought to be lost. The live score will be played by Anima Tierra, a unique ensemble inspired by traditional world music.
At 7:30 PM, the Embassy of Austria will present Kalif Storch (1924), directed by Hans Berger. The film tells about the misadventures of Caliph Chasid of Bagdad and his Grand Vizier Mansor, after they buy magic powder from a wizard. Based on a fairytale by Wilhelm Hauff, the movie is one of the few remaining family-friendly flicks from the Austrian silent film era. Rock band Tanya Markova shall take on scoring duties for this year’s closing film.
The 13th International Silent Film Festival is made possible in partnership with SM Aura Premier, with the support of the Embassy of Italy, Cineteca Bologna, Embassy of Japan, Embassy of Spain, Filmoteca Española, Matsuda Film Productions, Globe, HearLife Foundation, Inc., Med El, Barista and Coffee Academy of Asia.