FDCP sends off six Filipino films to New York Asian Film Festival

In celebration of the lineup of six (6) Filipino genre films to be featured in this year’s New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF), the Film Development Council of the Philippines held a Send-Off Press Conference for Filipino delegates last July 10, 2018 at Cocoon Hotel, Quezon City.

BuyBust directed by Erik Matti, Neomanila directed by Mikhail Red, On the Job directed by Erik Matti, Respeto directed by Treb Monteras, Sid & Aya (Not a Love Story) directed by Irene Villamor, and We Will Not Die Tonight by director Richard Somes were all represented during the Send-Off Press Con. Over the years, the finest cinematic works from the Philippines have been engaged and featured in NYAFF to connect with the Western audience to introduce our stories and visual works.

“With these incredible genre films that we have from our country, the Philippines could really be a hub of genre filmmaking. We are very proud that through NYAFF, they have found a platform so they may be accessed by North American audience, including our Filipino diaspora. FDCP has assisted our delegates through our International Film Festival Assistance Program (IFFAP) and we look forward to them connecting with international counterparts for future projects and collaborations. We wish them the best of luck,” said FDCP Chairperson and CEO Liza Diño.

IFFAP was granted to Filipino delegates, including Gawad Urian Best Actor, Abra of Respeto, producer Dondon Monteverde and directors Treb Monteras and Erik Matti. Director Richard Somes was also present at the opening of the Festival for the world premiere of his film, “We Will Not Die Tonight.” The same film was also announced as one of the official entries for this year’s Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino.

The 17th New York Asian Film Festival in New York City, USA runs until July 15, 2018.

• BuyBust (World Premiere)

Year released: 2018
Director: Erik Matti
Starring: Anne Curtis, Brandon Vera

Premise:

“Rookie police officer Nina Manigan (Anne Curtis) joins an anti-narcotic elite squad, whose mission is to conduct a buy-bust operation in the slums of Manila.”

• Neomanila (New York Premiere)

Year Released: 2017
Director: Mikhail Red
Starring: Eula Valdes, Timothy Castillo, Rocky Salumbides, Jess Mendoza
Accolades Received:

Winner of Gawad Urian Awards 2018 – Best Cinematography (Mycko David)
Winner of QCinema International Film Festival 2017 Audience Choice Award – Circle Competition (Mikhail Red)
Winner of QCinema International Film Festival 2017 Pylon Award – Best Artistic Achievement (Mycko David)
Winner of The Eddys Awards 2018 – Best Director

Synopsis:

“Toto, a teenage orphan, is recruited by a notorious death squad. Irma, the groups leader, soon becomes a maternal figure to the young boy. As the two form a familial bond, their loyalties will be put to the test when one of their targets turns out to be a familiar face.”

• On the Job

Year Released: 2013
Director: Erik Matti
Starring: Piolo Pascual, Gerald Anderson, Joel Torre, Joey Marquez, Michael de Mesa, Leo Martinez, Angel Aquino, Shaina Magdayao, Vivian Velez
Accolades Received:

Winner of FAMAS Awards 2014 – Best Picture
Winner of FAMAS Awards 2014 – Best Director (Erik Matti)
Winner of FAMAS Awards 2014 – Best Screenplay (Erik Matti, Michiko Yamamoto)
Winner of FAMAS Awards 2014 – Best Editing (Jay Halili)
Winner of FAMAS Awards 2014 – Best Story (Michiko Yamamoto, Erik Matti)
Winner of FAMAS Awards 2014 – Best Sound (Corinne De San Jose)
Winner of Gawad Urian Awards 2014 – Best Actor (Joel Torre)
Winner of Gawad Urian Awards 2014 – Best Sound (Corinne De San Jose)
Winner of Golden Screen Awards, Philippines 2014 – Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role (Drama) (Joel Torre)
Winner of Golden Screen Awards, Philippines 2014 – Best Original Story (Erik Matti)
Winner of Golden Screen Awards, Philippines 2014 – Best Visual/Special Effects (Dave Yu, Miguel Javier)
Winner of Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival 2013 – Best Actor (Joel Torre)
Winner of Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival 2013 – Jury’s Choice Award (Feature Film) (Erik Matti)
Winner of Star Awards for Movies 2014 – Movie of the Year
Winner of Star Awards for Movies 2014 – Movie Director of the Year (Erik Matti)
Winner of Star Awards for Movies 2014 – Movie Cinematographer of the Year (Dix Buhay)
Winner of Star Awards for Movies 2014 – Movie Editor of the Year (Jay Halili)
Winner of Star Awards for Movies 2014 – Movie Sound Engineer of the Year (Corinne De San Jose)
Winner of Star Awards for Movies 2014 – Movie Screenwriter of the Year (Erik Matti, Michiko Yamamoto)
Winner of Star Awards for Movies 2014 – Movie Supporting Actor of the Year (Joey Marquez)

Synopsis: “On the Job is a Filipino crime thriller inspired by a real-life scandal in which prison inmates are temporarily released from prison to work as contract killers on behalf of politicians and high ranking military officials.”

• Respeto (North American Premiere)

Year Released: 2017
Director: Treb Monteras II
Starring: Abra (Raymond Abracosa), Loonie (Marlon Peroramas), Dido de la Paz, Chai Fonacier
Accolades Received:

Winner of FAMAS Awards 2018 – Grand Jury Prize, Best Picture (Treb Monteras II)
Winner of FAMAS Awards 2018 – Best Musical Score (Jay Durias)
Winner of Gawad Urian Awards 2018 – Best Actor (Abra)
Winner of Gawad Urian Awards 2018 – Best Supporting Actor (Dido de la Paz)
Winner of Gawad Urian Awards 2018 – Best Editing (Lawrence Ang)
Winner of Gawad Urian Awards 2018 – Best Sound (Corrine De San Jose)
Winner of Cyprus Film Days International Festival 2018 – Glocal Images, Audience Award (Treb Monteras II) (Feature Film), (Arkeofilms) (Production)
Winner of Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival 2017 – Audience Award, Main Competition (Treb Monteras II)
Winner of Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival 2017 – Balanghai Trophy, Best Film (Treb Monteras II)
Winner of Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival 2017 – Balanghai Trophy, Best Sound (Corrine De San Jose)
Winner of Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival 2017 – Balanghai Trophy, Best Editing (Lawrence Ang)
Winner of Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival 2017 – Balanghai Trophy, Best Cinematography (Ike Avellana) (Tied with TM Malones for ‘Baconaua’)
Winner of Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival 2017 – Balanghai Trophy, Best Supporting Actor (Dido de la Paz)
Winner at The Eddys Awards 2018 – Best Film , Best Supporting Actor (Dido de La Paz), Best Supporting Actress (Chai Fonacier),Best Musical Score, Best Sound Design, Best Original Themesong

Premise: “A poor aspiring rapper befriends an older poet after vandalizing his bookstore.”

• Sid & Aya (Not a Love Story) (New York Premiere)

Year Released: 2018
Director: Irene Villamor
Starring: Anne Curtis, Dingdong Dantes

Premise: “Sid & Aya (Not a Love Story) follows Sid who suffers from insomnia and meets Aya who he hires to accompany him in his sleepless nights.”

• We Will Not Die Tonight (World Premiere)

Year Released: 2018
Director: Richard Somes
Starring: Erich Gonzales, Alex Medina, Thou Reyes, Nico Dans, Max Eigenmann, Paolo Paraiso

Synopsis: “Kray (Erich Gonzales) is a stuntwoman, an aspiring actress, and all-around racketeer who can’t seem to get a break. A botched deal gone into a total haywire will challenge her principles and her skillset.

FDCP calls for finished films for Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino 2018

After the success of last year’s edition of Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino (PPP), the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) will once again be hosting its second year on August 15-21, 2018.

In partnership with all the theaters in the country, PPP will be selecting eight (8) films to have their Philippine premiere during the event. “PPP was so well-received by our audience last year and we believe that this industry event is worth doing again this year. We are very proud that Filipinos came together to support our own and enjoy our amazing slate of quality genre films,” said FDCP Chairperson and CEO Liza Dino during a meeting with the producers last April 4, 2018 at Salu Restaurant in Quezon City.

“Everybody is looking forward to PPP 2018 and we are working hard to make it even more successful,” she added. PPP will also be an opportunity for producers to enhance their experience and learn more about the ins and outs of the industry, from marketing, to booking, and distributing their films.”

PPP 2018 is open to all Filipino producers with finished films who may submit more than one (1) entry with the following criteria:

  1. The film should have themes reflective of the Filipino sensibilities culture with wide audience appeal.
  2. The film should have been produced from 2017-2018.
  3. The film must have its Philippine premiere during the Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino and must not have been previously shown in any format in the country. Films which premiered internationally are eligible.
  4. The film should have a minimum of 75 minutes and a maximum of 180 minutes in length.
  5. The film must be submitted with English subtitles.
  6. The producer must have a distributor.
  7. The producer must have a marketing plan ready in the event of selection.

Applications open on April 20 with the deadline on June 15, 2018. For more information, visit www.fdcp.ph and Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino facebook page and other PPP social media accounts.

Student rates, discounts for Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino on Aug 16-22 nationwide

As if audiences need more reason to watch the films of the Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino (PPP), the Film Development Council of the Philippines has recently announced that cinemas nationwide will be offering student rates during the event, One Hundred Fifty Pesos (P 150) for students in Metro Manila, and One Hundred Pesos (P 100) for students in provinces outside Metro Manila. This is on top of more promos offered by the different circuits nationwide from August 16-22, 2017.

“We are very happy with the support of the cinemas in making our Filipino films for PPP much more accessible to the public, especially to the youth,” said Liza Diño, FDCP Chairperson and CEO. “Each film in Pista offers a different perspective on the different aspects of life and communicates these messages artfully and creatively through film. We believe that students and our youth would greatly benefit from watching these movies which are more than entertaining, but to an extent educational,” she added.

In addition to the student rates, cinemas nationwide will be offering a 4+1 promo–buy four tickets and get one for free.

These local films will be shown in all theaters nationwide from August 16-22.

  1. 100 Tula para kay Stella by Jason Paul Laxamana
  2. Ang Manananggal sa Unit 23B by Prime Cruz
  3. AWOL by Enzo Williams
  4. Bar Boys by Kip Oebanda
  5. Birdshot by Mikhail Red
  6. Hamog by Ralston Jover
  7. Paglipay by Zig Dulay
  8. Patay Na si Hesus by Victor Villanueva
  9. Pauwi Na by Paolo Villaluna
  10. Salvage by Sherad Anthony Sanchez
  11. Star Na si Van Damme Stallone by Randolph Longjas
  12. Triptiko by Miguel Franco Michelena​

PPP is a partnership between FDCP and all cinema chains in the Philippines.

2016 Cinemalaya Best Picture ‘Pamilya Ordinaryo’ runs July 7-13 via Cine Lokal

‘Pamilya Ordinaryo,’ the most-awarded film of 2016 is going to have another run at eight (8) SM Cinemas this July 7-13 via FDCP’s Cine Lokal. Ticket at only 120 PHP.

Eduardo Roy Jr.’s third film stars Hasmine Killip (as Jane) and Ronwaldo Martin (as Aries), who play a couple of street-dwelling petty thieves. These two teenagers are parents to Baby Arjan, who is kidnapped by a gay-scheming-moneylender named Eartha. This is where the couple’s already complicated life turns for the worst.

Award-winning director and writer Eduardo Roy Jr. specifically targeted the millennial audience and wants them to gaze more closely at how some of their peers are living extra-challenging lives. Yes, the movie features foul-language and even quickie sex but it was approved without cuts by MTRCB with an R-16 Rating.

The film’s entertainment value can be found in its tongue-in-cheek comedic moments which is consistent with its satiric intent. The use of CCTV camera as a plot device gives the viewers a chance to be “voyeurs” ala Big Brother.

Some of Philippine Cinema’s most notable filmmakers has only glowing praise for Roy’s latest film:

“One of my favorites from 2016!” – DAN VILLEGAS (Director of Luck at First Sight, Ilawod and How to be Yours)

“Nothing ordinary, nothing is sugar-coated. It’s just as real as it gets and that the more you think about it, the better it gets.”– LEM LORCA (Director of Ned’s Project, Water Lemon and IntoySyokoy ng Kalye Marino)

“INTENSE! GRIPPING! Director Eduardo Roy Jr. at his best! Ramdammongtumatakbo ka rinkasamasina Jane at Aries.” – RAHYAN CARLOS (Film/TV Director, Head of Star Magic Artist Training, Director of Indie Film Ringgo: The Dogshooter)

Rappler columnist and film blogger Oggs Cruz describes the film as follows: “The film is most poignant when it puts its characters in situations where they are forced to act not out of nature, but out of shame, sorrow, or sheer hopelessness, all of which are traits and qualities that separate them from the animals that society has relegated them to be.”

The film has since garnered awards from some of the most prestigious film festivals abroad including Audience Choice at 13th Venice Days; Best Director and Best Actress at the 47th Hanoi International Film festival in Vietnam; Student Jury Prize at the 17th TOKYO FILMeX in Japan, and the latest one — Best Actress and Best Actor at the 12th Harlem International Film Festival held last May 4-7 at New York, USA.

Pamilya Ordinaryo will have 4 screenings schedules : 1PM, 3:30PM, 6PM and 8:30PM at the following SM Cinemas: Mall of Asia, Fairview, Megamall, North EDSA, Southmall, Bacoor, Iloilo and Cebu.

PH cinemas to screen only Filipino films via ‘Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino’ on Aug 16-22

In honor of the Buwan ng Wika, the Film Development Council of the Philippines is partnering with commercial theaters to exclusively screen Filipino films nationwide on August 16-22, 2017 dubbed as Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino.

“Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino will be a big celebration of Filipino films for our audience – a festivity with a wide variety of genre films to choose from nationwide,” said FDCP Chair and CEO Liza Diño. “We are grateful for the support and partnership of the National Cinema Association of the Philippines and SM Lifestyle Entertainment have graciously dedicated over seven hundred (700) of their screens for the Pista. This really is an incredible opportunity for our Filipino audience to reconnect with meaningful Filipino films that move and appeal to them in an exclusive platform,” she added.

The event is open to all Filipino filmmakers who may submit films on or before June 15, 2017. Ten (10) to twelve (12) films will be selected by a Selection Committee headed by the FDCP with genres ranging from family-oriented, to romantic comedy, horror, fantasy, and even historical films that emulate Filipino sensibilities and culture. Each film will be screened at a minimum of sixty (60) theaters.

In addition to the screenings, Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino will include caravans, audience surveys and forums to maximize the participation of film stakeholders, especially for the audience.

For more information, filmmakers may email FDCP at chairliza@fdcp.ph.

FDCP, SM Cinema to screen indie films year-round via Cine Lokal

Strengthening its commitment to support Philippine cinema, the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) and SM Cinema launch Cine Lokal—a new cinema line that will house independent, award-winning films and FDCP programs in the following SM Cinema branches across the country starting April 2017:

SM Megamall • SM North EDSA • SM Fairview • SM Mall of Asia • SM Bacoor • SM Southmall • SM Cebu • SM Iloilo

FDCP Chairperson and CEO Liza Dino and SM Lifestyle Entertainment, Inc. (SMLEI) President Edgar Tejerero will formalize the partnership as they sign the three-year contract at Cerchio Restaurant, Tomas Morato on March 24, 2017.

“Cine Lokal’s goal is two-fold: to provide independent filmmakers with a commercial venue for their films, thereby strengthening their experience and training on film marketing and distribution, and to create a culture of support and viewership among Filipinos nationwide. Independent films mirror our society’s milieu in the most meaningful and affective of ways and we are grateful to SM Cinema for this great opportunity for us to bring more choices of these films closer to our people,” said Chairperson Dino.

The list of cinemas above are the locations of the eight dedicated cinemas to show FDCP-curated films throughout the duration of the partnership. To ensure the success of its newest venture, SM Cinema and FDCP have committed to work together from booking, licensing, up to the marketing of the films to be shown in Cine Lokal branches.

“Cine Lokal affirms our support for the Philippine film industry which includes our independent film producers. With the help of FDCP, we have an opportunity to expand our content and invite a new set of audience. Cine Lokal brings SM Cinema closer to its goal of becoming not only the largest, but the most diverse film exhibitor in the country,” Tejerero said.

Movie lovers and independent film enthusiasts alike can expect an exciting roster of award-winning, independent films at Cine Lokal starting April 2017.

FDCP, Instituto Cervantes present free screenings of Espacio Femenino film series

In celebration of the International Women’s Month, the Film Development Council of the Philippines is partnering with Instituto Cervantes for the screening of women-themed Spanish films from March 4-25, 2017 at the FDCP Cinematheque Manila, Ermita, Manila.

Dubbed as Espacio Femenino (Women Space), the film series will feature four (4) documentaries directed by female Spanish directors which highlights the role of women as drivers of political and social change.

“We are in full support of Instituto Cervantes for this continuing film series made by women and for women. We hope that through this, our own Filipino women audience here will be inspired and encouraged to not just celebrate their femininity but also use it to affect positive change in our society,” said FDCP Chair Liza Diño regarding the program.

Espacio Femenino films will be screened in the FDCP Cinematheque on the following dates:

  • March 4 (6pm) – Las Constituyentes by Oliva Acosta
  • March 11 (6pm) – Excluidas del Paraiso by Esther Perez de Eulate
  • March 18 (6pm) – La Fiesta de Otros by Ana Serret Ituarte
  • March 25 (6pm) – El Lugar de Fresas by Maite Vitoria Daneris

For more information, visit the FDCP Facebook page or email cinematheque@fdcp.ph.

espacio-femenino

GUIDE: Moviemov: Italian Film Festival 2016

The 4th Moviemov: Italian Film Festival will run from November 12 to 16 at the Cinematheque Centre Manila. Admission is free on a first-come, first-served basis. Films will be screened with English subtitles.

Featured Films

The vibrant and diverse lineup of Italian films were produced in 2015 and 2016. This year’s festival includes the following:

  1. Perfetti sconosciuti (Perfect Strangers) by Paolo Genovese
  2. Fiore by Claudio Giovannesi
  3. Veloce come il vento (Italian Race) by Matteo Rovere
  4. Vangelo by Pippo Delbono
  5. La ragazza del mondo (Wordly Girl) by Marco Danieli
  6. Indivisibili (Indivisible) by Edoardo De Angelis
  7. Piuma by Roan Johnson
  8. Lo chiamavano Jeeg Robot (They Call Me Jeeg) by Gabriele Mainetti
  9. 2 Night by Ivan Silvestrini
  10. Un bacio (One Kiss) by Ivan Cotroneo

Opening Night

The Italian directors, cast, and crew of the films will grace the Red Carpet Opening Night at the Cinematheque for the special screening of Perfetti sconosciuti (Perfect Strangers) by Paolo Genovese. Joining them are Italian Senator Goffredo Bettini, a film advocate who is the founder and artistic director of the Moviemov Italian Film Festival. The opening night is strictly invitational.

Q&A Sessions at the Screenings

Some of the filmmakers will also be offering question-and-answer sessions for the film audiences at the screenings, among other events that will thrill local cineastes at the festival.

Screening Schedule

moviemov-2016-manila-schedule

The travelling Italian Film Festival “Moviemov: Italian Cinema Now” makes a home this year with the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) at the FDCP Cinematheque Centre Manila, following its string of successful editions in 2011, 2012, and 2014. Moviemov is organized by Playtown Roma and supported by the General Direction for Cinema of the Italian Ministry of Heritage and Culture, Italian Trade Agency in Rome and the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Rome, in collaboration with the Embassy of Italy in the Philippines and the FDCP.

The festival pays tribute to contemporary Italian cinema by travelling Asia, especially the Philippines, and screening the various works of art created by Italy’s impressive crop of talent. Moviemov makes a first in its run in our country by partnering with the FDCP and showing its films exclusively at the Cinematheque Manila this 2016.

The festival is also supported by San Miguel Corporation, Gourmet Farms, Rustan’s, Philippine Italian Association, Augustea Ship Manning, Elburg Shipmanagement, Rina Academy, Fila, Trevi Foundations, L’Opera, Caruso, Cibo di M, and Ralph’s Wines.

Cinematheque Centre Manila holds free screenings of Spanish thrillers

Instituto Cervantes and the Embassy of Spain, in cooperation with the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), present the film cycle “Spanish Thrillers”, a series of Spanish movies to be shown every Saturday in June at the FDCP Cinematheque.

With the arrival of the Democracy to Spain in 1976, these thrillers reflect a fresh outlook brought about by a new generation of filmmakers. Thanks to their intriguing storyline, out-of-the-box concepts combined with clever acting and direction as well as a perfect execution, Spanish thrillers have won popularity worldwide. This film cycle is an opportunity to enjoy four gems of a genre that is booming in Spanish cinema.

June 4 (Saturday) • 4:00 PM

The film series will kick-off on Saturday, 4 June at 4 p.m. with “Tesis” (Thesis), a disturbing thriller about the depiction of violence by the media. Angela is a university student who is preparing a thesis on media violence. To complement her work, her adviser agrees to search the reserved area of the university library for material, but the next day he is found dead. Angela meets Chema, a fellow student and expert of gore and porn films, and Bosco, a strange boy and close friend of a young woman who was murdered in a snuff movie. Released in 1996, the opera prima of Spanish filmmaker Alejandro Amenábar garnered seven Goya Awards (Best Film and Best Script among them), and has become over the years a classic of the genre.

June 11 (Saturday) • 4:00 PM

Enrique Urbizu’s “La caja 507” (Box 507) will be the second installment of this film cycle. The movie, to be shown on June 11, at 4 p.m., is a gripping thriller with a social message, as well as a prime example of the film quality Spain is known for.

Modesto, an honest and responsible professional, is a manager of a small bank branch in the Costa del Sol. His daughter dies in a forest fire that is believed to be accidental. One day due to a robbery that takes place in the bank several safety-deposit boxes are pried open. Modesto mistakenly looks into one of the deposit boxes and stumbles across documents that prove that his daughter’s death was not an accident. From that day on, he sets on a personal crusade for justice. A movie that is well-directed and acted, La caja 507 won several awards both in Spain and abroad, and enjoyed a very successful career at film festivals around the world.

June 18 (Saturday) • 4:00 PM

Also directed by Enrique Urbizu, who has become a master of the genre, is “No habrá paz para los malvados” (No Rest for the Wicked). This film will be shown on Saturday, 18 June, at 4 p.m. The film, produced in 2011, tells the story of Santos Trinidad (played by José Coronado), a cop with an outstanding record but was relegated after an obscure incident that ruined his career and turned him into an alcoholic and angry loner. One night Santos finds himself implicated in a triple homicide in an after-hours club. José Coronado’s monumental performance rewarded him several acting awards, as did Urbizu’s fine directing win him two Goyas as the Best Director and Best Screenplay.

June 25 (Saturday) • 4:00 PM

Directed by Jaume Balagueró in 2011, “Mientras duermes” (Sleep Tight) will close the film series on the 25th of June at 4 p.m. César works as a doorman in an apartment building in Barcelona. He goes about his day to day work mainly unnoticed by the residents of the building yet he pays close attention to them. He knows all the intimate details of their lives, everything about them and one in particular –Clara, a happy-go-lucky young woman, who always looks on the positive side of things, and whose cheery attitude to life makes Cesar’ skin crawl. In Clara he has found the perfect target, and he will go to extreme lengths to make her life miserable. An artistic and commercial success, Mientras duermes enjoyed quite a success in film festivals worldwide, receiving more than 30 awards and nominations.

All films will be shown in original version in Spanish with English subtitles. The screenings will take place at the Cinematheque of FDCP, at 855 T. M. Kalaw Street, Ermita, Manila. Time: 4 p.m. ADMISSION is FREE on a first-come, first-served basis. For further information please log on to Instituto Cervantes’ website www.manila.cervantes.es, or call 526-1482.

GUIDE: Cinematheque Centre Manila in May 2016

In honor of National Heritage Month this May, the Cinematheque Centre Manila, in partnership with the National Film Archives of the Philippines (NFAP), will screen classic Filipino films that are widely considered to be some of the best that Philippine cinema has to offer.  The films in this month’s line-up are milestones that have had a significant impact on the development of cinema in the Philippines.

All films are for free admission, with the exception of Lav Diaz’s Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis at PHP200.

May was declared to be National Heritage Month in 2003, wherein the government calls attention to the need to conserve, promote, and popularize the nation’s historical cultural heritage.  The proclamation was made to address the need “to create in the people a consciousness, respect and love for the legacies of Filipino cultural history and to raise material support for the protection of tangible and intangible heritage.”

As such, the roster of films is comprised of works from the country’s National Artists for Film, including legendary directors Gerardo de Leon, Lamberto Avellana, Manuel Conde, Lino Brocka, Ishmael Bernal, and Eddie Romero, as well as the famous action-star Fernando “Da King” Poe, Jr (or “FPJ”), and the “King of Comedy” Rodolfo Vera Quizon, Sr., popularly known as Dolphy.  It also includes monumental works from some of the most revered and established Filipino directors, including Kidlat Tahimik, Mike de Leon, and Chito S. Roño.

In addition to these classics, Lav Diaz’s latest film Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis is to have extended screenings for the entire month of May to further celebrate National Heritage Month, as the award-winning film is truly a tribute to our nation’s history and culture, mixing fact with fiction.  The film features Philippine national heroes and historical figures with the country’s known literary characters from the novels of National Hero Jose Rizal as well as Filipino folklore in its revolution-era narrative.

The first of the restored heritage classics screening in May is A Portrait of the Artist as Filipino by Lamberto Avellana is a rare Filipino classic based on National Artist for Literature Nick Joaquin’s famous play written in 1952, telling the struggles of two sisters and their reclusive father as World War II looms in the Great Walled City of Intramuros that they call home.

One of the first epic Filipino classics, Manuel Conde’s Genghis Khan, restored in 2012, was lauded as a technical achievement using innovative cinematography and set design to bring his compelling vision of the great conqueror to life.

Also restored in 2012, Lino Brocka’s celebrated Maynila Sa Mga Kukong Liwanag (Manila in the Claws of Light) will also be featured this May. Perhaps responsible for setting the trend for social realist films in Philippine cinema, Maynila film follows the journey of an innocent young fisherman to Manila in search for his love, depicting a city that has been broken by the tyranny of dictatorship.

Alongside Genghis Khan and Portrait, Avellana’s Anak Dalita (Child of Sorrow) joins them as one of the timeless classics from the Golden Age of Philippine Cinema from the 1950s to late 1960s. The film follows a young soldier returning home from abroad to discover his mother living in poverty after World War II who must make amends with his new realities at home.  Gerardo de Leon’s Mad Doctor of Blood Islandwas produced as the first Golden Age slowed down, but not without a bang. His American-produced horror film shocked audiences at drive-in theaters in California with the story of a doctor who creates zombies on a far-away island.

Lino Brocka’s Cain at Abel (Cain and Abel) and Kidlat Tahimik’s Mababangong Bangungot (Perfumed Nightmare) were made during the Second Golden Age, between the 1970s and 1980s.  Cain at Abel retells the biblical story of the two brothers in modern Filipino society, delving into how a corrupt system of justice creates barriers and leads to bloodshed.  Tahimik’s nostalgic perspective takes the center stage in Mababangong Bangungot as he weaves together a nonlinear, earnest story about a NASA-obsessed jeepney driver finding his way home.

FPJ rose to fame in the 80s and 90s with Eddie Romero’s unforgettable film Aguila, where Poe Jr. plays a missing father whose violence-marred life parallels the history of the Philippines across eight decades.  FJP dabbles into romance in Kahit Konting Pagtingin (Even Just a Glance) with Sharon Cuneta famously playing his love interest.

Though known mostly for their social realist cinema, Lino Brocka and Ishmael Bernal both ventured into comedy.  Brocka’s Ang Tatay Kong Nanay, starring the great comedian Dolphy, follows a Dioscoro, a gay hairdresser who suddenly becomes a parent when an infant is left to his care and attempts to hide his true identity from his son. Bernal’s Working Girls was depicts a group of young upcoming business women who use their wit and cunning to achieve their goals and get into several misadventures along the way.

Chito S. Roño’s Dekada 70 completes the May classics line-up.  Based on the acclaimed novel by Lualhati Bautista, the film follows the political awakening of a mother as her sons take up various forms of activism in the midst of dictatorship.

National Heritage Month highlights the outreach aspect of the mission of the Cinematheque Centre Manila and the National Film Archives of the Philippines: to encourage the appreciation and understanding of filmic art and Filipino culture by making accessible the nation’s rich cinematic heritage to the wider public.

Visit www.fdcp.ph and Cinematheque Manila social media pages for screening schedules and updates.

National Heritage Month poster