Aug 19
NATIONAL FILM MUSEUM by webmaster  |  Posted in Articles  |  on Fri, Aug 19, 2005

A national film museum will be opened to the public at 6 p.m. tonight (August 19) more than 108 years after the birth of cinema in the Philippines.

Called the Pambansang Museo ng Pelikula, it will be housed at the Mowelfund building at Mowelfund Plaza on 66 Rosario Drive, Cubao, Quezon City. As its printed invitation promises: Come and experience 100 years of Philippine cinema in one hour.

Ms. Boots Anson-Roa, Mowelfund executive director, explains that the museum is under the auspices of the Movie Workers’ Welfare Foundation and its education arm, the Mowelfund Film Institute.

The PMP is the country’s one-of-a-kind museum that puts on display a wide array of film and film-related artifacts, Ms. Anson-Roa said. She added that being educational and at the same time entertaining, the museum is envisioned for the enrichment and cultural appreciation of students, teachers and the general public.

A trip to the museum entitles visitors to view the exhibit, watch films and possibly participate in training seminars on basic film techniques.

Consider the interesting artifacts that the museum provides:

–Rare 100-year-old film footages showing the US military occupation of the Philippines.

–A copy of Zamboanga , the country’s oldest surviving pre-World War II feature film.

–A photo exhibit of movie stars from yesteryears, from the first superstar Atang de la Rama up to Nora Aunor, including life-sized photo reproductions of movie stars, from Carmen Rosales to Sharon Cuneta.

–Old fan magazines and movie posters.

–Manuscripts of outstanding film scripts.

–Film award trophies, plaques and medals.

–Replicas of movie superheroes, from Darna to Lastikman.

–A unique collection of independent cinema equipment and artifacts.

Ms. Anson-Roa said that a part of the tour includes the possibility of watching a movie or a set of short films in the Tama ng Cinema venue. After its screening, she said that a visual literary discussion will be conducted.

The Mowelfund executive director further explained that students and other museum visitors will have a chance to learn a thing or two about filmmaking in training lectures or seminars.

The PNP covers 108 years of Philippine film history, starting with the introduction of motion pictures in the country on January 1, 1897 through the filming of Senor Pertierra’s documenatary Espectaculo Cientifico de Pertierra by way of the Gaumont Chronophotograph.

The museum exhibit also traces the developments in the two decades after 1897 when visiting filmmakers and cinematographers passed on the new technology to local craftsmen via travelogues, documentaires, newsreels and even propaganda materials. A notable material was Thomas Alva Edison’s Route of the Filipinos after the conquest of the Spanish fleet in Manila Bay by the forces of Commodore George Dewey.

The exhibit also focuses on developments in 1912 when the first full-length feature film was produced in the country by a triumvirate of American filmmakers Brown, Martin and Gross, based on the life of our national hero, La Vida de Dr. Jose Rizal.

The museum also focuses on the fifties, regarded as the first golden age of Philippine cinema when great Filipino directors Gerry de Leon, Lamberto Avellana and Manuel Conde made films for the Big Four—Sampaguita Pictures, LVN Pictures, Premier Productions and Lebran Films.

A second golden age in the 70s and 80s is also featured in the museum exhibit, with the ascension of directors Eddie Romero, Lino Brocka, Ishmael Bernal and actors Fernando Poe, Jr and Joseph Estrada, who was to become a president of the Philippines.

For more information, one can call Ms. Lorena Lee at 410-4567 or Ms. Paulina Candelaria at 727-1915 and 727-1961.