The Film Academy of the Philippines working committee for its Pelikulang Pampanitikan project has decided to produce a trilogy of short stories based on Filipino literary materials in the curriculum of the collegiate level as its pilot for the feature film category.
In a meeting on Friday, May 5, the committee opted to come up with a feature film based on three stories instead of a film based on a single novel or novelette. Those who attended the meeting were FAP Director General Leo Martinez, Deputy Director General Jesse Ejercito, Directors Jose N. Carreon and Felix Dalay, and Ms. Raquel Paz of the Actors’ Workshop Foundation.
Two other pilots will be simultaneously produced for the short film (10 to 15 minute running time) category which will be based on a literary material being taken by high school students; and the shorter film (three to eight minute running time) category which will be based on materials in the elementary level.
As proposed by the FAP, the feature film will have a budget of P2 million, half a million pesos for the short film and P200,000 for the shorter film.
CVRP Chairman Eddie Romero, National Artist for Film, endorsed the FAP project and the CVRP members decided to approve the production of one pilot each for the three categories.
Director General Martinez said that a short list of the short stories being taken by college, high school and elementary students is still being updated. The materials to be adapted for the trilogy will come from this list.
The committee will commission scriptwriters, specially those who are also literary writers in their own right, to adapt the stories in the short list.
Scriptwriters are encouraged to lump together three stories which can be interwoven with a single or common thematic motif.
This ambitious FAP project aims to build up a library of films based on literary Filipino masterpieces.
According to the project proposal of the FAP, Pelikulang Pampanitikan will showcase published literary works by Filipino authors – legends, children’s stories, poems, short stories, novels, plays – literature that are being taught in our elementary, high-school and college levels. These selected Filipino literary works will be interpreted visually in digital format as full-length feature and short films, by selected filmmakers who are also guild members affiliated with the Film Academy of the Philippines.
The finished films will be shown in scheduled exhibitions in theaters in Metro Manila and other key cities in selected provinces with students as the primary targeted viewers. In areas without theaters, mobile exhibitions may also be arranged in coordination with local schools and organizations. Ultimately, the finished films will also be reproduced in VCD to be distributed extensively at popular prices to schools, libraries, to educators, students, to embassies and consulates, and to the general public.
Pelikulang Pampanitikan is an education-directed project that hopes to generate better understanding of and a deeper appreciation for our Filipino literature and their writers. Through this project, we give due recognition to our own Filipino literature and their authors and writers, at the same time that we provide our schools with a video library of literature materials for the students.
Basically the project will take the form of a film grant to be awarded to groups of film workers interested in interpreting in digital format literary works included in a short list prepared by FAP with the assistance of the academe.
The films under the Pelikulang Pampanitikan program will be exhibited in regular theaters in Metro Manila and other key cities in the country. The Department of Education will be requested to provide schools the viewing schedules so teachers and students can be organized to view the films as aid to Literature/English subjects and courses. In areas where no theaters operate, mobile exhibitions may be schedule by the Project Organizers in coordination with the local schools or organizations.
The finished films will become the property of the Film Academy of the Philippines which will take responsibility in their exhibition and promotion. After the prescribed exhibition period, the films will be produced in VCD for sale to interested individuals and institutions.
In implementing the project, the FAP will formulate revenue-earning measures that will allow the academy to earn funds that can be used in the succeeding projects. These measures will include a percentage share in theater sales as well as income garnered from the sale of VCD copies.