The Film Development Council of the Philippines has started setting up a nationwide network of cinematheques–independent cinema-houses built by the government in partnership with key cities–which will serve as alternative venues for the screening of Filipino classic films.
As of now, the Baguio cinematheque is fully operational, showing a steady line-up of films on a regular basis while facilities in Zamboanga and Davao and rented spaces in Marawi and Iloilo have been earmarked.
FDCP Chairman Briccio Santos explained that this program is in keeping with the council’s mandate to bring Filipino films to Filipinos though the envisioned cinematheques will also exhibit international art house releases and foreign films.
To augment this network, the FDCP is inviting the private sector and foreign cultural agencies to participate by becoming a member of the Philippine Cinematheque Partnership Program.
Under this program, commercial cinemahouses and cultural agencies shall be adopted as additional screening venues to expand the council’s reach to a wider, more diverse audiences.
Negotiations between FDCP and potential partner institutions—like Alliance Francaise, UP Diliman and Instituto Cervantes–are now being pursued.
Meanwhile, the 2012 Zamboanga International Film Festival was recently held from February 25 to 27 at the Mindpro Citimall in Zamboanga City under the auspices of the Sineng Pambansa program of FDCP and the city government led by Mayor Celso Lobregat.
Five films from Spain participated in the filmfest to provide the international element of the festival, as well as underscoring the Hispanic and Latin cultural heritage of Zamboanga and its people.
The films included: Tambien la Lluvia by Icar Bollain; La Mitad de Oscar by Manuel Martin Cuenca; 18 Comidas by Jorge Coira and Chico y Rita by Jorge Coira, all produced in 2010; and Yo Tambien by Antonio Naharro, produced in 2009.
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