Sine Panitik: A Literary Film Library for Students will finally blast off the launching pad on July 5 with the signing of a memorandum of agreement between the Film Academy of the Philippines (FAP), the project proponent, and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).
The MOA will be signed by NCCA Executive Director Emelita V. Almosara (CESO IV) and FAP Director General Leo G. Martinez.
The NCCA has already committed P460,000 in support for the script-writing portion of the project. Initially, two or three feature-length films will be produced with the focus on short story masterpieces of Filipino authors writing in English and Pilipino. In effect, the films will be in the form of trilogies.
Meanwhile, the Academy has sought the help of Vice-President Jejomar Binay for PAGCOR (Philippine Gaming and Amusement Corporation) to provide the budget for the actual production of the Sine Panitik films.
The FAP has already submitted to the NCCA the possible groupings of short stories in the envisioned film trilogies. A scriptwriting contest will soon be announced for the adaptation of the short stories into screenplays. The winning scripts will be used in the production of the two or three films.
The FAP groupings of short stories are the following:
Group 1—How My Brother Leon Brought Home a Wife by Manuel Arguilla; Dead Stars by Paz Marquez Benitez; and My Father Goes to Court by Carlos Bulosan
Group 2—Children of the Ash-Covered Loam by NVM Gonzalez; The Mats by Francisco Arcellana; and Faith, Love, Time and Dr. Lazaro by Gregorio C. Brillantes
Group 3—Magnificence by Estrella Alfon; The Virgin by Kerima Polotan; and A Wilderness of Sweets by Gilda Cordero-Fernando
Group 4—Bangkang Papel ni Genoveva Edroza-Matute; Banyaga ni Liwayway A. Arceo; and Sandaang Damit ni Fanny A. Garcia
Group 5—Lugmok na ang Nayon ni Edgardo M. Reyes; Tata Selo ni Rogelio Sicat; and Utos ng Hari ni Jun Cruz Reyes
The FAP and the NCCA will coordinate with other government agencies specially to ensure that students will have access to view the Sine Panitik films, including the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) which runs the annual Metro Manila Film Festival and the Department of Education (DepEd).
Another partner agency shall be tapped to provide the budget for the actual production of the literary works into films.
For a better understanding of Sine Panitik, let us reprint the Project Background portion of the Project Proposal the FAP submitted to the NCCA:
“In current film projects, little energy is given to the development of Filipino literature into visual materials that could augment the education of our students in our Filipino authors and our indigenous literary works.
Sine Panitik was conceived to answer this need. It is a film project that is intended to showcase published literary works by Filipino authors— alamat, children’s stories, poetry, short stories, novels, plays—literature that are being taught in our elementary, high school and college levels.
In this project, selected Filipino literary works will be interpreted visually in digital format as full-length feature and short films, by selected film-makers.
The finished films will be shown in scheduled exhibitions in theatres in Metro Manila, initially as the entries in the 2012 MMFF Indie Component. Eventually, the materials will also be shown in other key cities in selected provinces with students as the primary targeted viewers at popular prices (P50). In areas without theatres, mobile exhibitions may also be arranged in coordination with local schools and organizations. Ultimately, the finished films will also be reproduced in DVDs to be distributed extensively at popular prices to schools, libraries, to educators, students, to embassies and consulates, and to the general public.”
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