The board of governors of the Film Academy of the Philippines formed a working committee composed of guild presidents to study the feasibility of producing pilots for its Pelikulang Pampanitikan project in its monthly meeting last July 24.
The working committee—which met for the first time last Tuesday, July 31—is composed of Director William Mayo, Actor/Director Robert Arevalo, Scriptwriter Pablo S. Gomez, Cinematographer Isagani Sioson, Director/Production Manager Joel Apuyan and Actor/Comedian Roberto ‘Amay Bisaya’ Reyes. Absent were Production Desgner Manny Morfe and Editor Jess Navarro.
The creation of the working committee was decided upon in view of the disapproval of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts to provide financing for the pilot projects of the Pelikulang Pamanitikan.
The working committee was therefore also tasked to study ways and means wherein financing for the pilots can be facilitated.
In its July 31 meeting, the committee opted to come up with a feature film trilogy based on three stories written by Filipina writers—namely, Kerima Polotan-Tuvera, Aida Rivera-Ford and Estrella Alfon.
The Screenwriters’ Guild of the Philippines headed by Pablo S. Gomez was assigned to prepare the first draft of the sequence treatments for the three short story materials.
As initially planned, each of the three proposed stories will have a P300,000 budget each. They will also be directed by three different directors.
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.