It seems like last month when I read an article in the website of Film Academy of the Philippines about a scriptwriting contest for Sine Panitik. It seems like last week when I saw photos of behind the scene happenings in the shooting of the film trilogy Tres. It seems like yesterday when I read that Tres was being booked for showing in school campuses throughout the country. It seems like yesterday, that FAP has decided to expand its Sine Panitik project.
Last April, 30, 2015, in front of the press and instructors from different colleges and universities in Metro Manila, with the presence of officers on the academy’s various support Guilds, a new chapter of Sine Panitik was opened…and I was a witness to it.
A chapter which carries a deeper mission was introduced. Its aim is not just to present quality animated movies to young scholars but to widen up the imagination and talents of future animators of this country. So before this new chapter was launched, FAP’s Director-General Leo Martinez shared the humble beginnings of this project.
The project defined as one-of-a-kind by its creators, Sine Panitik was launched to produce movies meant to be shown for students. It also aimed to adapt our literary masterpieces into films to help students have better understanding of the importance of our literary heritage.
Though this project lacks support from sectors of the local film industry, the Film Academy and the guilds under its umbrella supervision pushed it through on their own. With the help and support of other private and government agencies, FAP began their first Sine Panitik film project, Tres, and began shooting and promotions through the power of social media. With the support of other sectors involved in FAP, they have widened their capabilities in sharing the beauty of the Philippine culture through literature. The Tres trilogy is composed of Sandaang Damit, Tata Selo and Faith, Love and Dr. Lazaro. They may not have planned it to be shown in commercial cinemas, but the project had its successful campus booking in different schools around Metro Manila and in the provinces. Furthermore, FAP wants to share their masterpieces in provincial schools, since the main vision of this project is to produce films using our own literature meant for the students.
A year after its launching, another chapter of Sine Panitik was opened. That is the Mga Alamat Sa Animasyon, a collection of Philippine legends transformed into animations. As what FAP Director General Leo Martinez said, if TRES was meant for high school and colleges, Alamat sa Animasyon visualizes a creative storytelling of our own legends for the preschoolers and elementary students. Hence, this competition was launched.
As soon as FAP Director General Leo Martinez finished his speech, Alamat sa Animasyon’s project director Mr. Icon de Jesus, a visual communication animator from University of the Philippines Diliman, presented the rules and guidelines for the contest. De Jesus presented that aside from the said exposure of animations to the elementary students, it also aims to present the talents and imagination of the interested students in the fields of animation. Though specified that it was for the exploration of the animation students in the country, De Jesus opened that even the non-animation students are encouraged to join. The legends to be done in this said contest were limited to the list of FAP, as researched by Miss Isabel Sebullen. Hence, the official story of each literature that will serve as their basis with be available in the website of FAP. De Leon also revealed that in creating their animations, students can freely use their imaginations, only limited to the legend’s story as provided and their chosen soundtrack to be used. He implied that the musical scoring of the animations of the students must be original and will be given exclusively by the Pilipino Musical Directors Association (PILMUDA). Series of seminars will also be conducted to guide the students while making their animations.
To see, Mga Alamat sa Animasyon may be an ordinary contest, but not. It was included that grants for the winners are possible, as well as exposing their finished products during the Quezon City Film Festival next year and be a part of the campus booking showing of this project for both elementary and high school students. FAP Director General Leo Martinez also added that aside for the plans to be shown in campuses and in festival, they also plan to use actors’ guild as voice talents for the winning animations.
The presentation of the new project of Sine Panitik, widened the interest of the press and the instructors during the conference. Some of them even asked if it’s possible for a non-animation student to join the contest. This, to which both person in charge answered it as yes, since one of their aims is to explore the talents if the Filipino students in the field of animation. Others even guaranteed the set deadline for the submission of the registration and the proposed product for their students to prepare it well. After the press conference, some teachers even approached me to give them a copy of the distributed leaflets for them to share to someone who is willing to join the contest.
For whatever purpose this project was created, it will and always be of the students and for the students. Aside from which, FAP Director General Leo Martinez said that even though this became a product of their own strength as guild, they believe that they were on the right track. In that track, there is the talent of our young filmmakers and animators, as well as the vision of promoting our own films and literature not just in schools or in festivals but also international just like FAP’s counterpart – OSCARS.
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