WHAT is happening to the visual memory bank of Filipinos?

Despite Filipino films being representations of Filipino culture and identity, they are not given the care and attention due them. This is what the Mowelfund Film Institute, together with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts Cinema Values Re-orientation Program (NCCA-CVRP), will try to counteract in this year’s Pelikula at Lipunan. Now on its 12th year, the festival will highlight the women of Philippine Cinema, spearheading the call to save the fast vanishing film heritage of our country.

According to Nick Deocampo, director of the Mowelfund Film Institute, there have been efforts in the past to save and preserve Filipino films, but this is the first time they have actually focused their attention in raising funds to create a film archive.

“I thought of this creative way of making the film festival raise the money and raise consciousness as well, in order to save these old movies,” Deocampo said. “We are now using elements of the film industry in order to highlight what the film industry is all about, and also slipping in, in a subliminal way, the saving of these old movies.”

Over 30 film classics, including some of the most celebrated films of movie queens in the last century: Hilda Koronel and Mona Lisa in Insiang (1976), Nora Aunor in Tatlong Taong Walang Diyos (1976), Gloria Romero in Dalagang Ilokana (1954), Rosa Rosal in Anak Dalita (1956), and Elizabeth Oropesa and Daria Ramirez in Nunal sa Tubig (1976)—comprise this year’s festival.

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Also, there will be seminars and exhibits that will discuss and display the many aspects of Philippine Cinema. There will be panels before film screenings that will discuss topics such as “Female Representation in Philippine Cinema” to enlighten viewers and film enthusiasts about the current state of our nation’s film industry.

Mowelfund is urging everyone to take part and support the call to save Filipino films by participating in the film screenings, as well as in the seminars and exhibits. The film festival will be from Feb. 24 to Mar. 19 at the Gateway Mall Cineplex in Araneta Center, Cubao. Anne Nerissa C. Alina

For inquiries and movie schedules, call 727-1915 or visit www.mfi.com.ph.

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