I asked a naughty question that amused the members of the international panel.
I wondered aloud if the seasoned silent film enthusiasts behind the 15th Manila International Silent Film Festival (ISFFM) could regard the popular films, “A Quiet Place” 1 and 2, as silent films.
The lady at the British Embassy said she hadn’t heard of the two films, so sorry.
The Hollywood film “A Quiet Place 2” tells the story of a muted family in a village plagued by aliens allergic to sound. The film is one of two foreign films that officially opened theaters in the country on November 10 after the lockdown.
Anyway, my question was an icebreaker that made an otherwise serious discussion laugh about the history of silent films and why we are preserving their legacy.
The 15th Manila International Silent Film Festival will be held from November 24 to December 3 thanks to the efforts of the Japan Foundation Manila, the embassies of Italy and France, the Instituto Cervantes, the British Council, the Goethe-Institut and of the Film Development Council of the Philippines.
This year, the festival presents six classic silent films from France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain and the UK, as well as nine short films specially produced by the FDCP to represent the Philippines. All films will be accompanied by original musical scores by local musicians.
The program is broadcast via the FDCP channel.
The festival kicked off with an opening ceremony on November 24 at the newly renovated Metro Manila Theater. Screened was Orochi (Serpent), a 1925 live action film by Futagawa BuntarÅ scored by the Munimuni group.
Titles like Carceleras (JosÃ© Buchs, 1922), Pinocchio (Giulio Antamoro, 1911) and Dr. Wise on Influenza, 1919 are presented at the festival.
The round tables explore the themes: How to watch a silent film, Restoration and reinvention in film archives, History of silent cinema in the Philippines.
In the Philippines, none of our silent films exist today, film historian Nick de Ocampo said in a 2021 forum.
The loss of our silent films, including Jose Nepomuceno’s Dalagang Bukid, the very first Tagalog film (1919), inspired the creation of the first Mit Out Sound: International Silent Film Lab, says Liza DiÃ±o, President of the FDCP.
Its aim is to rekindle interest in silent cinema and enhance the expertise of Filipino filmmakers in creating unique and quality films.
Thanks to the Silent Film Lab, young filmmakers are supervised by local and international filmmakers in various film laboratories such as narration, music, sound, main photography, editing.
Nine participants received a production grant of 50,000 pesos each to produce their silent short films built around the theme âReinventing the past with the presentâ.
Ms Liza said silent film production will now be an annual FDCP project, moved as she was by the massive submission of silent film projects.
The films will now be previewed at the 15th ISFFM from December 1 to 3 on the FDCP channel.
The short films and their directors are:
âAng Tatlong Hambogâ by Sari Katharyn; âIng Tianakâ by EJ Gagui and Marienel Calma, âAlingasngas Ng Mga Kuligligâ by Vahn Leinard C. Pascual.
âAng Pagsuyo sa Paru-Paro ng Gabiâ by Racquel De Guzman Morilla, âDikitâ by Gabriela Serrano, âHa-Ha-Hambogâ by Kate Torralba and Jopie Sanchez, âI Need More Than Tofu and Other Vegetablesâ by Hector Barretto Calma, “Putol” (The Cup) by Nikolas Red, “Ang Pagdadalaga Ng Dalagang Bukid” by Jose Carlos Soliongco.
The winners will be announced on the last day of ISSFM2021.
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