Senator Imee Marcos called on the government to take steps soon to protect Filipino film reels, documentaries, and news materials with a proper archiving system.
During the Senate budget hearing for the Film Development Council of the Philippines on Tuesday, September 29, Marcos said that as early as today, materials related to the film industry should already be stored properly.
Marcos was speaking from experience.
During the regime of her father, the ousted dictator Ferdinand Marcos, the senator was the director general of the Experimental Cinema of the Philippines (ECP).
“Kung documentary ang habol natin, which I think chairwoman Liza [Diño] has identified as a real growth sector which doesn’t diminish the value overtime, importante na mag-umpisa na tayo ng archive, “ Marcos said.
(If we’re talking about documentaries, which I think chairwoman Liza has identified as a real growth sector which doesn’t diminish value overtime, it’s important we start early with the archive.)
“Nag-effort ako mag-archive kaya lang nawala na. Importante talaga archive sa ngayon ang tanging may archive lamang ay ang FPJ productions,” she said referring to the films of the late actor Fernando Poe Jr.
(I made the effort to archive [Filipino films] but it got lost. At this time, it’s really important that we have an archive because the only one that does archiving is FPJ productions.)
Among Marcos’ outputs at the helm of the ECP were producing the celebrated films Oro, Plata, Mata, directed by the late Peque Gallaga; and Himala, directed by the late National Artist Ishmael Bernal.
“Yung iba, walang respeto sa ating kasaysayan. So maybe at some point, at some future that we have more money, and there is less COVID, e talagang kinakailangan natin na magkaroon ng news, documentary, and film archives,” Marcos said
(Some people do not have respect for our history. So maybe at some point, at some future that we have more money, and there is less COVID, we really need to have news, documentary, and film archives.)
Marcos also asked if ABS-CBN was selling its news archives because it was very “valuable for future generations.”
Diño for her part said that FDCP had films that they planned to fix and store properly.
“Nasa budget po namin na hinihingi yung kahit man lang yung first phase ng ating Philippine Film Heritage building. This would seal and would really create a permanent house for the collections that we currently have,” Diño said.
(It’s in our budget request. We’re asking even for at least the first phase of the Philippine Film Heritage building. This would seal and really create a permanent house for the collections that we currently have.)
“We have 26,000 elements from film negatives to beta cams and other materials, and we do hope that we can sustain and maintain the quality of these materials na meron po tayo. Kasi we’re losing a film a day, baka more.”
Diño said that the FDCP was meeting with the Cultural Center of the Philippines, National Commission for Culture and the Arts, and other organizations, hoping to acquire more Filipino films to archive these.
She also said that a building in Intramuros has been donated to the FDCP for the archiving and storage of the materials they have, but that they needed to renovate it.
Marcos also advised Diño to approach two organizations – the Asian Film Archive and PATHE in France – to seek their help for the archiving project.
“Humingi na tayo ng tulong at kailangan natin eh,” Marcos said. (Let’s ask for their help. We need it.) – Rappler.com
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