The International Silent Film Festival (ISFF) Manila returns for its 15th edition as a hybrid event – a combination of live screenings and virtual presentations that will run from November 24 to December 3.
This year’s festival will feature six classic silent films from France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, and the United Kingdom, and nine short silent films produced by the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP)’s Mit Out Sound Silent Film Competition.
All participating entries in the festival will be accompanied by original music scores from local bands and musicians. They will also be available for streaming on the FDCP website.
Aside from the screening of silent films, the ISFF 2021 have also included three 70-minute pocket webinars. These sessions will be led by distinguished experts from the partner countries of ISFF as they discuss various topics on silent films.
Together with FDCP, this year’s ISFF is presented by Japan Foundation Manila, the Embassy of Italy with the Philippine Italian Association, Instituto Cervantes, the British Council in the Philippines, the Goethe-Institut, and the Embassy of France.
Here’s the lineup of events for the nine-day festival:
The ISFF 2021 will hold its opening ceremony at the newly-renovated Metropolitan Theater of Manila. The invite-only live event is presented by Japan Foundation.
The opening ceremonies will be followed by the screening of Orochi (Serpent), a 1925 film by Futagawa Buntaro. It will be live-scored by Munimuni.
Instituto Cervantes will screen Carceleras, a 1922 film by José Buchs, with live scoring by Pordalab.
It will be followed by a panel discussion on “How To Watch A Silent Movie,” featuring speakers presented by Sapin, Italy, and Japan.
The Philippine-Italian Association will end day two of the festival with a screening of the 1911 film Pinocchio by Guilio Antamaro. It will be live-scored by the Vidmar-Tiro-Tiro Trio.
The British Council in the Philippines will screen Dr. Wise on Influenza, a 1999 film commissioned by the Ministry of Health. The live scoring will be done by Joee Mejias.
The second webinar titled “Restoration and Reinventions in Film Archives” will be presented by speakers from the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and the Philippines.
It will be followed by Goethe-Institut Philippinen’s screening of Das Wachsfigurenkabinett (The Waxworks), a 1924 film directed by Paul Leni and Leo Birinski. It will be live-scored by La Crema.
The Embassy of France will screen The Foreman, a 1921 film directed by Georges Champavert. It will be live-scored by the Manila Philharmonic Orchestra.
The panel discussion about “History of Silent Films in the Philippines” will be presented by speakers from the Philippines.
It will be concluded by another screening of Orochi (Serpent).
November 28 – 30
All participating films will now be available for viewing on the FDCP Channel.
December 1 – 2
The seventh and eighth day of the festival will be dedicated to the FDCP’s first edition of Mit Out Sound Silent Film Competition.
The Mit Out Sound Silent Film Competition began with a nationwide open call in May 2021, after which selected participants went through a series of intensive film labs mentored by international local filmmakers and editors. The participants were then tasked to create their own silent short films, and were matched with film composers to create the original scoring for their respective films.
A total of nine finalists became the batch for this year’s competition. The shorts and their filmmakers and musical scorers are as follows:
- Ang Tatlong Hambog: directed by Sari Katharyn Molintas, scored by Glenn Barit
- Tianak: directed by EJ Gagui and Marienel Clari, scored by Pau Protacio
- Alingasngas Ng Mga Kuliglig: directed by Vahn Pascual, scored by Karl Arthur Javier and Nik Rosacay
- Ang Pagsuyo sa Paru-Paro ng Gabi: directed by Racquel De Guzman Morilla, scored by Dominic Laxamana
- Dikit: directed by Gabriela Serrano, scored by Paulo Almaden
- Ha-Ha-Hambog: directed by Kate Torralba, Jopie Sancez, scored by Odoni Pestelos
- I Need More Than Tofu and Other Vegetables: directed by Hector Barretto Calma, scored by Jude Edgard Balsamo
- Putol (The Cut): directed by Nikolas Red, scored by Jem Talaroc
- Pagdadalaga ng Dalagang Bukid: directed by Caloy Soliongco, scored by CK Sabillo
The closing ceremonies for the film festival will happen, which will also serve as the awarding ceremony for FDCP’s Mit Out Sound Silent Film Competition.