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MANILA, Philippines – Film curator and archivist Teddy Co has died at the age of 64 after losing his three-year battle with cancer, the Champion Teddy Co’s Medical Fund Drive Facebook page announced in a post on Friday, November 3.
“It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved Teddy O. Co, a friend and mentor to many, a Filipino cultural and film historian extraordinaire, an icon and advocate of Philippine independent cinema, after three years battling the cancer that ravaged his health,” Champion Teddy Co’s Medical Fund Drive said.
The Facebook page Champion Teddy Co’s Medical Fund Drive was established in September to raise funds for the late Philippine cinema advocate’s medical expenses. The page auctioned off several paintings and held screenings for regional films to raise money for Co.
Multiple Filipino film organizations paid tribute to Co in a series of social media posts.
Co was “instrumental” in the recovery of some of the films by national artists, such as Manuel Conde and Gerardo de Leon, the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) shared in an X thread.
Statement of the Film Development Council of the Philippines on the passing of Teddy Co— Film Development Council of the Philippines (@fdcpofficial) November 3, 2023
The FDCP mourns the demise of Teddy Co, who passed away on November 1. He was 64. pic.twitter.com/MRNd0PWA01
“He was one with the FDCP in the State’s duty to preserve the country’s artistic heritage through film preservation and archiving,” the FDCP wrote.
Co co-founded Cinema Rehiyon, one of the flagship projects of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) dedicated to spotlighting regional filmmakers.
Prior to his death, Co was the Society of Filipino Archivists for Film’s (SOFIA) institutional representative to the National Committee on Cinema for the NCCA. He was only a year into his 2023 to 2025 term when he succumbed to cancer, SOFIA shared in a Facebook post.
“SOFIA is truly proud of Teddy Co. He will always be remembered as a stalwart in the forefront of our shared advocacy for the preservation of audiovisual heritage,” the organization said.
He also served as the Commissioner of the Arts for the NCCA, as well as the chair for NCCA’s Committee on Cinema.
“There is no question where Teddy is now. He is up there with the real, true stars. And where you are, Mr. Teddy Co, we do not say farewell. We ask you to look down upon us for we know you would be happy to see us – debating, discussing, endlessly interested in the cinemas you truly loved,” wrote the National Committee on Cinema.
Masses for Co have been scheduled on November 3 and 4 at Funeraria Paz, Araneta Avenue, Quezon City. – Rappler.com