Beyond promoting works by local filmmakers, one important aspect of helping our film industry grow is through the preservation of our film heritage. Our country currently has a number of private film archives that preserve and restore classic films, making them available for research or appreciation.
Despite this, Senator Imee Marcos pushed for the creation of an archive for films, documentaries and news in a hearing for the proposed 2021 budget of the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP).
“Sa ngayon, ang tanging may archive lamang ay si FPJ (Fernando Poe Jr.). ’Yung iba eh… talagang wala tayong respeto sa ating kasaysayan,” she added.
Senator Imee Marcos: “Ibebenta ba ng ABS-CBN ‘yung kanilang archive? Nandun ‘yung karamihan. Magaganda ‘yung mga news footage nila, it’s very very valuable for our future generations.” https://t.co/GBFEGtIQzC pic.twitter.com/yp3kUmadjf
— Inquirer (@inquirerdotnet) September 29, 2020
It should be noted that before the FDCP was established, the Cultural Center of the Philippines has housed and restored films by Lino Brocka and Mike De Leon. ABS-CBN’s Sagip Pelikula has also worked on restoring films produced as early as 1976.
Before its archives were acquired by the FDCP, there was the University of the Philippines Film Institute—which had a collection of films produced by Bancom Audiovision and independent filmmakers.
The FDCP alone has 26,000 film materials, containing titles from National Artists for Film like Manuel Conde and Lamberto V. Avellana. According to FDCP chair Liza Diño, they’re only waiting for funding to help create a media asset management system and a permanent storage facility to house their existing archives.
While we’re all for archiving news and documentaries, we can’t help but feel wary about a Marcos, a family who’s made efforts to revise history, pushing for the creation of this archive. After all, there have been instances of them discrediting historians and refusing to admit to the atrocities committed during Martial Law over the past few years.
Header photo by the Film Development Council of the Philippines
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Writer: ANGELA PATRICIA SUACILLO