If classic Filipino movies have become more accessible in recent years, it is not by accident. Rather, ABS-CBN has also made it a part of its mission to serve the Filipino people to help preserve the country’s cinematic legacy and cultural heritage for future generations.
Through the ABS-CBN Film Restoration project, a movie like the great Gerry de Leon’s “Banaue” doesn’t just re-introduce Nora Aunor to new audiences, it also brings them to the Philippines at the dawn of history.
But with a mission to bridge today’s generation to our culture in an already by-gone era, ABS-CBN embarked on a campaign that would bring old movies closer to today’s youth. Thus, was born the “Sagip Pelikula” project.
”Sagip Pelikula” offers tangible snapshots or records of different eras, whether it’s the theme, the setting, or the sensibility. What were once oral anecdotes from parents and grandparents now have something more visceral in terms of context,” Leo Katigbak, head of ABS-CBN Film Restoration, said.
The first of its kind in Asia, “Sagip Pelikula”campaign recently won an international Gold Quill, held in Vancouver, Canada by the International Association of Business Communicators.
The campaign seeks to expose millennials, which consist half of the country’s population, to classic films.
“I think the greatest disservice we can do to future generations is not providing them the means to remember and appreciate the past,” said Leo. “We have a rich cinematic legacy that is at par with the other world greats and we owe it to those creators to preserve and honor their work, so that future generations can learn and be proud of them,” he added.
Since its launch in 2016, the campaign has remained focused on its mission by participating actively in various platforms where it could communicate its message of safeguarding the country’s cultural heritage and keeping its cinematic legacy alive.
It has mounted theatrical screenings of the restored classics’, sold the movies on iTunes and via DVD formats, and broadcast them on nontheatrical platforms such as Channel 2, the nation’s leading free TV channel and on Cinema One and Jeepney TV, the nation’s leading cable channels, effectively bringing the Philippine classics to a wider array of audiences.
As the campaign gained momentum, the classic films also gained recognition abroad as they were invited to participate at various international film festivals, including the Udine Film Festival in Italy, Arsenal Institut Fur Filmin in Germany, Tokyo International Film Festival, and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Screening in the USA, among others.
With “Sagip Pelikula”’s continuous success, the ABS-CBN Film Restoration project amps up its efforts to reintroduce more classic films as it soon opens its dedicated theater at Greenbelt mall in partnership with the Ayala Malls and will soon release its official theme song that celebrates the legacy of Filipino films.
But on top of these developments is the exciting news of more classics surfacing because of the campaign. According to Leo, the group is doing new scans of several LVN classics like “Ibong Adarna,” “Biyaya ng Lupa,” “Malvarosa,” and “Anak Dalita,” while restoration is also underway for the Experimental Cinema of the Philippines’ final two films: “Misteryo sa Tuwa” and “Soltero,” Perlas Films’ “Mga Bilanmggong Birhen,” Ishmael Bernal’s “Tisoy,” “Bad Bananas sa Putting Tabing,” “Danny Zialcita’s “Tinimbang Ang Langit,” Carlitos Siguion Reyna’s “Saan Ka Man Naroroon” and many more.
With ABS-CBN’s continuous effort to bring back and expose the young to the country’s movie classics, the Filipinos’ past remains safely etched in their collective memory, and with it, the Filipinos’ treasured culture.
Make sure to catch more of Sagip Pelikula and future titles to be released by ABS-CBN Film Restoration on Facebook (fb.com/filmrestorationabscbn), Twitter (@ABS_Restoration), and Instagram (@abscbnfilmrestoration).