ABS-CBN Film Restoration continues to take centerstage overseas as it featured its digitally restored classics at the 29th Vesoul International Film Festival, an annual film fest highlighting Asian cinema, which happened recently in France.
Among the digitally restored titles screened from its Sagip Pelikula initiative are the 1976 family-drama classic Nunal sa Tubig starring Elizabeth Oropesa, the period-drama Tatlong Taong Walang Diyos featuring Nora Aunor, and Star Cinema’s historical-drama Dekada ‘70 top-billed by Vilma Santos, Christopher de Leon, and Piolo Pascual.
Apart from its screenings on the international big screen, ABS-CBN Film Restoration head Leo Katigbak had the opportunity to share the state of Philippine cinema and film restoration today with the international film audience as one of Vesoul’s guest speakers.
Leo also shared his delight in international attendees’ interest in taking digitally restored classics to more international film festivals, following the screenings of the featured titles during the Vesoul Filmfest.
“It’s also been heartwarming to receive many inquiries for our restored films to participate in festivals. I think our restored classics are finding an audience that remembers, discovers, or rediscovers these films by virtue of the fact that even some five decades ago, we were already getting noticed in foreign festivals. I feel that the foreign attention will also benefit us here since it gives the films prominence and a higher profile,” Leo added.
Despite the clamor of bringing more restored Filipino classics to global shores is much evident today, he then added that there’s more work needed to be done locally in promoting the withstanding legacy of Philippine cinema through restoration efforts, and that is what Sagip Pelikula, alongside partner organizations including the FDCP, has been working on for the longest time.
As to what to expect from ABS-CBN Film Restoration and its Sagip Pelikula initiative, Katigbak said they are continuing their efforts despite ABS-CBN’s recent struggles as they dig deeper into their archive and restore older titles ranging from pre-World War II to the golden age of Philippine cinema during the 50s, with soon premiering the digitally restored version of the 1950 melodrama classic Mutya ng Pasig this April among others.
Today, Sagip Pelikula has restored and remastered over 200 titles since its launch, with inclusions of marquee titles such as Himala, Oro, Plata, Mata, Ganito Kami Noon, Paano Kayo Ngayon, Kakabakaba Ka Ba?, Ibong Adarna, among many others.