FDCP Celebrates World Day for Audiovisual Heritage

From L-R: SOFIA President Rose Roque, Host Minda Casagan, Speakers Teddy Co, Ricky Orellana, Julie Nealega, Don Gervin Arawan, and Jeffrey Sonora.

MANILA, PHILIPPINES, NOVEMBER 7, 2022 — The Film Development Council of the Philippines joined the worldwide celebration of World Day for Audiovisual Heritage through talks and film screenings at the Cinematheque Centre Manila last October 27, 2022. A two-day screening of Asian heritage films was also held at the same venue as part of the festivities last November 3​​4, 2022.

The opening day of the activities began with special talks on the history and current initiatives of film restoration and archiving in the Philippines, and was followed by a special screening of the feature film Nervous Translation by Shireen Seno (2017).

In partnership with the Society of Filipino Archivists (SOFIA), a microlearning session with Mr. Teddy Co, the Chairman of National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) National Committee on Cinema, started the program. In the session titled “Audiovisual Archiving Pre-Internet: The Adventures and Misadventures of a Film Detective,” Mr. Co shared stories about the first few film restoration projects that were conducted by his team which began in  1982. 

The event also brought together prominent names in the film archiving practice in a forum called “On AV Archiving and PH Institutional Initiatives” participated by some of the most established archiving houses in the Philippines including the Movie Workers Welfare Foundation, Inc. (MOWELFUND), Fernando Poe Jr. (FPJ) Archives, Probe Archives, and FDCP’s Philippine Film Archive (PFA).

The speakers, Ricky Orellana (Audiovisual Archive Head of the MOWELFUND), Jeffrey Sonora (Vice-President of the FPJ Archives), Julie Nealega (Head of the Probe Archives), and Don Gervin Arawan (Head of PFA), discussed film archiving efforts with regards to technical equipment requirements, film restoration, reels and records safekeeping, and research development, among others.

“We are very privileged to have relationships with all these institutions. We have these cinematic gems from these organizations that we will be screening to remind us why we are saving such films. Beautiful films that have been acclaimed during its time need to be re-experienced now so we can see where we came from,” FDCP Executive Director David Fabros said in welcoming the audience to the event. 

“We are looking forward to working with you, our archivists, in championing our heritage and doing it responsibly and sustainably. We hope to screen more films and other audiovisual materials here in our Cinematheques, and also conduct more of these talks and forums not just here in Manila but also in our Cinematheques in the regions,” Jen Lopez, Cinematheque Centre Manila Operating Supervisor shared during the closing of the event.

Among the notable guests present during the event were SOFIA outgoing president Rose Roque, who served as the moderator of the talks, outgoing NCCA Committee on Archives Head, Arnulfo Junio, University of the Philippines Film Institute (UPFI) Archives Head, Noy Lauzon, and other members of SOFIA and Southeast Asia-Pacific Audio Visual Archives Association (SEAPAVAA). Film students from different higher education institutions were also in attendance during the talks and film screening. 

The World Day for Audiovisual Heritage was initiated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2005 to raise awareness on the significance and preservation risks of recorded sound and audiovisual documents such as films, sound and video recordings, radio and television programmes.

Still in celebration of the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage, a two-day screening of curated Southeast Asian heritage film titles was opened to the public at the Cinematheque Center Manila from November 34, 2022 including Mikhail Red’s 2013 film, Rekorder, The Probe Team’s 2004 film documentary, Gusto mo bang Mag-migrate?, Khru Marut’s 1954 Thai film, Santi-Vina, and Raya Martin’s 2007 film, Autohystoria.