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Nat’l identity found in aging filmstrips – film archivist

Photo by KRISTELA DANIELLE S. BOO
Photo by KRISTELA DANIELLE S. BOO

A FILM restoration expert urged Thomasians yesterday to patronize restored classic Filipino movies because they bring a sense of national identity.

Leo Katigbak, head of ABS-CBN archives and film restoration, stressed the importance of the younger generation’s exposure to classic movies in the campus tour of Cinema One Originals Festival 2016 held at the Benavides Auditorium.

“To me, it strikes us at the heart of our national identity because if you do not care about your past, what do you care for? How can you be proud of being a Filipino? […] I want to make sure it survives for the next generation,” he said.

Katigbak and his team at Sagip Pelikula program scoured different countries for the filmstrips of classic Filipino movies like Himala, Oro Plata, Mata, and Haplos and brought them to the modern screens.

“If we do not expose these things to the young people, even if they were not born [that time] yet, nasaan ngayon ‘yung appreciation natin sa Pilipinas? […] But if you were exposed to it and you view it regularly, won’t you start appreciating it more?” Katigbak said.

Katigbak recognized the importance of bringing the “gems” of Philippine cinema close to high-definition qualities.

Kaya lang kung puro pangit ang kopya puro gasgas, walang kulay, pangit ang editing bakit mo papanuorin? So babalik kayo sa HD […] But we ensure the quality is there so you can appreciate it,” he said.

To aid in promoting the originals, Sagip Pelikula employed documentaries, cinema premieres, DVD releases, roadshows, and artist campaigns.

“Proactive ‘yung approach namin, kasi feeling namin kung hindi na-expose ‘yung mga pelikula, if hindi kayo aware, you will not watch. So we try to promote it through tie-ups and outreach programs,” Katigbak said.

The two-day campus tour was a tie-up of the Faculty of Arts and Letters Student Council, Communication Arts Students Association, and ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation’s cable channel Cinema One. DONN CLARENZE D. GONZALES

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