Cinematheque Zamboanga: A new rise for Zamboanga Cinema

The Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) in collaboration with the Local Government of Zamboanga, Mayor Ma. Isabelle Climaco- Salazar and Mr. Celso Lobregat, had a successful inauguration of the Zamboanga Cinematheque last February 26, 2014.

Honored guests witnessed the rise of a once imagined venue for future screenings of diverse Filipino and Foreign films. Guests who attended were Michel Villar and Martin Macalintal of the French embassy, Marinel Cruz of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Mr. Wilfredo Manalang director of the film In Nomine Matris, Ayeen Pineda producer of the animated feature Si Pagong at si Matsing, Carlos Yudici of Instituto Cervantes Manila, Fernando Zapico of the Spanish Embassy and Mr. Jun Urbano.

The 160- sitter Cinematheque, located at veterans avenue corner Legionnaire Road and just across the main office of the LTO Zamboanga, will serve as the premiere film center, a venue for workshops and symposiums on all aspects of filmmaking for the people of Zamboanga. The event coincided with the 77th Dia de Zamboanga which made the inauguration a historic event.

Unveiling of the statue

One of the most anticipated parts of the event was the unveiling of the statue of renowned National Artist Manuel Conde, who played a very significant role in the age of Philippine Classic cinema.  One of his works, Genghis Khan marked Philippines on the world map of cinema.

Manuel Conde’s son, Jun Urbano who also has established a name in Philippine cinema was one with FDCP in making cinemas accessible to every Filipino. In honor of his father, Jun Urbano fully gave his support in the inauguration of Zamboanga Cinematheque.

Free Screenings

A total of 17 Filipino and Spanish Films have been screened for free from February 26- March 2, both at Zamboanga Cinematheque and Mindpro Malls Cinemas.

The Spanish embassy took part in giving everyone access to their produced films. Blancanieves, Copito de Nieve, El Secreto de sus Ojos, Arrugas, O Apostolo, Wrinkles and Siete Mesas de Billar Frances were the first set of films that was screened. Filipino produced films were; Sonata, Ano ang Kulang ng mga Nakalimutang Pangarap, Si Pagong at si Matsing, Lauriana, Ang Tag- araw ni Twinkle, Bamboo Flowers, In Nomine Matris, and Ang Pagbabalik ng Butuin.

In Nomine Matris, a Spanish themed film directed by Wilfredo Manalang was also the first Filipino- produced film that was screened at Zamboanga Cinematheque. The main actors—Liza Diño and Al Gatmaitan, and the director came in and watched with the audience. Surprised and in awe, the audience had an interaction with the lead characters. They were given a chance to be shared the ups and downs of the film’s process.

Meeting its aims

Honored guests together with FDCP Chairman Briccio Santos made their pact through their hand prints marked in sustaining Cinematheque’s aims ‘to bring Filipino films to Filipinos. Zamboanga Cinematheque among other cinema houses is hoped to give back the glory of movie- going.

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