Lecture and Film Showings by Dean Nicanor G. Tiongson, University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication
Keynote Address to Vitas Film Festival
Friday, May 5, 2006
3:30 - 4:40 PM
208 Glorya Kaufman Hall
Reception to follow
Film screenings and discussion
5:00 - 8:30 PM
101 Glorya Kaufman Hall
The last decade has witnessed the dramatic decline of the Filipino film industry. From an annual output of 140 films a year, the number of productions dropped over the last five years to less then 50 in 2005. Excessive taxation, competition from Hollywood, higher production costs and uncontrolled video piracy, among others, have been blamed for the critical condition of the industry today.
But for the last three years, independent producers have been infusing new life into local filmmaking, whether in the mainstream or in the alternative scene. With funding from “enlightened” producers or support from competitions that believe in the concept of film as art, film artists have come up with works that are characterized by innovation and artistic integrity. In addition, the arrival of low-cost digital video technology has liberated filmmakers from the clutches of profit-obsessed producers and made possible the democratization of filmmaking itself.
Dr. Nicanor G. Tiongson, film critic and scholar, lectures on the present state of the Filipino cinema, emphasizing the phenomenon of the Independent Film movement which in the last three years has produced some of the most exciting films since the days of Lino Brocka and Ishmael Bernal, and now promises to launch the resurgence of the Filipino Cinema. To illustrate the lecture, two films will be shown.
"Magnifico" (2003), a feature film directed by Maryo J de los Reyes and produced by Violett Films, is the story of a young boy whose purity of heart touches and transforms the lives of both his family and neighbors in a town by Laguna de Bay. In 2004, the film won the prestigious Crystal Bear Award at the Berlin Film Festival, the International Grand Jury Award at the Madrid Children and Youth Festival, the Audience award at the Sheffield Film Festival, the Grand Prix for Best Picture at the Rome International Children’s Film Festival and major trophies in all the Philippine award-giving bodies.
"Mansyon" (2005), directed by newcomer Joel Ruiz and produced by Cinemalaya and Arkeomedia, is a short film about Dolores, a housemaid, and her husband Ambo, a gardener, who are asked to look after a mansion while the owners are on vacation. The weeks of boredom turn into days of excitement as the couple allow hidden desires to surface and discover another dimension in their subjected lives. This film won the Best Film award in the first Cinemalaya Film Festival and Competition in 2005.
Nicanor G. Tiongson is a visiting professor at the University of California-Berkeley, where he is teaching a course on Philippine Cinema this Spring. He is the dean of the College of Mass Communication of the University of the Philippines (UP) and professor at the UP Film Institute, where he teaches courses on film theory and history. He is a founding member and former chair of the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino, the film critics group established in 1976 to support the rise of the New Cinema directors. In 2001, he served briefly as chair of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB).
For more information visit Vitas Film Festival at UCLA WAC
Cost: Free and open to the public.
Parking in UCLA's Lot 4 costs $8.