Concentrated Nonsense (cinema edition)

Dear Film Development Council of the Philippines
August 29, 2009, 6:58 pm
Filed under: philippine cinema

You have the mandate to start the National Film Archive. I have heard that your first priority project in relation to archiving is the digitization of some 70 works into high quality digital copies. While this may be useful, perhaps inquiring into the state of and assisting the various archives in the country (UP Film Center, Mowelfund et al) whose current holdings (which include rare prints if not master negatives of some titles, let alone the entire history of alternative/experimental cinema in the country) are being stored in deplorable conditions, may be even more important. Have you thought about this? Saving the master negatives or prints and storing and caring for them properly will ensure their survival far longer than digital copies (of which we are still uncertain), and in their original state too. Steps need to be made NOW to ensure that we don’t lose more of these films.

I know you would like high quality digital copies of films to be available for public screenings, and its embarrassing when you’re asked for titles, even recent ones, and don’t know where to get them, but to push for this at the expense of the archiving itself, when the situation is clearly a SOS one for many films/archives is a serious mismanagement of priorities.

I saw this poster recently in the National Film Archive of Thailand, an institution that has done so much with so little and continues to do more (I believe you can learn much from them), and thought it would be useful to share it with you:


3 Comments so far
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Gosh! Alex, i totally agree with everything here. What is Philippine Film History, its essence and legacy, without an archive. The restoration of the films from the silent era of our old local cinema should be highly prioritize. If we cannot afford ‘LOCAL CRITERION COLLECTION’, it is best to keep everything free from the inevitable damages like dust, suspended particulates, high temperature effects of summer, or moisture accumulation during rainy days etc. I could cry now really. As we all know, all things decay with time, and there is not enough left. What in the heavens are they waiting for! What!

Comment by ADRIAN


Comment by amir

Still remembering, Alexis.

Comment by Noel Vera

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