The National Film Archives of the Philippines (NFAP) said they are set to restore 10 more classic Filipino films this year using Swedish technology they have recently acquired.
This developed as the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) launched the third installment of the annual World Premieres Film Festival (WPFF), which is set to open later this month.
NFAP Technical Operations Supervisor Dominic Cu-Unjieng Bekaert said they have acquired 4K scanners from Swedish company Digital Vision that has the capacity to handle 8-millimeter, 16-mm, 35-mm and 70-mm films.
“We have restoration capability that takes out scratches, breaks and restores colors to films,” Bekaert said.
However, Bekaert did not disclose cost of the equipment, which he only described as running in the millions of pesos.
Founded in 1988, Digital Vision is the world’s leading supplier of equipment for color upgrading, restoration and film-scanning solutions
The company has the Golden Eye 4 archive film scanner and the Bifrost Archive Bridge solution for preservation and digitization along with the Thor hardware-processing card that allow real-time image processing at 4K resolutions.
For the year, Bekaert said they have restored four films, including Lav Diaz’s Batang West Side, Gerardo de Leon’s Noli Me Tangere, Lino Broca’s White Slavery and FDCP Chairman Briccio Santos’s Damortis.
“We are looking at restoring eight to 10 more films this year. Most of the films will be from the 1970s, a golden age in Philippine cinema,” Bekaert said.
He said they are in talks with the Philippine Information Agency, University of the Philippines, LVN Production and Sampaguita Films for films that will be restored.
Bekaert said the NFAP is also looking at Rudy Fernandez films and those helmed by Celso Ad Castillo.
Bekaert added that ideally, it will take them three weeks to restore one film but had to rush the restoration of the four films within two months for them to be screened during the WPFF.
Bekaert said they still would like to add more workstations for them to increase their capacity to restore more films.
Meanwhile, Santos said this year’s WPFF will have a fresh and more youthful energy.
“The WPFF hopes to renew the creative spirits and pick the curiosity of film lovers around the metro,” Santos said.
He added: “Since 2014, the festival has grown from strength to strength, and I believe this year it is the strongest it has ever been. The lineup is full of many outstanding films that we think you will all enjoy.”
Santos said this year’s WPFF will feature more than 60 films from acclaimed filmmakers, which he expects to attract new audiences in the country and across Asia.
The festival will have the Main Competition, the Filipino New Cinema, the Intercontinental and the Asean Skies section. It will also have the Country of Honor section, which will feature Vietnam films, and The Spotlight, which will have Chinese films.
Moreover, there will be the Out-of-Competition, Cine Verde, French Short Films and the Filipino Classics sections.
The WPFF will be simultaneously screened at the Cinematheque Centre Manila, along with SM Cinemas, Ayala Cinemas, Shangri La Cineplex and Uptown Cinemas.
“This is a chance to experience international films from around the world, Filipino films on our own doorsteps, environmental documentaries that spread awareness about the very real issue of climate change, and to relive restored classic movies of the past,” Santos said.
The WPFF will open on June 29 and will run until July 10.
Image credits: Rodel Alzona