Film council opens country’s first cinematheque in Baguio
A small room in the restored Casa Vallejo hotel on Session Road now serves as the country’s first cinematheque, a film archival cinema inspired by the Cinémathèque Française developed by a French film club in 1936.
Like its European counterparts, Baguio Cinematheque will screen, for free, Philippine movies long forgotten or restored after years of neglect, said Briccio Santos, chair of the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP).
The films have been converted into digital format, “so maintaining the cinematheque won’t be as costly as people may think,” he added. The FDCP is shouldering all expenses for the 75-seat theater.
On Saturday night, the facility screened its opening film, “Anak Dalita,” from 1956, directed by Lamberto Avellana and featuring Tony Santos and Rosa Rosal.
Benguet-based Japanese filmmaker Koji Imaizumi and Cordillera photographer Tommy Hafalla were among those who attended the inaugural screening. Coordinator Joel Arthur Tibaldo’s team distributed playbills of future screenings: the 1940 musical film, “Pakiusap”; Manuel Conde’s 1941 adventure film “Ibong Adarna”; and the 1939 drama, “Tunay na Ina.”