` Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) `

Opening Night of the 10th Silent Film Festival, August 2016

Opening Night of the 10th Silent Film Festival


            The 10th edition of the Silent Film Festival, a Manila cinematic staple, kicked off its latest run this August 25 at the Shangri-La Plaza. Over the course of the past decade the festival has aptly “rocked the silence” as it continues to play silent films from the past, alongside live bands delivering their own unique take on the musical scoring.


            The Silent Film Festival is arranged by a myriad of local institutions including the British Council, Embassy of Italy and the Philippine Italian Association, Embassy of Spain and the Instituto Cervantes, Embassy of Japan and the Japan Foundation, Embassy of the United States, Embassy of France, the Austrian Embassy, and the Goethe Institut, in addition to the Film Development Council of the Philippines with the National Film Archives of the Philippines.




Opening remarks were given by Ms. Cristina Moricca of the Philippinea Italian Association, who noted that it had been a very fruitful last 10 years of success, which would not have been possible without the unwavering support of all the festival partners and organizers.


            British Council Director Mr. Nick Thomas then showed his appreciation for the festival’s opening film “Play On! Silent Shakespeare”, a compilation of silent film adaptations of the bard’s work. He then proceeded to lead the ceremonial toast to officially open the filmfestival.


            FDCP Chair Liza Diño was on hand to partake in ceremonial toast, as she was joined by representatives of the partnering Embassies and institutional organizations.


            Not to miss out on the activities of the evening, Chair Liza also participated in of the interactive booth set-ups of the event. Herein, she was photographed in a mock film set, with appropriate text cards to express her emotions and ideas.


            The Silent Film Festival takes place from August 25 – 28 at the Shangri-La Plaza, Shang Cineplex. All films are showed at free admission and on a first-come first-served basis. It is a showcase of classic films from the silent era accompanied by live international musical acts.


            Information on the festival films, musicians, and special guests this year, adapted from the official Silent Film Festival material, are below:



Play On! Silent Shakespeare with Tago Jazz Collective on August 25


Play On! Silent Shakespeare, a 2016 anthology of Shakespearean works from the British Film Institute (BFI) National Archive, with a highlight on King John, a British performance and the earliest surviving adaptation of a Shakespearean tale, dating back to 1899.


Play On! will be accompanied by the Tago Jazz Collective, the quartet of saxophonist and flutist. Pete Canzon, keyboardist and harpist Ryan Villamor, bassist Bergan Nuñez, and drummer Nelson Gonzales, with the band originating from the only jazz club in the country today, the Tago Jazz Cafe. Play On! Silent Shakespeare and the Tago Jazz Collective presented this August 25, Thursday, at 7:30 pm.




Maicling Pelicula Nang Ysang Indio Nacional (O Ang Mahabang Kalungkutan ng Katagalugan with Oh, Flamingo on August 26


Maicling Pelicula Nang Ysang Indio Nacional (O Ang Mahabang Kalungkutan ng Katagalugan is an experimental historical film by local filmmaker Raya Martin, brought to the festival screen by the FDCP. Set in the times of colonial Philippines, the 2005 film captures history in black and white vignettes, telling a story both familiar and unfamiliar.


Indio Nacional screens to the music of indie rock band Oh, Flamingo, with their eccentric beats and hooks created by band members Howard Luistro (vocals and guitar), Billie dela Paz (bass), Pappu de Leon (guitar), and Fries Bersales (drums) melding with the experimental work. Maicling Pelicula Nang Ysang Indio Nacional (O Ang Mahabang Kalungkutan ng Katagalugan and Oh, Flamingo showcased their work this August 26, Friday, 5:30 PM.




Maciste in Hell with Nick Deocampo and Ely Buendia on August 26


An offering from the Philippine-Italian Association and the Embassy of Italy is Maciste in Hell (Maciste All’Inferno) by Guido Bregnone, the 24th installment of the “Maciste” series and a spectacle following the story of a man who finds himself transformed into a demon after a kiss from a temptress.


Introducing and giving us an extensive background to the film and how it connects to contemporary local productions is great film documentarian, producer, academic, and author Nick Deocampo.


Creating music for Maciste in Hell is acclaimed and iconic musician, writer, and director Ely Buendia, former frontman of emblematic local band Eraserheads, and guitarist and vocalist for current bands Pupil, The Oktaves, and Apartel. Maciste in Hell, Nick Deocampo and Ely Buendia presented also this August 26, Friday, 8 pm.



La Revoltosa and Dingdong Fiel, Miguel Angel Lobato, Andrew M. Constantino, Immanuel Nico O., and Nehemiah R. Lipana on August 27


A popular zarzeula takes cinematic form in La Revoltosa, directed by Florian Rey in 1924. This first film adaptation of the performance is about childhood friends growing into a lasting yet tumultuous relationship, with jealousy rearing its head from both gentleman’s and lady’s frivolity.


The original music of the zarzuela will be played live by gifted local and international instrumentalists and singers: pianist and musical arranger Dingdong Fiel shows his aural flair with clarinetist Andrew M. Constantino, flutist Immanuel Nico O., dioneda cellist Nehemiah R. Lipana, and tenor singer Miguel Angel Lobato. La Revoltosa and these talented musicians enliven the stage on August 27, Saturday, 3 pm.




The Foghorn with Hidenori Okada and Makiling Ensemble on August 27


From the Japan Foundation; Embassy of Japan; and the National Film Center, National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo comes The Foghorn (Muteki) by Minoru Murata, the story of a love triangle between a manservant, a British trader, and the trader’s mistress. As the manservant and mistress’s affair is discovered, a series of events unfolds ending in tragedy.


A special guest is also offering their expertise on the film at its screening. Hidenori Okada, curator of the National Film Center has also been curating the films of the International Silent Film Festival for the last four years. Not only will he be talking about The Foghorn and its director before its screening, he will also be joining Nick Deocampo at the Silent Film Expert Talk Session on Saturday, August 27, 1:30 pm at the Shang Grand Atrium to take us into the world of Japanese silent cinema.


To provide accompaniment to The Foghorn, the Makiling Ensemble will be showcasing Filipino world music with the film. Comprised of Karen Austria (bass and vocals), Diwa de Leon (violin and hegalong), David Sicam (guitars), Otto Hernandez (percussion), and Wed Lodriga (percussion), Makiling Ensemble has been performing locally and worldwide for nineteen years and is about to create their fifth album. The Foghorn screens with the prowess of Hidenori Okada and the Makiling Ensemble this August 27, Saturday, 5:30 pm.




For Heaven’s Sake with Brass Pas Pas Pas Pas on August 27


For Heaven’s Sake, a 1926 film by Sam Taylor, comes courtesy of The Embassy of the United States. The romantic comedy follows an uptown boy who discovers his name being used to bring people into a mission in the poorer side of town, and after investigating, meets and is smitten by a priest’s daughter, a downtown girl.


Enriching the lively work is the music of Brass Pas Pas Pas Pas, a ten-piece band comprised of members from different quintessential groups in the country, such as Radioactive Sago Project, Pupil, Barbie’s Cradle, Sinosikat, and Bambo, playing a range of various genres from jazz to disco-funk to contemporary groove. For Heaven’s Sake plays with the showmanship of Brass Pas Pas Pas Pas on August 27, Saturday, 8 pm.




Leg of Lam and Le Petit Poucet with Felipe Latonio, Jr. on August 28


The Embassy of France brings two films to the silent screen: Leg of Lam (Le Pied de Mouton) by Albert Capellani is a 1907 hand-painted live action film about a young man who is given a leg of lamb by a fairy to help him woo a young lady and win the favor of her family. Le Petit Poucet by Marius O’Galop is a 1922 animated film about a family that can’t afford to feed their seven children—when their parents decide to leave the children in the forest, hte youngest, Tom Thumb, makes a plan to survive.


Giving more life to the two French films is one of the country’s most accomplished musicians, Felipe Latonio, Jr. Having composed music for classic studio films, directed music for television programs, collaborated with famous local singers, and winning awards for his work from FAMAS, URIAN, and TINIG throughout history, Latonio lends his immense genius for sonic landscapes to the silent films. Leg of Lam, Le Petit Poucet, and Felipe Latonio, Jr., will be seen and heard on August 28, Sunday, 3 pm.


Der Ballettersherzog with Basti Artadi on August 28

From the Austrian Embassy Manila is the 1927 romance Der Ballettersherzog by prolific Austrian director Max Neufeld. Capturing the beautiful interiors of Austrian architectural marvels, the film plays as an operetta of the love triangle of a duke, his count, and a young dancer who inadvertently becomes a prima ballerina thanks to her suitor.

Lending a voice and musical skill to the film is Basti Artadi, award-winning vocalist of rock band Wolfgang, having taken home the recognition NU 107 Vocalist of the Year four times. Having taken a hiatus in 2002, the band has since returned, coming up with two albums and a nationwide tour. Der Ballettersherzog and Basti Artadi take to the stage on August 28, Sunday, 5:30 pm.



The Last Laugh with Up Dharma Down on August 28


Concluding the festival is a film care of the Goethe Institut, The Last Laugh (Der Letzte Mann), a 1924 film by Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau. Considered to be one of the most revolutionary works in film and the director’s most important work, the story is one of a porter working in a hotel, revered by all because of his impressive uniform, until he is relegated to toilet keeper and removed of his precious uniform.


Capping off with the German film are the talents of renowned band, Up Dharma Down. Taking different styles and building them into soulful, powerful pieces of work that is their unique sound, this energetic four-piece is sure to ignite the evening as the festival draws to an end. The Last Laugh and Up Dharma Down becomes the finale to the 10th International Silent Film Festival on August 28, Sunday, 8 pm.




The 10th International Silent Film Festival screenings, as well as the Silent Film Festival Expert Talk Session with Hidenori Okada and Nick Deocampo on August 27, Saturday, 1:30 pm at the Grand Atrium, are all free admission, and tickets are first-come, first-served at the Shang Cineplex.



Film Development Council of the Philippines