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July 12, 2004

National Artist for Film Eddie Romero’s 1966 opus Passionate Strangers will open a festival of restored Filipino films on July 14, 7 pm at the Cine Adarna of the UP Film Institute (formerly UP Film Center),  after the opening ceremony with Director Romero himself as guest of honor.

Set in a sugar plantation town in the South, Passionate Strangers is an intense tale about love, infidelity, politics, and murder. It tells of how an accidental crime of passion is turned into an arena for political intrigue and exploitation as it examines the volatile Filipino-American relationship. American actors Mike Parsons and Violeta Noland topbills the film along with Mario Montenegro, Celia Rodriguez, Vic Diaz and Butz Aquino. The film won best director and supporting actress honors to Romero and Celia Rodriguez, respectively, at the 1966 Famas Awards.

Another Eddie Romero masterpiece, Banta ng Kahapon, will close the festival in a ceremony to be held on July 25, 7:30pm at the CCP Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino (Little Theater). The 1977 film is set against the backdrop of the 1969 Congressional elections,  a political milieu dominated by guns, goons, and gold; and gives a realistic depiction of contemporary Philippine political scene. It stars Vic Vargas, Roland Dantes, Bembol Roco and Chanda Romero and won the Gawad Urian for best editing.

Fourteen Filipino films, saved from extinction and given a new lease in life for the present and future generation of film enthusiasts to enjoy, will be highlighted in this joint project of the Society of Film Archivists (SOFIA), UP Film Institute, and the Cultural Center of the Philippines dubbed “Ukay-Ukay: Where’s the Archive?. The festival will run from July 14 to 18 at the UP Film Institute and July 21 to 25 at the CCP Tanghalang Manuel Conde (Dream Theater).

Other restored films included in the festival are the four films from Sampaguita Pictures: Jack & Jill (Dolphy, Lolita Rodriguez & Rogelio de la Rosa), MN (Carmen Rosales, Cesar Ramirez, Alicia Vergel & Oscar Moreno),Dalagang Ilokana (Gloria Romero, Ric Rodrigo & Dolphy), and Maalaala Mo Kaya (Carmen Rosales & Rogelio de la Rosa); three films from LVN including its first production, the 1939 film Giliw Ko (Fernando Poe & Mila del Sol), Biyaya ng Lupa (Tony Santos & Rosal) and Malvarosa (Charito Solis & Leroy Salvador); Premiere’sSanda Wong, directed by Gerardo de Leon; Lino Brocka’s Ano ang Kulay ng Mukha ng Diyos  (Gina Alajar, Edu Manzano & Katrin Gonzales) and White Slavery (Jaclyn Jose, Sarsi Emmanuelle & Emily Loren); Ishmael Bernal’s debut Pagdating sa Dulo (Rita Gomez & Vic Vargas); and Chat Gallardo’s Seksing-Seksi (Aura Aurea & Leopoldo Salcedo).

The rest of the festival schedule at the UP Film Institute is as follows: July 15 —  Maalaala Mo Kaya (3p), Seksing-Seksi (6p); 16 – Dalagang Ilokana (3p), Ano ang Kulay ng Mukha ng Diyos (6p); 17 – Jack & Jill (2p), MN (4p), White Slavery (7p); 18 – Sanda Wong (3p), Pagdating sa Dulo (6p).

At the Cultural Center of the Philippines: July 21 – Jack & Jill (2p), Seksing-Seksi (7p); 22 – Giliw Ko (4p), Biyaya ng Lupa (7p); 23 – MN (4p), Passionate Strangers (7p); 24 – Maalaala Mo Kaya (1:30 p), Malvarosa (4p), Pagdating sa Dulo (7p); 25 – Dalagang Ilokana (4p), Banta ng Kahapon (7p).

CCP will kick off the event with their monthly Sining Taktakan on July 21, 9am – 12nn. The discussion-forum will tackle the issue: Making Torotot on Classics: Do Filipinos have zero archival consciousness and little sense of cinematic history? The country’s premiere film archivists will share their insights and experiences in the discussion.

The festival is also in celebration of the 11th anniversary of the SOFIA, the organization responsible for most of the film preservation activities in the country; and in memory of its founding president, the late Agustin “Hammy” Sotto.   

Contact UP Film Institute at 9263640 (direct line), 9262722 (telefax) or 9205301 (UP trunkline) local 4589/4440 and CCP at 832-1125 (Film Department)