LITERATURE AS FILM
Film Academy announces scriptwriting tilt in time for MMFFBy Marinel R. Cruz
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Literary masterpieces of Filipino authors will soon be seen on the big screen.
“Sine Panitik,” a project that seeks to develop Filipino literature into visual materials, was launched recently with the signing of a memorandum of agreement between the Film Academy of the Philippines (FAP) and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).
FAP director-general Leo G. Martinez said the “Sine Panitik” films will be shown in metro theaters, initially as the entries in the 2013 Metro Manila Film Festival New Wave (independent) section.
The NCCA has pledged P460,000 to the project, which aims to showcase a collection of published literary works—legends, children’s stories, poetry, short stories, novels and plays.
“These literary pieces will be interpreted visually in digital format as full-length feature and short films by selected filmmakers,” Martinez told the Inquirer.
He said mechanics of a script-writing contest for the adaptation of short stories into screenplays will be announced shortly. Winning scripts will be used in the production of two or three feature-length films.
He added that the literary pieces will be divided into five groups:
First—“How My Brother Leon Brought Home a Wife” by Manuel Arguilla; “Dead Stars,” Paz Marquez Benitez; and “My Father Goes to Court,” Carlos Bulosan.
Second—“Children of the Ash-Covered Loam” by NVM Gonzalez; “The Mats,” Francisco Arcellana; and “Faith, Love, Time and Dr. Lazaro,” Gregorio C. Brillantes.
Third—“Magnificence” by Estrella Alfon; “The Virgin,” Kerima Polotan; and “A Wilderness of Sweets,” Gilda Cordero-Fernando.
Fourth—“Bangkang Papel” by Genoveva Edroza-Matute; “Banyaga,” Liwayway A. Arceo; and “Sandaang Damit,” by Fanny A. Garcia.
Fifth—“Lugmok na ang Nayon” by Edgardo M. Reyes; “Tata Selo,” Rogelio Sicat; and “Utos ng Hari,” Jun Cruz Reyes.
Deadline of submission of entries is Aug. 15. Screenplays by up to two authors may be entered. Both writers’ names should appear on the online entry form, indicating the primary contact.
“Contest entrants will retain all rights to their screenplays,” Martinez added. “A three-man board of judges will pick seven best screenplays. Each one will receive P20,000. The writers will still receive talent fees during the production of the films.”
Martinez said the FAP has sought the help of Vice President Jejomar Binay to secure funding from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) for the actual production of the “Sine Panitik” pieces.
The FAP chief added that his group will coordinate with other government agencies, including the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, which runs the annual MMFF, “to ensure that students will have access to the films.”
“Eventually, the materials will be shown in other key cities across the country, with students as target viewers,” Martinez said. “In areas without theaters, we plan to coordinate with local schools and organizations for mobile exhibitions.”
Martinez said the films will also be reproduced in DVDs and distributed to schools and libraries, embassies and consulates.
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