SM bats for film literacy
MALL giant SM is keenly aware of the urgent need to lure people back to cinemas.
One way to do this, SM execs pointed out, is by rebuilding the audience through a film literacy program.
Edgar C. Tejerero, senior vice president of SM Cinemas, told Inquirer Entertainment: “We have to encourage the youth to watch local movies again.”
Beyond school-sponsored field trips to its cinemas, SM is going a step further by teaming up with film scholar and filmmaker Nick Deocampo’s Center for New Cinema.
“Our Film Literacy Program follows a curriculum that covers various subjects that educational institutions take up as well,” Tejerero said.
Paolo Arugay, business development manager, said: “SM wants to help provide educators with alternative ways to present academic subjects. Film is an effective tool.”
According to Tejerero, some of the subjects covered in the program are Philippine history, women’s role in nation-building, and Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).
“In consultation with schools and universities, we came up with 100 titles to include in the program,” said Tejerero.
Works directed by Deocampo are among the films featured in the program, Arugay said—for example, the documentaries “Edades” and “Cine>Sine.”
“Edades” recounts the life of National Artist for Visual Arts Victorio C. Edades, also known as the Father of Modernism. “Cine>Sine: Spanish Beginnings of Philippine Cinema” traces the roots of movie-making in the country. Based on Deocampo’s prize-winning book, “Cine: Spanish Influences on Early Cinema in the Philippines,” the hour-long film is the first full-length docu in 3D animation.
Tejerero said SM has partnered with 49 schools in Metro Manila for this undertaking, among them: San Beda College, Ateneo de Manila University, University of Asia and the Pacific, St. Benedict’s College in Alabang, Philippine Women’s University and Mapua Institute of Technology.
By focusing on the youth, he said, SM hopes to build an audience for its cinemas again.
Arugay said SM also plans to work with the Film Development Council of the Philippines, through its Sineng Pambansa film festivals.
Two editions of Sineng Pambansa have been held in SM malls in Iloilo and Baguio.
“We want to bring back the habit of movie-watching,” said Tejerero. “We are doing everything to herd viewers back to cinemas.”
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