Restored ‘Maynila’ debuts in Cannes
CANNES – The premiere of the digitally restored version of Lino Brocka’s “Maynila sa mga Kuko ng Liwanag,” which was held on Friday night at the Salle Buñuel of the Palais, boasted lead star Hilda Koronel as guest of honor.
Koronel was flown to France by the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), which spearheaded the “Maynila” restoration, with the help of Oscar-winning director Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Foundation (WCF) and the movie’s cinematographer and producer Mike de Leon.
Koronel said she was honored to represent Brocka, National Artist for Film who died in a car crash in 1991.
“Although I am exhausted by the long trip, I am overjoyed to be here,” Koronel told the Philippine Daily Inquirer. “The restoration was impressive.”
Scorsese sent a pre-taped video message especially for the “Maynila” event. Scorsese praised Brocka as one of the world’s finest filmmakers.
Among the dignitaries present at the “Maynila”premiere in Cannes were FDCP chair Briccio Santos, FDCP executive director Ted Granados, Consul to Monaco Patricia Zobel de Ayala, Brocka’s Cannes “discoverer” Pierre Rissient, WCF managing director Douglas Laible and WCF artistic director Kent Jones, Davide Pozzi of L’Immagine Ritrovata, (the Bologna-based laboratory that restored the film), programmers Roger Garcia, Jeremy Segay, Benjamin Illos, Salvatore Leocata and Paolo Bertolin.
Also present were the Filipino filmmakers featured in this year’s Cannes: Lav Diaz, Erik Matti, and Adolfo Alix Jr.
Also spotted were actors Archie Alemania, Evelyn Vargas, Bianca Zialcita, cinematographer Albert Banzon, filmmakers Tikoy Aguiluz, Sheron Dayoc, Derick Cabrido, producers Dondon Monteverde, Raymond Lee, Arleen Cuevas, Vanessa Ulgado, among others.
The hall echoed with applause at the end of the film.
“It was a reunion of Brocka’s admirers from the Philippines and all over the world,” said Alix.
“Brocka has always been known for being brave in his choice of themes for his films,” Santos said. Santos commended Brocka for using his talent “to serve the Filipino people.”
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