FDCP unveils P4.3-M Cinematheque Zambo PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 27 February 2014 13:48

The Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) inaugurated yesterday morning the Cinematheque Zamboanga costing P4.3 million at Legionaire Road, fronting the Land Transportation Office (LTO), at Zone 4, this city.

The Cinematheque Zamboanga is dedicated to the memory of the country’s first internationally acclaimed film director, actor and producer, Manuel Conde, whose life-size bronze statue outside the building was also unveiled.

The facility has a seating capacity of 160 filmgoers at a time, making it FDCP’s biggest of four film-showing facilities in the country so far. The three others are in Davao, Ilo-ilo and Baguio.

As part of the Sineng Pambansa or National Cinema program of FDCP, the cinematheque is intended to be an alternative and accessible venue for the screening of classic and contemporary Filipino films, both mainstream and independent, and of recognized foreign films.

It will also serve as a center for workshops and symposiums on directing, scriptwriting, editing, cinematography and all other aspects of filmmaking with the primary objective of empowering a new generation of Filipino filmmakers.

Inspired by a Spanish-era architectural design, the Cinematheque Zamboanga is equipped with 35mm projector and two 10mm projectors, one of which was donated by Mindpro.

It stands on a 406-sq.m lot of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) under a usufruct agreement with the city government in 2012 during the administration of then mayor now Congressman Celso Lobregat and FDCP.

Under the agreement, the city government shall lease the lot to the FDCP at P1 per month for a period of 20 years and renewable for another 20 years.

Upon expiration of the lease contract, ownership or possession of the building and other improvements thereat shall be transferred to the city government without compensation to the FDCP.

Meanwhile, Mayor Beng Climaco thanked the FDCP for giving the city and its people a testimony of hope and an inspiration for all artists “so that we will be able to rise from all the struggles that we have.”

For his part, FDCP Chairman Briccio G. Santos said the opening of Cinematheque Zamboanga heralds the role of the city as one of the leadeing centers of culture and the cinematic arts in the Philippines.

Congressman Lobregat said the cinematheque implemented during his administration typifies the role of Zamboanga as a cradle of history and cultures in Mindanao.

Present during the inauguration were a delegation from the Spanish embassy headed by Deputy Head of Mission Ignacio Perez-Cambra, representing Spanish Ambassador Jorge Domecq, French Counselor for Cooperation and Cultural Affairs Michel Stanislas Villar, FDCP Executive Director Teodoro Granados and comedian-actor Jun Urbano, son of Director Manuel Conde.

Also present were Vice Mayor Cesar Iturralde along with some members of the City Council, City Administrator Antonio Orendain Jr., Monsignor Crisologo Manongas, Fr. Max Rodriguez, Fr. Angel Calvo, Fr. Michael Ufana and Tourism Regional Director Mary June Bugante, among many other guests and visitors.

The event coincided with the opening (yesterday afternoon) of the 4th Zamboanga International Film Festival on the occasion of the city’s 77th Dia de Zamboanga.

Classic Filipino, Spanish and French films are shown for free to the public at Mindpro Cinema 1 and Cinematheque Zamboanga from Feb. 26 to March 2.— Vic Larato