Mayor Villegas: ‘Father of local film festivals’

REMEMBER WHEN? - The Philippine Star

Before the Metro Manila Film Festival, there was the Manila Film Festival, founded by Manila Mayor Antonio J. Villegas in 1966, earning him the title ‘father of local film festivals.’

Timed with the celebration of Araw ng Maynila on June 24, the Manila Film Festival gave 10 Tagalog or Filipino movies a chance to be shown for 10 days in so called ‘English theaters’ like Ideal, Avenue, Universal, Ever, State, among others. Then only Life, Dalisay and Center exhibited local films.

In 1973, the Manila Film Festival was discontinued as Martial Law was imposed in September the year before. In 1975, the filmfest was expanded to include Metro Manila cities in towns and eventually the entire country.

In honor and memory of Mayor Villegas, the annual Gatpuno Cultural Award was initiated by the Metro Manila Film Festival.

Remember When? takes a nostalgic look at the 1967 Manila Film Festival awards night, the highlight of which was the recognition given to cinema pioneers: Producers, actors, directors living and posthumous.

They included Carmen Rosales, Rosa del Rosario, Fernando Poe Sr., Vicente Salumbides, Jose Nepomuceno, Carlos Vander Tolosa, Atang dela Rama, Gregorio Fernandez, Doña Dolores Honrado Vera, Gerardo de Leon, Julian Manansala, Manuel Silos, Espiridion Laxa, Luis F. Nolasco, Mary Walter and Mila del Sol.

Best Picture (Rajah Soliman Award) of the 1967 Manila Film Festival was Dahil sa Isang Bulaklak, topbilled by Charito Solis and Ric Rodrigo, and produced and directed by Luis Nepomuceno.

Best Action Picture was Modus Operandi and Best Comedy was Sitsiritsit Alibangbang. —RKC




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