The World Premieres Film Festival Philippines 2016 will be officially opened with the showing of the digitally restored Ishmael Bernal film Pagdating sa Dulo at the Cinematheque Centre Manila on Wednesday, June 29. The film is as an official selection of the Filipino classics section.
Pagdating sa Dulo established Bernal as a visionary remarkably early on in his career, gesturing towards his future as one of the most celebrated directors of the Second Golden Age of Philippine cinema.
Named Best Film of the Decade (1970-1979) by the Gawad Urian Awards in 1980, Pagdating sa Dulo is an incisive but poetic and philosophical investigation into the dark side of the film industry, its conflicted personalities, and the oppressive political regime of the 1970s.
Made in 1971, the film tells of a bourgeois filmmaker (played by Eddie Garcia) who seeks out a stripper (played by Rita Gomez) to act in his film, subsequently catalyzing her career as an actress. On her rise to fame, she introduces her taxi driver boyfriend (played by Vic Vargas) to the world of showbiz with the hope of improving his downtrodden life, and he soon becomes her leading man on the silver screen. At the height of their stardom, glamor, and wealth, their souls become corrupt—the couple morally conflicted and wounded by the onscreen façade of their love and selves.
At the 1972 FAMAS Awards, the film took home Best Screenplay and was nominated for Best Director (Ishmael Bernal), Best Picture, Best Actress (Rita Gomez), Best Supporting Actor (Eddie Garcia), and Best Supporting Actress (Zenaida Amador).
The National Film Archives of the Philippines (NFAP) and the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) spearheaded the restoration after producer George Sison patrimoniously turned over the film rights of the film to the NFAP. The restoration was conducted at L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratories in Bologna, Italy, marking the NFAP’s fifth partnership with the world-class restoration laboratory.
Following the premiere of Pagdating sa Dulo as the opening film of the WPFF 2016, the film will be screened in cinemas throughout the metro, as part of the festival’s Filipino Classics section. The World Premieres Film Festival Philippines 2016 is set to take place between June 29 and July 10, 2016