Film in literature

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‘Sine Panitik 2016’ opens animation competition

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  Sine Panitik project director Icon de Jesus and Film Academy of the Philippines director general Leo Martinez at the launch of Sine Pantik 2016 PHOTO BY MIKE DE JUAN

Sine Panitik project director Icon de Jesus and Film Academy of the Philippines director general Leo Martinez at the launch of Sine Pantik 2016 PHOTO BY MIKE DE JUAN

“MORE than 50 percent of the great films of the world came from literature. Sixty out of 84 Oscar Best Picture winners are adaptations of literary stories.”

That was the information that Film Academy of the Philippines (FAP) director general Leo Martinez shared at the press launch of Sine Panitik 2016 on April 30 at Gerry’s Grill, Quezon City.

Sine Panitik 2016 is the latest competition opened by FAP that calls on young Filipino students to make famous Philippine literary pieces into films.

Dubbed “Mga Alamat sa Animasyon,” Sine Panitik 2016 is calling student animators to create storyboard that is based on Filipino legends like Alamat ng Alagaw, Alamat ng Kasoy, Ang Pagong at ang Matsing, among many others.

“It [Sine Panitik] aims to develop Filipino literature that are being taught in our schools into visual materials so our students can better understand them and develop deeper appreciation,” added Martinez who is a veteran Filipino actor and director.

“The statistics I mentioned earlier only proves that Sine Panitik is on the right track,” he added.

How Sine Panitik began
While FAP formed “Sine Panitik: a Film Library for Students” in 2012 when it held a scriptwriting contest, Martinez revealed that he first thought of a project of its kind as early as 2004.

He recalled, “In 2004 to 2005, I was appointed UNESCO Commissioner on Culture and I came out with a project Doon Po sa Amin-Pride campaign.

“About the same time, I noticed that the film industry was concentrating on producing films based only on comics, soup operas while ‘majoring’ on the bad sides of the country. I told to myself, ‘We can’t have this all our lives.’ So I thought of a project that would cater to students instead of relying on ‘box-office’ appeal,” he further explained.

He also realized that film festival winners in Cannes and in Oscar best foreign film category shows the “soul” of the country their representing. “And what better way to show our ‘soul’ but through literature?” he enthused.

He then asked Katrina Stuart-Santiago, a columnist of The Sunday Times Magazine and daughter of his writer friend Angela Stuart-Santiago to research on what short stories, poetry, novels and plays are required reading in primary, secondary and tertiary schools. After about a year, she completed the survey and came out with a list of about 50 to 100 works.

“We can’t do all of them so I asked literature experts like National Artist Bienvenido Lumbera, Rolando Tolentino, Doy Del Mundo, The Manila Times College president Isagani Cruz, Pete Lacaba, Joe Carreon, Butch Dalisay and Vim Nadera to shortlist the literary works.”

Finally, 15 short stories were chosen which became the subjects of the first Sine Panitik scriptwriting competition funded by the National Commission on Culture and the Arts. Out of the winning entries, three were made into films and officially became the first collection of Sine Panitik’s film library, which will be provided to schools nationwide.

These films are These are Faith, Love, Time and Dr. Lazaro by Gregorio Brillantes (directed by Jose Carreon); Tata Selo by Rogelio Sikat (directed by William Mayo); and Sandaang Damit by Fanny Garcia (directed by Edgardo Boy Vinarao).

How to join
According to Icon de Jesus, project director of the competition, participants could visit FAP’s website at filmacademyphil.org to view 29 Filipino legends available for downloading. They could also get printed forms at the FAP office at the Mowelfund Plaza in Cubao, Quezon City.
Deadline of submission of chosen alamat is on June 15 to be followed by storyboard on July 31. Submission of the completed entry would be on April 30.

One grand prize winner will be chosen by the Board of Judges and will receive P100,000 cash prize. But more importantly, the winning entry will be screened at an international film festival. The next top 15 entries will be awarded P50,000.

The 2016 Sine Panitik will culminate at the Quezon City Film Festival 2016 where FAP will screen the 16 winning animation films.

For more information, visit www.filmacademyphil.org.

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