Known to be the only one of its kind in Southeast Asia, the International Silent Film Festival Manila is an annual event that proves the strength of the silent movies of the past, in and for the present.
Happening from August 25 to 28 at the Shangri-La Plaza Mall Cinemas, this marks the 10th year of the film festival, presented by The Goethe-Institut, together with the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) under Briccio Santos, Instituto Cervantes, the Japan Foundation of Manila, the Philippine Italian Association, The British Council, and the Embassies of Austria, France, and the USA.
Through the years the task of the Silent Film Festival has not changed: “to exchange cultures” by screening what is considered as the earliest films across countries, and show what it was like without the technology that permitted spoken dialogue. In these screenings, live music functions as a way of escorting the audience through the silent film, as it might also function as commentary.
Tapping Filipino musicians to do what becomes a live scoring of the silent films, this becomes an international collaboration in itself. Giving the artists the freedom to interpret these old films, this becomes a critical-creative engagement with our past, that gives these films a contemporary feel, a new flavor.
This is why the cultural officers from different countries have supported this International Silent Film Festival all these years, and have come out in full force this year. The 2016 version features 10 films from America, Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, United Kingdom, and the Philippines.
On August 16, the celebration of the film festival’s 10th year was kicked off with an exhibit curated by Nikkorlai Tapan, with participative art installations that encourages viewers to take part in the art and history of the silent film era. This is at the Shangrila Mall’s Grand Atrium.
All screenings of the International Silent Film Festival are open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. Tickets are released 30 minutes before every screening.