MMDA opens own film center, archive
Its hands are already full just minding the capital’s traffic situation, but it looks like the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has more than enough energy and resources to spare for its other passion: movies.
The MMDA on Thursday inaugurated the MMFF Cinema as a new section of its headquarters on Orense, Makati City, which is envisioned as a new archive center for Filipino films. MMFF stands for Metro Manila Film Festival, which is organized by the agency during the Christmas season.
MMDA Chair Francis Tolentino said the cinema could serve as a library for local movies made as far back as 50 years ago, where preservation efforts will receive technical assistance from France.
“Before the French President (Francois Hollande) arrived, I talked to the French ambassador in Manila and [we agreed to] have a tie-up this July. They will help in the MMFF Cinema,” Tolentino said in his remarks during the opening.
The MMFF Cinema occupies two floors formerly housing traffic-related offices of MMDA. It is composed of the theater proper which can seat about a hundred viewers, classrooms and the library.
The cinema may also serve as a training center for mass communication and film students, with independent film directors tapped as instructors or resource speakers, he added.
Among its possible projects within the year is the holding of a monthly film festival targeting young audiences and exposing them to global cinema, in partnership with the different embassies.
Pasay City Mayor Tony Calixto, who graced the event to represent the Metro Manila Council composed of the capital’s 17 city and municipal mayors, said the body was fully supportive of the MMDA project as it would foster the development of Filipino filmmaking.
Veteran actress Susan Roces, the program’s guest of honor, lauded the new cinema as a venue where the youth can get to know the actors, directors, writers and producers from her generation.
Kristine Felisse Mangunay
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