Four years ago when media giant ABS-CBN realized that there’s a growing demand to restore and archive cinematic treasures, the management initiated a film restoration effort, an advocacy that aimed to create an archive for old films.
Today, the archive housed in ABS-CBN’s ELJ Building is considered as one of the best film archiving facilities in the region. It hosts more than a hundred films that the team behind the film restoration effort has been working on painstakingly for the past four years.
And realizing that archiving and restoration, which are both expensive and meticulously done (each film can cost between P200,000 and P5 million to be repaired), are not enough to preserve these cinematic jewels, ABS-CBN Film Restoration Project, in partnership with Rockwell Cinemas, showcases its digitally restored and re-mastered films via the “REELive the Classics” film exhibition that will run from Aug. 26 to Sept. 1 at Rockwell Cinema 5.
“Our special screenings allow audiences to enjoy the movies as the creators envisioned them. Hopefully this is just the start of more exhibitions,” said Leo Katigbak, head of ABS-CBN Film Archives and Restoration, at a recent media launch.
For the first time, Sarah Ang Munting Prinsesa and Got To Believe will be screened alongside previously restored titles such as Sana Maulit Muli, One More Chance, Oro Plata Mata, T-Bird at Ako, Karnal, Hindi Nahahati Ang Langit, and Tanging Yaman.
Some of the 100 films restored were already screened internationally at film festivals like Venice, screened locally via red carpet premieres and limited commercial runs, aired on free-to-air and cable television, viewed via pay-per-view and video-on-demand, distributed on DVD, and downloadable even on iTunes.
“We are exploiting all possible media platform to share these films with all the people who appreciate classic films. It is also our way to educate young generation of moviegoers on the rich cinematic culture that we have,” Katigbak stated.