Is 'A Quiet Place’ a silent film?

Published November 25, 2021, 6:35 AM

by Nestor Cuartero

Liza Dino (ABS-CBN)

I asked a naughty question that kept those in the international panel quiet, amused.

I wondered out loud if the seasoned silent film enthusiasts behind the 15th International Silent Film Festival Manila (ISFFM) could consider the popular films, “A Quiet Place” 1 and 2, as silent films.

The lady from the British embassy said she hadn’t heard of the two films, so sorry.

Hollywood film ‘’A Quiet Place 2’’ is the continuing story of a muted family in a village plagued by aliens who are allergic to sound. The film is one of two foreign films that formally opened, on Nov. 10, movie theaters in the country post-lockdown.

Anyway, my question was a good laughter-inducing ice-breaker to an otherwise serious discussion on the history of silent films and why we are preserving their legacy.

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The 15th International Silent Film Festival Manila is being held from Nov. 24 to Dec. 3 through the efforts of Japan Foundation Manila, the embassies of Italy and France, Instituto Cervantes, British Council, Goethe-Institut, and the Film Development Council of the Philippines.

This year, the festival features six classic silent films from France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain and the United Kingdom, plus nine short films especially produced by the FDCP to represent the Philippines. All the films will be accompanied by original musical scores by local musicians.

The program is being screened via the FDCP Channel.

The festival kicked off with an opening ceremony on Nov. 24 at the newly renovated Manila Metropolitan Theater. Screened was Orochi (Serpent), a 1925 action film by Futagawa Buntarō live scored by Munimuni band.

Showcased in the festival are titles like Carceleras (José Buchs, 1922), Pinocchio (Giulio Antamoro, 1911), and Dr. Wise on Influenza, 1919).

Panel discussions explore the themes: How To Watch A Silent Movie, Restoration and Reinventions in Film Archives, History of Silent Films in the Philippines.

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In the Philippines, none of our silent films are in existence today, declared film historian Nick de Ocampo in a 2021 forum.

The loss of our silent films, including Jose Nepomuceno’s Dalagang Bukid, the very first Tagalog film (1919), inspired the creation of the first Mit Out Sound: International Silent Film Lab, says FDCP Chair Liza Diño.

Its goal is to revive interest in silent filmmaking and enhance the expertise of Filipino filmmakers in creating unique and quality films.

Through the Silent Film Lab, young filmmakers are mentored by local and international filmmakers in various film labs as storytelling, music scoring, sound, principal photography, editing.

Nine participants were awarded a 50,000 peso-production grant each to produce their silent shorts built around the theme “Reimagining the Past with the Present.”

Ms. Liza said that producing silent films shall henceforth be a yearly project of FDCP, moved as she was by the overwhelming submission of silent film projects.

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The films will now premiere at the 15th ISFFM from Dec. 1 to 3 on the FDCP Channel.

The shorts and their filmmakers are:

“Ang Tatlong Hambog” by Sari Katharyn; “Ing Tianak” by EJ Gagui and Marienel Calma, “Alingasngas Ng Mga Kuliglig” by Vahn Leinard C. Pascual.

“Ang Pagsuyo sa Paru-Paro ng Gabi” by Racquel De Guzman Morilla, “Dikit” by Gabriela Serrano, “Ha-Ha-Hambog” by Kate Torralba, and Jopie Sanchez, “I Need More Than Tofu and Other Vegetables” by Hector Barretto Calma, “Putol” (The Cut) by Nikolas Red, “Ang Pagdadalaga Ng Dalagang Bukid” by Jose Carlos Soliongco.

Winners will be announced on the last day of ISSFM2021.

 
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