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Saturday, August 27, 2016

Classic Film “Biyaya ng Lupa” featured at the Opening Night of the 2016 Sinehan sa Summer

Special thanks to Mike de Leon, LVN Pictures, Inc. and the Film Development Council of the Philippines.

New York -- The 2016 Sinehan sa Summer kicked off with a 1959 restored LVN Picture’s film “Biyaya ng Lupa” on 9 August 2016 at the Kalayaan Hall of the Philippine Center. LVN Pictures, through the assistance of the Film Development Council of the Philippines, gave permission at no cost to screen the film.

At the opening night. (photo: Lambert Parong/ Kababayan Media)
More than 70 guests from the Filipino community and mainstream New York attended the opening night, which was co-sponsored by Handang Tumulong Foundation, Inc. and UP Alumni Association in America, Inc.

Delighted with the story, the viewers stayed during the Talk Back session and discussed how the film brings into its plot the resilient and durable family values of Filipino families and the strong support of the local community in times of ordeals.

BIYAYA NG LUPA” is a 1959 film produced by LVN Pictures directed by Manuel Silos. It was a Golden Bear Best Picture nominee at the 10th Berlin International Film Festival held in 1960. It was also shown in Tokyo during the Asian film Festival where Leroy Salvador bagged the Best Supporting Actor. The film won Best Picture and Best Story from the Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences (FAMAS) in the same year. Celso Al. Carunungan, an award winning Filipino writer, novelist and scriptwriter both in Filipino and English languages, wrote the story of the film. He is also the author of Like a Big Brave Man, which was published in New York in 1960 and a production consultant for the 1982 American movie The Year of the Living Dangerously.

ConGen Mario De Leon. (photo: Lambert Parong/ Kababayan Media)
Consul General Mario de Leon, Jr, who formally opened the Sinehan sa Summer 2016, recalled that Sinehan sa Summer was originally conceived in 2008 as an educational tool on Philippine historical figures and events. He said it continually evolved and was re-programmed in 2011 when the Consulate introduced classic, indie and short films in the line-up making it a five-night event.

“Today, it affords movie aficionados in New York to catch a glimpse of Philippine history, culture and values as well as current social and political issues as seen through the lens of both the well-established and the up-and-coming film makers, whether for the film studios or the indie film circles”, said the Consul General.

Sinehan sa Summer 2016 will also offer two indie films, namely SUNDALONG KANIN and TOTO which is scheduled to be shown on 23 August and 6 September, respectively. SUNDALONG KANIN is a 2014 Audience Choice Award of Cinemalaya’s Philippine Independent Film Festival and 2015 Best Feature Film Global Award of the International Film Festival Manhattan (IFMM). TOTO, is a 2016 Audience Choice Award at the Asian American International Film Festival (AIFF), and a 2015 winner of 4 awards including Special Jury Prize and Best Director of the Metro Manila Film Festival and 2015 Best Actor and Best Foreign Film at the 19th LA Comedy Festival.

Post screening discussion with festival curators Gil Quito, Fiel Zabat & Paolo Biting.(photo: Lambert Parong/ Kababayan Media) 

A line-up of 5 Cinemalaya short films will be screened during the two Short Films Nights. The Cultural Center of the Philippines granted permission to the Sinehan to show these 2012 and 2015 Cinemalaya films.

This year, 11 Filipino community organizations co-sponsored each Tuesday night of Sinehan sa Summer namely: Handang Tumulong Foundation, Inc. (HTFI), UP Alumni Association of America, Inc (UPAAA), Pilipino American Unity for Progress, Inc. (UniPro), JCI Philippine-New York, Assumption Alumni Association, Ateneo Alumni Association, La Salle Alumni Association, Philippine-American Communities Executive Council, Inc (PACEC) and Association of Filipino Teachers in America (AFTA).

Sinehan sa Summer, a flagship project of the Philippine Consulate in partnership with New York based film experts including Gil Quito, Fiel Zabat, Paolo Bitanga and Manila- based Vincent Nebrida, will continue to run every Tuesday from 9 August to 6 September 2016 at 6:30 P.M. Admission is free.

Film Enthusiasts Photo Op. Evening Sponsors, Film Committee members and Friends with Deputy Consul General Kira Danganan-Azucena (back 7th from L) Cultural officer Olive Osias-Magpile(front 2nd from R) photo: Lambert Parong/ Kababayan Media

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