The growing momentum that the arts is gaining post-lockdown is making way for talented individuals and groups to once again share their work to the public. One such effort is the International Silent Film Festival (ISFF) Manila, returning in their 15th year to showcase the art of silent film.
This year’s festival is presented by Japan Foundation Manila, the Embassy of Italy with the Philippine Italian Association, Instituto Cervantes, the British Council, the Goethe-Institut, and the Embassy of France, together with the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP).
After the opening ceremonies conducted at the newly renovated Manila Metropolitan Theater on November 24, the festival will screen—on top of the nine Filipino silent films—six classic silent films from the collaborating countries, starting with Japan’s Orochi (1925). Translated to “serpent,” Orochi is an action film by Futagawa Buntarō that will be live scored by Munimuni. Health and safety protocols will be enforced.
Other international films to be screened include Carceleras (1922), a story of rivalry and romance, and Dr. Wise on Influenza (1919), a public-information film on the 1918 influenza outbreak that persisted until 1920.
In addition to the films, the festival will also hold panel discussions to touch on topics that silent film novices and enthusiasts alike can enjoy and learn from.
At the end of the program, the festival will screen the nine Filipino films as part of their competing lineup for the FDCP’s first Mit Out Sound (MOS) Silent Film Competition.
The MOS Silent Film Competition first launched a nationwide open call in May, and selected participants went through intensive film labs under the guidance of international and local filmmakers and editors. Participants were then tasked to create their own short films, matched with film composers to assist in creating original scores for the films.
The winner for the Mit Out Sound Silent Film Competition will be announced on December 3. The program is being screened on the FCDP website.