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Philippine Cinema: A Window into Filipino Culture

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Cinemas are a part of enjoyment culture like Michelangelo’s Statues which are famous part of artistic culture. The trend of this culture started in the Philippines on August 31, 1897 when movies and pictures were first introduced in Manila at the Salon de Pertierra.

In this year, the first time local scenes of a film were shot by Antonio Ramos (Spaniard) using that time famous equipment like Cinematograph and Lumiere.

In the Philippines, Early filmmakers and producers were rich and they were also enterprising foreigners and expatriates. But on September 12, 1919, that was the 1st time when the movie Dalagand Bukid was made by Filipino filmmaker Jose Nepomuceno, this movie was a popular musical play.

Right after that movie, Jose Nepomuceno dubbed it the “Father of Philippine Cinema”. This movie started the culture of cinema in the Philippines as an art form.

Filipino people considered the films a popular form of enjoyment. This industry hired 260,000 Filipinos employed directly and started to generate 2-billions revenue annually.

Southwest Asia also liked the Philippine cinema strongly and Film industries of Thailand and Indonesia shoot films in the Philippines Cinema.
The Philippines has its own Film Development Council and it established a national film archive in October 2011. In Luna Awards, Filipino Films were honoured as outstanding films and voted by their own interested audience. After this, Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino got the Gawad Urian Awards, which is also the award for choices of credible winners.

The bloom years of cinema started from the 1930’s, when there was a discovery of film genre as a new media enjoyments in arts, scripts and characteristics in films which originated from cinema.
Nationalistic films were also considered so popular at that time.

There was a war of consciousness reality brought to the Philippine cinema in 1940’s. That time movie themes consisted primarily of two roles: war and heroism and this thing catched a huge hit among local audiences.

Golden Age of Philippines Cinema:

In the 1950’s there was a golden age of Philippine cinema. That time more artistic and mature films emerged. And that time filmmakers made significant improvements in cinematic techniques.

As the studio system of many films produced frenetic activity annually, it also started the same process in the local film industry and due to this several local talents started to earn popularity and recognition abroad.

Establishment of award giving institutes and ceremonies is done 1st time in that era. Until the end of the 19th decade, the studio system was working as a monopoly system but at the end when there were labour management conflicts, it came under siege. By the 1960’s the previous artistry establishment went on decline. This era was full of fan movies, action flicks, rampant commercialism and western spin offs.

Turbulent Era of Cinema Industry:

Time of ten years from 1970’s to 1980’s was known as the turbulent era of the cinema industry, which faced many changes which were both positive as well as negative. The themes of the films covered in this period were totally serious and following the Martial Law Era.
Furthermore there were also developed action and sex films and introduced explicit subject matter. At this time independent and alternative films were introduced in the Philippines.

Emerging Popularity of Cinema:

In the 1990’s, it was the emerging popularity era of teen oriented romantic comedy, slasher movies. There were also sexually explicit adult films emerging. In Spite of all this, slapstick comedies gathered a large audience. That time all the previous films were recycled and every new film had a taste of previous ones, like the same stories and love teams etc

The Philippines is known as Asia’s oldest film industry. It always remains undisputed on higher levels of theatre admissions all over Southeast Asia. Over these years, there was a significant decline in movie viewership from 131 million to 64 million from 1996 to 2004.

Due to this, the film production of that country decreased from 200 to 56 new films in 2006 and 30 films in 2007. By passing the turbulent times, in the 21th century this industry gained popularity by rebirth in the field of independent filmmaking through the use of modern digital technology assets. And now there are again a number of films in this industry to get popularity and prestige.

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