Award-winning films by the late director Ishmael Bernal, namely Relasyon, Broken Marriage, and City After Dark, will be showcased in a mini retrospective entitled “Tribute to A National Artist.”
Organized by the Digital Filmmaking Program of De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB) in cooperation with Regal Films, the screenings will feature Bernal’s masterpieces made in partnership with the tandem of Vilma Santos and Christopher de Leon.
The festival opens today with Relasyon, Bernal’s definitive portrait of an illicit affair. Upon release, it was considered controversial for portraying the mistress as a heroine and sympathetic character. Santos won a grand slam for Best Actress trophies from the country’s four award-winning giving bodies.
To be screened on Wednesday, Feb. 7, is Broken Marriage, which follows the breakdown of a couple’s family as they actively pursue their busy careers. Santos once again scored an acting award.
The filmmaker’s portrait of Manila in City After Dark is up on Feb. 14. Originally titled Manila by Night, this almost did not reach public screens after then First Lady Imelda Marcos objected to the title and its seedy themes.
Named National Artist for Film in 2001, he was hailed as “the genius of Philippines cinema.” The recognition cited him as “a filmmaker of the first order, and one of the very few who can be truly called a maestro.” It added that his pieces “serve as social commentaries and bold reflections on the existing realities of the struggle of the Filipino.”
He was recognized as Director of the Decade of the 1970s by the Catholic Mass Media Awards, Best Director by the Urian Awards in 1989, 1985, 1983, and 1977, and given the ASEAN Cultural Award in Communication Arts in 1993.
All screenings are free and open to the public at the School of Design and Arts (SDA) Cinema, SDA Campus, from 12:30 to 2 p.m.
The De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde School of Design and Arts (SDA) Campus is located at 950 Pablo Ocampo Street (Vito Cruz Street), Malate, Manila.
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