Is GenSan or Koronadal City ready for a Cinematheque?

Is GenSan or Koronadal City ready for a Cinematheque?

What is exactly a Cinematheque?

A simple Wikipedia search would tell you that "it is a typically small motion-picture theater that specializes in historically important, experimental, avant-garde, or art-house films. Often part of a university or private archive, a cinematheque may have only one screen, but larger ones have multiple screens

We have the Philippine Cinematheque which is a National Cinema program of Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), whose mission is to "bring Filipino films to Filipinos".

According to its website, the Cinematheque was designed and is destined to be, an alternative and accessible venue that:

- Provide Talent Opportunities and Employment
- Open doors for Filipino Artists and New Film Producers
- Encourage well-organized sustainable film events within regions

There are few Cinematheque in the Philippines. In Mindanao, we have Cinematheque Davao and Cinematheque Nabunturan. I visited both Cinematheque and I got amazed by how it was materialized, especially the case of Nabunturan.

Establishing Cinematheque in a city or municipality is a tedious process, depending on the level of support of an LGU and its understanding of its importance not only for the local filmmakers but also to the development of its city/municipality.

For its preparation, it takes two years (or more) for FDCP-LGU negotiation, signing of the agreement, to identifying the land area.

The idea of Cinematheque would also depend on the priority projects of the Local Chief Executive. As far as my knowledge is concern, most of the Mayors in the region would not prioritize Culture and Arts projects. Not unless a Mayor is an artist or has appreciation and understanding of culture and arts as part of the development of his/her city/municipality.

Good thing there is DILG Memorandum Circular No. 2002-81 titled "Creation of Culture and Arts Councils." But it is not enough to back it up. Most of the LGUs comply with this DILG Memorandum for the purpose of recognition and award (plus the budget). If there is no memorandum, there is no creation of Culture and Arts Council, since it is not a priority of an LGU (despite the fact that there are Philippine Laws for it like the National Heritage Act of 2009).

Another factor would be the person lobbying for Cinematheque. If a person, who has a questionable background, no clear vision, and passion for cinema, it would not succeed.

In SOX, you can only count by your hands, the film festivals that blossomed in the past seven years. For example, the Salamindanaw Asian Film Festival continues to show ASEAN and Asian films and nurtures the film movement in the region. Other film festivals are school-based like the MSU EdTech Film Festival and RMMC Documentary Film Festival; and government-sponsored like the case of Sine Matutum Film Festival (organized by DENR) and DepEd film festival events. Sustainability is a common problem for film festivals. Lack of institutional support and bureaucracy are some of its challenges they have encountered. Some chose to continue and remain committed to their vision, while others chose to be blinded by their own self-interests.

So are we ready for a Cinematheque?

[Planning to write a full-blown article for this topic. The article will be published on my new website...soon. Feel free to share your thoughts about this matter.]