It’s been a decade since Shangri-La Plaza began featuring the annual International Silent Film Festival Manila, the first of its kind in South East Asia. For those who haven’t had the chance to try it, it is an amazing experience on itself. As its 10th year coincides with the Shang’s 25th year anniversary, they will be hosting another series of 24 silent movie screenings, accompanied by live musical performances.
This year, the Philippine-Italian Association, the Japan Foundation Manila, Goethe-Institut Philippinen, the Film Development Council of the Philippines, Instituto Cervantes, the British Council, and the Embassies of the United States of America, France and Austria, come together to present ten films from nine different countries on August 25 to 28 at the Shang Cineplex. For this milestone, lectures and a round table discussion on Silent Cinema, along with an exhibit on the festival will be added to enrich the celebrations.
Kicking things off is an exhibit illustrating the 10-year journey of the unique festival. The exhibit, to open on August 16 at the Grand Atrium, was curated by Filipina photographer and visual and graphic artist Nikkorlai Tapan. Viewers can immerse in the art and history of the movie industry’s golden era with a live movie set, an interactive photo wall that lets you create your own personal movie poster, live drawings by visual artists interpreting 10 years of rocking silence, and a trivia game experience by the interactive story tellers of Manila Who (known for their story driven walks of Escolta Street in Manila).
The festival opens on August 25 with a film from the UK, Play On! Silent Shakespeare at 7:30pm. The new compilation of silent Shakespeare shorts includes the world’s earliest surviving Shakespeare adaptation, King John, and an early version of Hamlet. The film will be scored with the stylings of Tago Jazz Collective. Our country’s very own Maicling Maicling Pelicula nang Ysang Indio Nacional, set in the Spanish-ruled 1890s Philippines, will be shown along with the sounds of indie rock band, Oh! Flamingo, on August 26, 5:30pm.
Italy is presenting Maciste All’Inferno, a story that takes place in hell. The film will be introduced with a lecture by film expert Nick Deocampo, and will be accompanied by music from iconic Filipino musician, Ely Buendia (August 26, 8pm). Popular Spanish zarzuela, La Revoltosa, is an unlikely story of two lovers set to its original musical score to be performed by the DingDong Fiel Music Ensemble and tenor Miguel Ángel Lobato (August 27, 3pm). Japan’s Muteki is a tragic story of forbidden love, scored by the Makiling Band (August 27, 5:30pm).
American movie, For Heaven’s Sake is an action, comedy, and romance about a wealthy man falling for a girl the opposite of him. The film, showing on August 27, 8pm, will be scored by the 10-piece genre-bending band Brass Pas Pas Pas Pas, composed of members from the country’s finest musical acts. France enters the festival with two films screening on August 28, 3pm, Le Pied de Mouton and Le Petit Soucet, with music composed and arranged by Felipe A. Latonio, Jr.
Following the French film is Austria’s Der Balletterzherzog, 5:30pm, a love triangle story between an arch-duke, a count, and a young ballerina, and will be accompanied by multiple award-winning vocalist of the Philippine rock band Wolfgang, Basti Artadi. Finally, the German film, Der letzte Mann, considered by many as the legendary F.W. Murnau’s most important work and one of the most revolutionary works in film history will cap off this musical film fete on August 28, 8pm, to be scored by internationally-recognized local band, Up Dharma Down.
All screenings will be open to the public on a first come, first served basis. Head to Shang for an in-depth appreciation of cinema. For inquiries, call 370-2500 loc. 597 or visit www.facebook.com/shangrilaplazaofficialfanpage. Follow the Shang on Instagram: @shangrilaplazaofficial.