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Korean Film Archive screens classic films from Philippines

May 31, 2024 - 14:01 By Kim Da-sol
A scene from "Child of Sorrow" (KOFA)

A special exhibition on the golden age of film in the Philippines will continue until June 12 at the Cinematheque in Sangam-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul.

Nine films that have been digitized by LVN Pictures, a Philippine film studio, will be screened during the exhibition entitled, “Golden Age of Philippine Cinema: LVN Pictures,” the Korean Film Archive said. LVN Pictures, founded in 1938, is regarded as one of the most influential motion picture and post-production studios in Philippine cinema history. The name LVN comes from the initials of a grandmother and two friends of legendary director Mike de Leon.

All of the nine films that are screening -- including “Gilow KO” and “Ibong Adarna,” which were produced before the Pacific War -- are being shown for the first time in Korea. Joel David, a professor of cultural content at Inha University, will give a lecture on June 9, explaining the history of cinema in the Philippines.

The rich history of cinema in the Philippines goes back to the 1930s, when sound film and color film labs were established, keeping in step with the development of cinema techniques elsewhere in the world. In the 1950s, four big production firms -- LVN Pictures, Sampaguita Pictures, Premiere Productions and Lebran International – actively led the golden era of Philippine cinema. It was also in the 1950s that an average of 350 films were produced a year, the second-largest number in the world at the time after Japan.

The schedule for “Golden Age of Philippine Cinema: LVN Pictures” is available on the KOFA website. Admission is free.