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100 Years After the First Film on Rizal Comes “A mi Patria”

April 25, 2012

The first film on Rizal was made in 1912. According to Vicente Salumbides’ Motion Pictures in the Philippines,  (c. 1952), a certain Mr. Yearsley who owned the Majestic Theater on Azcarrage St. near Bilibid, produced the silent movie, “Life of Dr. Jose Rizal / La Vida de Rizal.” Another American, E.M. Gross who operated the Zorilla Theater at Azcarraga [now Rizal Avenue] and Evangelista in Sta. Cruz, Manila also produced a film on Dr. Rizal’s life. Both films were simultaneously shown in Manila theaters.

100 years later, or this year [2012], A mi Patria – consisting of Rizal poetries in film were produced and soon to be released. In four languages, the Filipino Sign Language [FSL] version has a 10-min short biography of Rizal. It was finished last December but will be released this year. The spoken language versions: Spanish, English and Filipino were finished in February. Honorio Lopez acted in Rizal film in 1912; our versions have Aldrin Gabriel, Mark Steven Gaspar and Romalito Mallari as Rizal. All three of them are Deaf.

I have just readied the preview copy of A mi Patria / Inang-Bayan / To my Motherland. Since it may be too long to preview over two hours of the film in all four language versions – I will just project the FSL version [50 mins], and the spoken language versions totalling to nearly 27 mins as follows: Sa Filipinas [Read in Filipino, Interpreted in FSL, Captioned in English]; To the Philippine Youth [Read in English, Interpreted in FSL, Captioned in Spanish]; Awit ni Maria Clara [Read in Filipino, Interpreted in FSL, Captioned in English]; A las Flores de Heidelberg [Read in Spanish, Interpreted in FSL, Captioned in English] and Mi Ultimo Adios [Read in Filipino, Interpreted in FSL, Captioned in Spanish]. All poems were written by Dr. Jose Rizal. The preview is temporary scheduled on May 11 and will be limited to all those involved in the project: production staff members, performers and a few stakeholders. Public viewing will be held on June 19, 2012 in celebration of Dr. Jose Rizal’s 151th birthday.

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