Lino Brocka's 1975 film, Maynila sa mga Kuko ng Liwanag, was restored by the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) in partnership with Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Foundation (WCF).
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The said Brocka classic's restored version had its world premiere at the Cannes International Film Festival in France on May 17, 2013.
The Maynila premiere in Cannes was graced by the film’s lead actress, Hilda Koronel, herself a multi-awarded "Brocka baby."
On April 29, the festival officially announced its selection of Maynila as part of Cannes Classic, rounding up an unprecedented Philippine Cinema contingent in the world’s most prestigious film festival.
It has been announced earlier that Lav Diaz’s Hangganan ng Kasaysayan (starring Sid Lucero, Angeli Bayani, Archie Alemania) and Adolfo Alix Jr.’s Death March (Sid Lucero again, Sam Milby, Zanjoe Marudo) were competing in the Un Certain Regarde section.
Meanwhile, Erik Matti’s On the Job (starring Piolo Pascual and Gerald Anderson) were part of the Director’s Fortnight.
Three Filipino films are also included in the festival’s Short Film Corner namely Aiess Alonso’s Katapusang Labok, Carlo Manatad’s Oasis Redux, and Roderick Cabrido’s Mga Engkantong Laog sa Mahabang Dapithapon. The Filipino people through FDCP will be providing travel assistance accordingly to this contingent.
This new generation of filmmakers follows the steps of Brocka who has graced Cannes several times throughout his career.
The late great director has been in the main competition for the Palme D’Or in 1980 with Jaguar and in 1984 for Bayan Ko: Kapit sa Patalim, in Director’s Fortnight in 1978 for Insiang and in 1981 forBona, and in exhibition in 1989 for Orapronobis. And in 1986, Brocka served as a member of the Festival Jury.
Maynila is considered by many as Brocka’s magnum opus and one of Philippine Cinema’s greatest films.
It joins Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo (1958), Yasujirō Ozu’s An Autumn Afternoon (1962), Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Last Emperor (1987), and other masterpieces from cinematographic history that have been carefully restored in time for the Cannes Classic section.
Maynila was restored on a 4k-3k-2k workflow by L’Immagine Ritrovata, the same laboratory that restored Manuel Conde’s Genghis Khan (1950), which premiered at the Venice International Film Festival last year.
The restoration was made possible through the collaboration of FDCP and WCF together with the National Film Archives of the Philippines, the British Film Institute, the Asian Film Archives, and the producer/ cinematographer of the film, Mike de Leon, also a master filmmaker of Philippine Cinema.