Cinematheque construction set next year in Davao City

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/14 December) – Cinematheque, a 150-seater movie facility of the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), is set to be built by next year beside the city’s Pasalubong Center near People’s Park along Palma Gil Street.

“It will finally push through,” Maria Lourdes G. Monteverde, president of Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc., said on Tuesday in the weekly Club 888 press forum at Marco Polo Davao Hotel.

She said the recent approval of the city council of the ordinance granting the mayor the authority to sign a deed of usufruct with the FDCP would pave the way for the establishment of the facility in the 173-square meter lot near the Pasalubong Center.

The ordinance was approved under suspended rules on Monday during the regular session of the city council.

The draft of the memorandum of agreement said the city government “shall put into effect the transfer of the property upon the signing of the deed of usufruct to FDCP and pay for all taxes and fees, if any, at its own expense.”

The would-be location of Cinematheque has an existing building, which the FDCP will renovate for the facility that would offer free movies to the public.

The Cinematheque would house both a film archive and a small cinema. It will also serve as a venue for independent filmmakers.

“FDCP shall ensure that the building and its premises shall be well taken care of and maintained properly and shall bear all expenses for the operations, maintenance, sanitation and other related expenses,” the draft MOA said.

Peter Philip Lat, coordinator of the Davao City Film Festival under FDCP, said earlier that it would be the second Cinematheque in the country.

The facility is scheduled to open in time for or prior to the first Davao City Film Festival in May next year.

The first Cinematheque was recently built in Baguio City with 25 seats. It is part of the council’s Sineng Pambansa program with the objective to “bring Filipino films to Filipinos” in its effort to revive and raise the standards of the motion picture industry in the country.

The FDCP also planned to put up Cinematheque facilities in Marawi City and Iloilo City. (MindaNews)