A DOCUMENTARY film festival has successfully reached its fundraising goal to bring home some of the oldest existing documentaries on the Philippines which are stored in the British Film Institute.

Among the 35mm films stored in the London archives are documentaries made in 1911 — Fabrication Des Chapeaux De Manille and Industrie De L’abaca A L’ile De Cebu — a film made in 1926 called Manila Street Scene, and another filmed in 1929: Glimpses Of The Culion Leper Colony And Of Culion Life, according to a Daang Dokyu press release.

The existence of the films was said to have been discovered by the Philippine Studies program of the SOAS University of London.

“[These films] should be brought home so the current generation can watch them in light with the 100 years celebration of documentary filmmaking in the Philippines,” said Cristina Juan, project head of Philippine Studies, said in the release.

“Access to these films is very difficult. To just be able to view them, one needs to be in London and pay a per-minute viewing fee. To get screening rights, you also need to pay a digitization fee and then screening fees on top of these,” said Daang Dokyu Festival Director Baby Ruth Villarama.

Ms. Juan and several others initiated a GoFundMe campaign to raise €1,670 (approximately P110,000) to “release the films from the UK to ship back to the Philippines.”

The raised funds will be used to get digitized version of the four aforementioned films, screening rights for the festival, and a digital copy with the BFI watermark for library research.

“We have reached [the funding goal] last night but [we] will continue to raise funds to scan other titles,” the festival organizers told BusinessWorld in an e-mail on Feb. 6.

They also hope to raise additional funds for live music to accompany the films during the film festival because “these are silent films. Sound on film hadn’t been invented at the time,” they said.

Daang Dokyu plans to screen said films at the festival which will be held on March 16-21 at Cine Adarna, University of the Philippines-Diliman, Quezon City.

The fundraiser, which started on Jan. 24, has raised €1,767 as of press time.

Daang Dokyu plans to screen the films at the festival, which will be held on March 16-21 at Cine Adarna, University of the Philippines-Diliman, Quezon City.

Daang Dokyu is a five-day documentary film festival organized by filmmakers Kara Magsanoc-Alikpala, Jewel Maranan, Monster Jimenez, and Ms. Villarama.

The festival will be held as part of the ongoing celebration of the century since the country has started filmmaking — the first Filipino film is Jose Nepomuceno’s Dalagang Bukid in 1919 — and will feature screenings of “classic and latest documentaries,” panel discussions, lectures, and masterclasses.

“[Daang Dokyu] aims to reach a broader audience for documentaries and offer the ‘docu way’ to take stock of how we are as a nation and where we are headed,” according to the festival website.

While the website has not yet released a screening schedule, among the festival events is a “supplemental exhibition presenting the expanse of Philippine documentaries” and to launch a book on Philippine documentaries.

“[The festival] will culminate with the first-ever Philippine Documentary Forum, which will be the largest gathering of documentary filmmakers in the country,” said the website.

For more information, follow Daang Dokyu on Facebook and Instagram or visit www.daangdokyu.ph. Those who want to contribute to the fundraising efforts may make a deposit at FILDOCS INC. Bank of the Philippine Islands Account No. 2951002219 or write to info@daangdokyu.ph. ZBC