In the Philippines, movies have been regarded as a source of entertainment and as a medium of expression in the arts and humanities. Movies have been a reflection of Philippine culture in its different stages. They have presented portrayals of Philippine society, showing both its progress and decay. They have likewise mirrored Filipino hope and desolation.
The Center for New Cinema believes that beyond books and classrooms, the academe can make use of film as a medium to access and disseminate knowledge. Furthermore, in both government and private organizations, workshops and trainings can utilize film as part of their training/instructional materials.
The Center for New Cinema is thus launching the National Film Literacy Program. This program aims to foster film literacy, that is, acquiring knowledge and values through the use of movies. Beyond the arts and humanities, it aims to impart knowledge for all branches of intellectual endeavour such as the sciences, economics, livelihood, environment, sexuality, religion and others.
The company will engage in the following efforts aimed at advancing film literacy in the Philippines: film screenings, DVD interactive instructional material, seminars/workshops, teaching modules and publications.
The National Film Literacy Program has been conceived by filmmaker and scholar Nick Deocampo. A graduate of the University of the Philippines and New York University Tisch School for the Arts, he is also an author, film teacher and historian. He developed the film literacy program through his twenty-year journey around the Philippines, wherein he organized film exhibitions and film screenings even to remote areas from Isabela in the north to General Santos in the south with support from the National Commission for Culture and the Arts in its outreach program and with help from other film agencies.
The program has thus been developed using in-depth knowledge and extensive studies in film, and continuous research and development is being carried out, adopting new technologies for its purpose.
An alliance between film on the one hand, and education and learning on the other, is therefore, what the Center for New Cinema seeks to achieve. It envisions the motion picture medium as an avenue by which knowledge will be accessed, produced and disseminated. It intends to reach consumers from the academe and the workplace, and in the medium-term, other markets like focus groups, which include gender groups, farmers, out-of-school youth, etc.