Scorsese’s Foundation Set To Restore ‘Maynila Sa Mga Kuko Ng Liwanag’

MANILA, Philippines - In coordination with the Film Development Council of the Philippines, Oscar-winning director Martin Scorsese's World Cinema Foundation (WCF) is set to venture on their first-ever Filipino film restoration project.

The confirmation by WCF that Lino Brocka's "Maynila sa mga Kuko Ng Liwanag" will join the ranks of their organization's restored films came on Tuesday morning via Twitter, right in the heels of another milestone-the enhancement of the Ishmael Bernal classic "Himala" by ABS-CBN Restoration Project in partnership with Central Digital Lab Inc.

The tweet read, "Pleased to announce our next restoration: Lino Brocka's 'Maynila sa mga Kuko ng Liwanag' w/ Film Development Council of the Philippines!"

Topbilled by Bembol Roco, Hilda Koronel, Lou Salvador, Jr. and Tommy Abuel, "Manila sa mga Kuko ng Liwanag" was released in 1975. Its screenplay was penned by Clodualdo Del Mundo based on the novel "In the Claws of Brightness" by Edgardo M. Reyes.

Touted as a Filipino classic film, it has won six FAMAS awards in 1976 including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography and Best Supporting Actor for Abuel. In 1981, it also bagged a citation from Gawad Urian as one of the Best Films of the Decade.

WCF, established by Scorsese, "supports and encourages preservation efforts to save the worldwide patrimony of films, ensuring that they are preserved, seen and shared."

With the goal of defending the body and spirit of cinema, the Foundation's very mission, according to it's website, is to "encourage future generations to treat film as a universal form of expression."

Among the classic films it has successfully restored are "Forest of the Hanged" (Romania, 1965), "The Housemaid" (South Korea, 1960), "Redes" (Mexico, 1936), "Revenge" (USSR, 1989), "Kalpana" (India, 1948) and "After The Curfew" (Indonesia, 1954)-the last two of which were restored only this year.

As of this writing, though, no definite schedule has been given yet as to when and where the restoration will take place.