The History of Philippine Cinema Part 1: The Birth of Philippine Cinema
The History of Philippine Cinema Part 2: The Pre-war Years of the 1930s
The History of Philippine Cinema Part 3: The War Years of the 1940s
The History of Philippine Cinema Part 4: The Post-war Years of the 1940s to the Early 1950s
The 1950s was a time when Philippine movies significantly matured. After World War II, cinema further developed as a form of artistic expression to local film workers. It was a period when Filipino films stabilized Philippine cinema in the world market. Due to the high production values of motion picture projects during this time, Filipino films started making big waves in international film festivals.
In 1952, Manuel Conde’s Genghis Khan became the first Filipino film to compete in an international film festival: at the main competition of the Venice International Film Festival.
In 1953, the Asia-Pacific Film Festival honored Leroy Salvador’s performance with a Best Supporting Actor Award for the film Huk sa Bagong Pamumuhay. Manuel Silos’ 1959 film Biyaya ng Lupa garnered the Best Supporting Actor Award, also for Leroy Salvador, at the Asian Film Festival held in Tokyo in 1960.
Lamberto Avellana’s 1954 film Kandelerong Pilak was shown at the Cannes International Film Festival. Actress Lilia Dizon also won the Best Actress Award for the said film at the Asia-Pacific Film Festival in 1954. Avellana’s 1956 film Anak Dalita received the Golden Harvest Award (Best Picture) at the Asia-Pacific Film Festival. He also won the Best Director of Asia Award in Tokyo for the 1957 film Badjao.
In the local scene, Lamberto Avellana’s 1952 film Korea won local awards at the Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences (FAMAS). The writer of the film, Benigno Aquino Jr., was also nominated for his screenplay at the FAMAS. Aquino is also one of the Philippine’s contemporary heroes, the husband of Philippine President Corazon Aquino (1986 to 1992) and father of Philippine President Benigno Aquino III (2010 to 2016).
Many recognitions during the 1950s further established the Philippines as a major filmmaking center in Asia.
Pioneer local award-giving bodies were also established during this era. First, the Manila Times Publishing Co. set up the Maria Clara Awards. It was composed of film publicists and writers who voted for the exemplary achievements of Filipino movies. Gerry de Leon won the Grand Prix (the equivalent of Best Picture) for his work in the film Satanas. The esteemed director won again the following year for his film Sisa. In 1953, the Maria Clara folded up to give way to the establishment of the Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences, better known as the FAMAS. With this, the Philippines set a trend in Asian cinema. FAMAS was the first film industry award-giving body in Asia.
According to the Asian Journal, some of the big names in Philippine cinema during the 1950s were carry-overs from the pre-war cinema years. These names included: Manuel Conde, Carmen Rosales, Leopoldo Salcedo, Rogelio dela Rosa, Rosa del Rosario, Oscar Moreno, Rosa Aguirre, Mila del Sol, Arsenia Francisco, Norma Blancaflor, and Jose Padilla, Jr. The 1950s also paved way to many newcomers including: Pancho Magalona, Tita Duran, Gloria Romero, Ric Rodrigo, Rita Gomez, Nestor de Villa, Nida Blanca, Luis Gonzales, Mario Montenegro, Armando Goyena, Efren Reyes, Leroy Salvador, Dolphy, Jaime dela Rosa, Ramon Revilla, Horacio Morelos, Eddie Arenas, Alicia Vergel, Fred Montilla, Cesar Ramirez, Leila Morena, Anita Linda, Van de Leon, and Rosa Rosal.
“History of Philippine Cinema,” Philippine Journeys and Philippine Online Essays.
“History of Philippine Cinema,” National Commission for Culture and the Arts.
“History of Philippine Cinema,” WikiPilipinas.
“Philippine Cinema,” Filipino Cultured Blog.
“The National Artists of the Philippines,” National Commission for Culture and the Arts.
“Pilipinas: Balik Tanaw,” Asian Journal.