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Restoring, preserving films produced by ‘Tita Midz’

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‘CHISMAX’ — The Sunday evening show on DZMM Teleradyo, “Chismax,” is more than “chismis to the max.” Hosted by Ambet Nabus and Gretchen Fullido (both UP graduates), “Chismax” is also very informative, discussing varied topics.

Last Sunday, Ambet (Gretchen was busy elsewhere) dwelt on restoring old films with Leo Katigbak (another UP alumnus) of Star Cinema. Actually, it was not the first time Ambet and Leo discussed the topic. Ambet recalled his thesis at UP was focused on the films of Nora Aunor and Vilma Santos and it took a lot of work and research to trace the old films of the two great actresses. Then cinema restoration unheard of. But now thanks to Star Cinema, which since two or three years back has restores many old movies. Many have been lost forever due to neglect, apathy, or even plain ignorance.

INSPIRED BY – As of this writing, the restored version of the Richard Gomez-Dawn Zulueta starrer “Hihintayin Kita sa Langit” has been shown, said to be even better than the original.

Shot in Batanes, “Hihintayin Kita sa Langit” is directed by Carlitos Siguion Reyna and produced by “direk’s” mother, Armida Siguion Reyna, Tita Midz familiarly addressed. The film was inspired by Hollywood’s “Wuthering Heights,” originally starred in by Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberon.

Two other Hollywood-inspired films directed by Carlitos and produced by Tita Midz under the Reyna Films banner are set to be restored.

“Saan Ka Man Naroroon,” another Richard-Dawn starrer, inspired by “Sunflower,” topbilled by Sophia Loren, Marcello Mastroiani, and the Russian actress Ludmila Savelyeva. Sharmaine Arniz co-starred in “Saan Ka Man Naroroon” as the other woman, winning as Urian best supporting actress award.

The other film is “Ikaw Pa Lang ang Minahal” (inspired by “The Heiress” with Olivia de Havilland in the title role), topbilled by Maricel Soriano and Richard Gomez. Eddie Gutierrez played the father of Maricel, meriting a best actor award from the Film Academy of the Philippines.

Must praise Star Cinema, Gabby Lopez, Charo Santos, Carlo Katigbak, Leo, and others for spearheading the restoration of old films, some of which are classics meant meant to be preserved for the coming geberationz.

OTHER ‘TITA MIDZ’ FILMS – At this point, it must be said that Tita Midz produced other quality films…worthy of being restored and preserved.

More directed by Carlitos (and written by wife Bibeth Orteza): “Ligaya,” Selya,” “Tatlo,” “Inagaw Mo ang Lahat sa Akin,” “Abot Kama yang Pangarap,” “Misis Mo, Misis Ko.”

But even before Carlitos, while he was studying at NYU, Tita produced “Mga Bilanggung Birhen” and “Laruan Apoy” (she was cast in those two films), “Kung Mawawala Ka Pa.”

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