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Lamberto V. Avellana

Lamberto V. Avellana
1st Filipino National Artist in Theater and Film (1976)
1st Filipino Filmmaker who directed Kandelerong Pilak, the 1st Philippine film ever shown at the Cannes International Film Festival Founder of the first Philippine theater group, the Barangay Theater Guild (1939) 1st Filipino to use the motion picture camera to establish a point-of-view Philippine National Artist in Theater (1976)

Lamberto V. Avellana is a pillar of Philippine Cinema. One of the few living witness to the growth and development of Filipino movies, Avellana began auspiciously as a stage director at the Ateneo de Manila, from where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1938. With his wife, the former Daisy Hontiveros, he founded in 1939 the Barangay Theater Guild, which pioneered in the presentation of legitimate plays.

Avellana movied into film at a time when the studio systems was just emerging. His first film, Sakay (1939) , was a landmark in Filipino filmmaking, because it marked in the words of a film critic T.D. Agcaoili, "The introduction of a truly creative Philippine cnema, employing organically in film some of the elements of modern stagecraft and dramaturgy that had been lacking in Philippine movies".

Avellana's direct contribution to Philippine cinema, however, is his use of cinematic techniques, in particular, of the mise-en-scene, which at the time was unheard of among directors who merely used their cameras to tell a story. In short, it was Avellana who first "discovered, exploited and enriched" the idiom of film in the country.

Aside from this, it was Avellana who first rebelled against the prevailing popularity of saccharine romances and superficial melodramas. Through his treatment of stories with serious themes and three-dimensional characters, he successfully mixed the significant issues of his time with the conventions of Filipino movie-making. 

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Lamberto...
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