JOSE ZIALCITA NEPOMUCENO (1893-1959) a.k.a. Don Jose — Acknowledged as the Father of Philippine Movies, Jose Nepomuceno established Malayan Movies in 1917. He was the producer, director, cinematographer and scenario writer of the first 100 percent Filipino full-length movie, Dalagang Bukid, shown on Sept. 25, 1919 at the Empire Theater. The movie was based on the zarzuela (the Spanish operetta or musical comedy) of the same title by dramatist Hermogenes Ilagan and Leon Ignacio; with the same cast, Atang de la Rama and Marcellano Ilagan (who later became a film director using the name Mar I.Esmeralda). It was in his 1926 movie, Ang Tatlong Hambog, that the first screen kiss was featured (by vaudeville actress
Due to budgetary constraints, Nepomuceno served as producer, director, story and script writer, camera and laboratory man, art consultant, editor, distributor and exhibitor of his own pictures. Great setbacks and personal adversities like the fires which gutted his house and studio in 1921 and 1923 did not deter him from pursuing his dreams and career. During those times, his wife, Isabel Acuna, stood by his side serving as talent scout, casting director, costume supervisor and make-up artist, and eight children (Jose Jr., Isabel, Antonio, Lubin, Victor, Angel, Luis and Carlos) ready to volunteer their services.
Nepomuceno died of a stroke in 1959 at the age of 66.
In 1967, his son, Luis formed Nepomuceno Productions with its initial movie venture, Dahil sa Isang Bulaklak. It became an instant hit and a box-office drawer during its theater run. Charito Solis, the lead star won the Best Actress award at the 1967 Asian Film Festival. The movie also figured prominently in that year's Famas awards being nominated in all major categories.
The following year, 1968 was the banner year for Nepomuceno Productions. They came up with three good quality movies that year- Luha sa Karimlan, Manila: Open City and the award-winning masterpiece Igorota. Igorota ran away with eight major awards in that year’s Famas awards--- Best Picture, Best Actress (Charito Solis), Best Director (Luis Nepomuceno), Best Supporting Actor (Fred Galang), Best Sound Editing, Best Film Editing, Best Music and Best Color Photography.
From 1967 to 1971, Nepomuceno Productions produced 8 movies, considered as masterpieces, all with contract star Charito Solis--- Dahil Sa Isang Bulaklak, Ang Langit Sa Lupa, Luha Sa Karimlan, Manila Open City, Igorota, Ang Pulubi, Pipo and The Hunted.
Their last production, The Pacific Connection in 1974, was a major setback. The capital which they used to produce the movie was loaned from the Philippine National Bank with their property at