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Agitprop booklet


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International Film Festival On Peoples' Struggles

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Agitprop booklet

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  2. 2. Almost a century ago, the world witnessed a historic event — one that can never reform because it is their own land that will be “reformed.” They are those who would be forgotten —when the oppressed people of one nation stood up, fought and won not want the young generation to learn about human rights, justice and democracy against tyranny, injustice and oppression. It was the October revolution that founded because they are afraid that those young people might rise up against them one day. the former Soviet Union. It was a genuine revolution. It was radical and it changed a They are those who would want the people to remain subservient to their own dic- whole system in one nation and even influenced others. tates and would tell you that socialism is bad, communism is bad or resistance is bad. Immediately after the October Revolution, cinema, as well as theatre and other art They are the ruling elites. They are those who occupy the seats of power; those who forms, played a role in educating the mostly illiterate Russian masses. The films were make laws, those who own giant corporations and vast lands and wealth. They are carried to the masses by the Agit-Prop trains. Cinema then played a significant role in the big corporations, financial-aristocrats that make up the imperialist power, with the the political mobilization of the masses and not just for simple entertainment. United States at its epicenter. They dominate and control the big media, the main- stream film industry, education, etc. How then can we imagine the world differently? Such a victorious revolution of the oppressed may seem unimaginable right now, perhaps for many of us. How can we imagine such a thing to even happen right now? This is where cinema literally and figuratively enters the picture. Cinema is an undeni- ably powerful tool for shaping one’s notions of reality and the big Hollywood compa- How could we, when most of us probably grew up being taught and told that radical- nies have capitalized on this, not only for profit, but to promote the imperialist agenda. ism, leftism, socialism, communism or any isms in that side of the political hemisphere Cinema has been an extension of US political hegemony. is bad, especially in a country like the Philippines where backward-conservatism had been inculcated by centuries of colonial and semi-colonial rule. “Be contented and But at the same time, we can also mobilize cinema to present counter discourses as thankful for what you have, this is God’s will”, my teacher used to tell me. what has been done by the Soviets. Through the Agit-Prop trains, cinema’s potential to educate and empower the masses had been realized. It has effectively shown that However, I am not here to debate you on religion. Neither will I discuss the merits of cinema as a mass medium has limitless potential to create avenues for alternative socialism or communism. Let us save that for another time. I will tell you though that imaginings in which struggle, justice and a humane society is possible. the “unimaginable” idea of the oppressed people rising up, making a true revolution happen, changing a whole society for the betterment of the majority of the people is Cinema became a form for countering the dominant notions during that time. It be- RIGHT. What is WRONG is how we imagine the world today, or rather, how we are came an alternative. This is what the AGITPROP film festival is aiming to do— to give made to imagine our world. us an alternative way of imagining our world today. Through the films about genuine peoples struggles, we aim to ignite a collective imagination of a society that stands up Here in the Philippines, the notion of a revolution by perhaps most people is that of against oppression and exploitation. We want to introduce to everyone’s imagination the “peaceful uprisings” in EDSA that toppled the Marcos dictatorship in 1986 and the the possibility of a more just and humane society. We hope to send out a message Estrada regime in 2001. Tyrants and corrupt leaders may have fallen during those that it is right to rise up and resist injustices, oppression and exploitation. It is right to events, but it did not change the ruling system in the country. The 1896 anti-colonial fight for human rights, for the environment, against discrimination, for freedom and revolution of the Katipunan on the other hand, is more likely to be abstract especially liberation. to the young generation of Filipinos today. To many, an armed revolution such as that may probably seem “a thing of the past”. It is not the fault of this generation though Gil Scott-Heron once cautioned that the revolution will not be televised and he is because, again, there is something wrong with how we are made to imagine the right. But until that happens, it wouldn’t hurt if we, together, witness on the silver world today. screen how parts of revolutions from various places around the world come together. What is wrong is that the popular modes of culture, arts, communication, including the mainstream media are controlled and dominated by those who perpetrate the REEL FREEDOM, REAL CHANGE. injustices and oppression against the people of the world. They are those who would RJ Mabilin not want the workers to ask for better wages and benefits because it would mean ST eXposure less profit for them. They are those who would not want peasants to call for land AGITPROP Festival Director2 3
  3. 3. It makes total sense that in the Philippines you have film fest called AGITPROP – in a country where there is a powerful people’s movement to inspire and channel the energies and creative UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST IN THE PHILIPPINES efforts of filmmakers who have taken the side of the people and want to advance social South Luzon Juridictional Area change and support an anti-imperialist and even a socialist perspective. Activism and filmmaking do not need to be separate life choices. In our experience, filmmakers who want to make films that will contribute to fundamental social and political change should be activists too. Of course such artists have to be ready to accept sacrifice and not expect fame and fortune. With the AGITPROP Festival you have rightly chosen to celebrate and applaud the efforts ofThere is a great need for human rights advocates around the world to unite, a need for these filmmakers and the creative collectives and teams they create with. Because in the end,workers for social justice to join forces together to promote peoples’ struggles for justice the best agit-prop cinema is a collective creative process, the result of contact building, manyand liberation. months if not years of preparation, fund raising, research, recording, editing, graphics, music, sound and graphic design, translation, new media input, distributors of all descriptions, support of family, friends and community, and last but not least… a lot of hard, often grinding work.It is in the light of this call that ST Exposure has prepared and now offers to us a filmfestival entitled “AGITPROP” to make us aware that the struggle of the Filipino people It’s clear that making progressive and agit-prop films is not about simply translating a line orfor justice and liberation is not an isolated one. The basic masses from their respective a policy into film. It is using the creative capacities of artists who know the medium to multiplycountries are also waging the same struggles for rights and welfare. the message in a way that others would not think of. A way to touch the heart, the emotions, to stimulate and to arouse to action, in ways involving sight, sound and movement that wordsWe salute and give thanks to ST Exposure for bringing us together to view and witness on paper or other forms of art people around the world demonstrate the exploitation, harassment and torture of thepowerful upon the powerless poor, as well as the option of asserting the peoples’ strug- The term agit-prop comes from a long tradition of agitation and propaganda. Agit-prop wasgles to claim justice and freedom. used to describe a highly political theatre popular during the 1920’s and embodied in the plays of Bertolt Brecht, for example. We have come to understand that agitation acts primarily onWe also recognize the participation of those who shared their time, talents and resources the emotions, with propaganda acting primarily on the mind to fill in the blanks and bring aboutfor AGITPROP to become a reality. that “Eureka” moment when it all suddenly makes sense and we are moved to action. As a result, we have tried in our films to touch the mind through the heart.Let us promote the peoples’ struggles around the world. Throughout history, knowledge is something that has been guarded jealously by those in power, ensuring that the education of slaves and workers are only prepared to work hard in their fields, factories and offices.Bishop Arturo R. AsiUCCP Bishop assigned to SLJA Of course in the 21st Century under modern industrialized production, workers must be educated to a certain degree. But then the question arises: what is the ideology and political outlook they are educated with, what is the most common world view they are steeped in? Inevitably, it’s those of the ruling elite. Of course this class bias is hidden under an unending barrage of information and sound and image bites in our world of iPhones, YouTubes, FBs and Twits. AGITPROP Festival is an attempt to counter that… to offer another perspective from the point of view of the working and toiling people, from the forces on the ground, from the forces working to topple the system of exploitation, wars of aggression and oppression. We salute your initiative and the fine films and filmmakers you are honouring and wish many more years of success to the AGITPROP Festival. Malcolm Guy and Marie Boti Productions Multi-Monde4 5
  4. 4. Office of the Chairperson First Quarter Storm MovementOn behalf of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle, I wish to express warmest I join the organizers of AGITPROP in welcoming the participants and the public to thisgreetings of solidarity to the organizers, the film makers and all participants in the AGITPROP groundbreaking international film festival. That AGITPROP being held in the PhilippinesInternational Film Festival. gives Filipino filmmakers and artists a distinct honor and inspiration to persevere in the movement for people’s democratic rights and genuine social liberation.For their success in organizing the festival, we congratulate the Southern Tagalog eXposure,Mayday Multimedia, Tudla productions, KODAO productions and all the cooperatingmultimedia and cultural groups. AGITPROP, through its outstanding entries, exemplifies the power of film and its new technology not merely to interpret the world but to change it. Such a commitment, however,We welcome and appreciate the AGITPROP film festival as a highly significant contribution could only find meaning and force if artists, filmmakers included, persist in being one withto the growing international solidarity movement of the people along the anti-imperialist and the people in their vision and course of action. Having said that, I wish that filmmakersdemocratic line. It provides a venue for a wide range of films that present the dismal social forge ahead in creating what AGITPROP seeks – an enduring solidarity among people’srealities and the aspirations of the people of the world for greater freedom, democracy, social artists and people’s cultural organizations, the better to make films to change the world.justice and all-round development.Today, the movies that dominate the international film industry conceal or obscure the realities Bonifacio P. Ilaganthat are laid bare by the films in AGITPROP. They serve only as a tool to distract and bend the Chair, First Quarter Storm Movementconsciousness of the people towards subservience to the dictates of imperialism and reaction. FilmmakerThis is also true in the case of other cultural art forms that inundate the mainstream media.Since more than a century ago, US imperialism has used culture, the arts and the mass mediato help maintain and expand its power, to manipulate the consciousness of the people anddraw them away from resistance. For this purpose, it has propagated decadent bourgeoisculture and values that are distinctively colonial, feudal, patriarchal, selfish, racist and fascist.In recent decades, the US imperialists have systematically generated a culture of greedunder the policy of neoliberal globalization and a culture of repression and aggression underthe policy of global war of terror. They have misrepresented the forces and people thatoppose and fight against imperialist plunder and war as terrorists, enemies of democracy and For story tellers, being heard and watched is a very good start. AGITPROP is one ofdevelopment and have targeted them for suppression. the very few screening events that curate films that arent necessarily produced withUS imperialism is the No. 1 terrorist, exploiter and oppressor of the world. The global the highest of production cost; as long as stories are well told and significant issues areeconomic and financial crisis that is ravaging the world today is rooted in the drive of the presented clearly with strong evidence to back them up, and if youve reasonably decentmonopoly capitalists for superprofits at the expense of the people. We can expect the crisis production skills why shouldnt your work be screened?to become worse, inflict more suffering on the people and incite them to struggle for their ownnational and social liberation. With that kind of opportunity, producers who have to make do with anything they can get their hands on, have more just the internet to ensure their works reach wider audiencesIn this context, the AGITPROP festival plays an important role. It shows us the way to countercultural imperialism with revolutionary cultural work and advance the people’s struggle with the and thats just what EngageMedia have done with AGITPROP. Youll find an hour’s worthuse of films and other art forms. These do not merely expose the bitter realities but they also of curated short-format documentaries from EngageMedia that tell meaningful storiesconstitute a direct action against imperialism and all the social ills that come with it. regardless of the resources available to produce them.We must have more AGITPROP festivals to inspire the artists, the cultural workers and the We are deeply grateful for this opprtuniy to work with the organizers of AGITPROP. Weentire people to take the road of revolutionary resistance against imperialism and reaction. congratulate everyone who have worked tirelessly for the success of the festival!Prof. Jose Maria SisonChairperson Enrico AditjondroInternational League of Peoples’ Struggle Southeast Asia Editor EngageMedia.org6 7
  5. 5. THE FIRST AGITPROP FILM FESTIVAL 2011 | METRO MANILA, PHILIPPINES AGITPROP FILM FESTIVAL 2011 is organized alongside two historic occasions – the 1st International Festival on People’s Rights and Struggles (IFPRS) and the 4th International Assembly of the International League of People’s Struggle (ILPS). The ILPS is an international organization which at present includes more than 350 memberAGITPROP is an international festival of films that promote genuine peoples’ organizations from over 40 countries. The IFPRS, on the other hand, is an initiative of ILPS member organizations to give venue for the exchanges between sectoral groups aroundstruggles all over the world. It takes the role of giving a much needed venue the world on issues of human rights, migrants’ rights, livelihood, welfare, women’s rights,for films and filmmakers that dare present social realities, often silenced culture and the arts, environment and social justice, among others.and confused by the dominant modes and channels of information. It isfor films that take on the issue of imperialism and neoliberal globalization, Both events seek to forge a stronger and broader solidarity among organizations and individuals, including artists and cultural workers, in the struggle to advance and defendresistance and liberation struggles, genuine democracy, human rights, the people’s genuine democratic rights and aspirations throughout the world.and social justice among others. The festival is held on July 2-4 at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Metro Manila. After the launching, it will tour different parts of the country, especially universities. It isBACKGROUND | Throughout the world, living conditions of majority of people remain open to anyone or any organization from any country willing to promote and mount thedifficult. Workers still do not receive livable wages, farmers and peasants remain enslaved festival outside of the feudal relations, indigenous peoples are driven away from their ancestral lands. Similarly,human rights violations are widespread even in so-called democratic societies. For these AGITPROP 2011 will feature a total of 30 entries including award winning films such asreasons, people have learned to stand up and fight. Unfortunately, however, the brave “Cultures of Resistance” (U.S.), “Mirage of El Dorado” (Canada), “The Yes Men Fix thestruggles of people oftentimes fail to reach their much-needed popular support because World” (U.S.) and “DUKOT/Disappeared” (Philippines).they do not figure prominently in mainstream and commercial mass media. Nevertheless,there is a growing number of filmmakers and media activists who go out of their way tofilm these peoples’ struggles in the hope of spreading information and ideas that will lead Proponents of the 1st AGITPROP Film Festival 2011to mobilizing people to support the plight of the oppressed. Through their works, we areable to hear and see social realities silenced and confused by the dominant modes andchannels of information and imagination. Organizers: ST EXPOSUREIt is within this context that a festival of films about genuine peoples’ struggles is organized. in cooperation withThrough this festival, we seek to present alternatives to popular modes of imagining thenation and the world. Featured inthe festival are films about struggles in different countries. MAYDAY MULTIMEDIAThrough these films, we aim to cover the battles in two fronts: the reel and real. The name ofthe festival borrows the title of the educational campaign launched in Russia in the 1920s. TUDLA PRODUCTIONSIt takes inspiration from Agit-prop’s position of promoting counter discourses through CONCERNED ARTISTS OF THE PHILIPPINEScinema, which is widely recognized for its crucial role in collective political mobilization.Ultimately, it recognizes that the visual is a critical site of struggle where the truth about our FREE JONAS BURGOS MOVEMENTcollective aspiration for a just and humane society is at stake. ARTISTS’ ARRESTFurthermore, the festival will be a venue where we can consolidate global efforts toproduce a kind of cinema that is not only independent but also liberating. We have learned KODAO PRODUCTIONSand validated from the history of our struggle that victories are won through committedcollective action and this very much applies to cultural battles. As we drumbeat pressing Program partner:issues such as human rights, welfare of the working class, and freedom from oppressionamong others, we also champion the cause of progressive artists and filmmakers who are EngageMediaencumbered by limited exhibition spaces for works teeming with artistic brilliance and socialvalue and conscience. We seek to give them the audience they deserve in this festival. The Sponsors:screenings will be free of charge to accommodate more people. Simultaneously, we also UCCP SOUTH LUZON JURISDICTIONAL AREAprovide filmmakers an opportunity to reach out to one another in the hope of forging unityin issues and concerns in their sector. KARAPATAN - SOUTHERN TAGALOG8 9
  6. 6. Acknowledgements: Our co-presentors at the July 2--4, 2011 UP Diliman screening: CONTEND-UP University Student Council–UP Diliman STAND UP College of Mass Communication UP Film Institute UP College of Mass Communication UCCP Middle Luzon Jurisdiction International Festival on People’s Rights and Struggles International Conference on Progressive Culture Special thanks to: International League of Peoples’ Struggle Kalikasan-Southern Tagalog Environmental Action Movement Kalikasan People’s Network Health Alliance for Democracy UPLB Zoom Out Ugnayan ng Nagkakaisang Artista-UP Diliman BAYAN-Southern Tagalog Productions Multi-Monde International Rivers The Freedom Archives Cutcutcut films International Action for Liberation Red Room Productions UCCP Shalom Center Red Leaf Printing Press Guerilla Wear All our family and friends10 11
  7. 7. FEATURED FILMMAKER | Iara Lee, a Brazilian of Korean descent, is an activist, filmmaker, and founder of the Caipirinha Foundation, an organization that promotes global solidarity and supports peace with justice projects. Iara is currently working on a variety of initiatives, grouped under the umbrella of CULTURES OF RESISTANCE, an activist network that brings together artists and changemakers from around the world. At the center of these initiatives is a feature- length documentary film entitled CULTURES OF RESISTANCE, which explores how creative action contributes to conflict prevention and resolution. As an activist, Iara has collaborated with numerous grassroots efforts, including the International Campaign to Ban Cluster Munitions, the New York Philharmonic’s groundbreaking 2008 music-for-diplomacy concert in North Korea and creative resistance projects in Iran, Lebanon, and Palestine. In May 2010, Iara was a passenger on the MV Mavi Marmara, a passenger vessel in the Gaza Freedom Flotilla which was attacked in international waters by the Israeli navy, leading to the murder of nine humanitarian aid workers. Among the CATEGORY | Resistance, Liberation, Revolution many people who recorded the events on that ship, her crew was REMAIN FEATU Cultures of Resistance the only one to successfully hide and retain most of the raid footage, which she later released to the world after a screening at the UN. Directed by Iara Lee | Caipirinha Productions | Documentary | 73 mins | 2010 | Iara is very dedicated to the support of Gazan civilians who have International been victims of war crimes committed by the Israeli military during “Operation Cast Lead” and who suffer from the Israeli government’s Does each gesture really make a difference? Can music and dance be weapons of ongoing acts of collective punishment. peace? In 2003, on the eve of the Iraq war, director Iara Lee embarked on a journey to better understand a world increasingly embroiled in conflict and, as she saw it, At the onset of the Iraq war in 2003, Iara, eager to understand heading for self-destruction. After several years, travelling over five continents, Iara the conflict better, decided to travel and live in the MENA region encountered growing numbers of people who committed their lives to promoting (Middle East & North Africa). While residing in Lebanon in 2006, change. This is their story. From IRAN, where graffiti and rap became tools in fighting Iara experienced firsthand the 34-day Israeli bombardment of government repression, to BURMA, where monks acting in the tradition of Gandhi take that country. Since then, moved by that experience, she has on a dictatorship, moving on to BRAZIL, where musicians reach out to slum kids and dedicated herself to the pursuit of a just peace in the region, and transform guns into guitars, and ending in PALESTINIAN refugee camps in LEBANON, is an enthusiastic supporter of those initiatives which strengthen where photography, music, and film have given a voice to those rarely heard, adherence to international law in enforcing human rights. CULTURES OF RESISTANCE explores how art and creativity can be ammunition in the battle for peace and justice. Featuring: Medellín poets for peace, Capoeira masters from Brazil, Niger Delta militants, Iranian graffiti artists, women’s movement leaders in Rwanda, Lebanon’s refugee filmmakers, U.S. political pranksters, indigenous Kayapó activists from the Xingu River, Israeli dissidents, hip-hop artists from Palestine, and many more... Festivals and Awards Best Documentary, Tiburon International Film Festival Green Rose Award, Jaipur International Film Festival Python Audience Prize, Jury Special Mentions, Ouidah International Film Festival Best Documentary on Human Rights, Steps International Film Festival IDFA/DOC FEST, Amsterdam 2010 Hawaii International Film Festival 2010 Rio De Janeiro International Film Festival 2010 www.culturesofresistance.org12 13
  8. 8. CATEGORY | Resistance, Liberation, Revolution CATEGORY | Resistance, Liberation, RevolutionThe Yes Men Fix the WorldDirected by Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno | Documentary | 96 mins | 2009 | U.S. THE YES MEN FIX THE WORLD is a screwball true story about two gonzo political activists who, posing as top executives of giant corporations, lie their way into big business conferences and pull off the world’s most outrageous pranks. determiNATION songs From New Orleans to India to New York City, armed Directed by Michelle Smith and Paul Rickard | Productions Multi- with little more than cheap thrift-store suits, the Yes Men Monde | Documentary | 78 mins | 2009 | Canada squeeze raucous comedy out of all the ways that corporate greed is destroying the planet. In determiNATION songs three native artists use voice, rhythms, samples and guitar riffs to cut through big ‘P’ politics Brüno meets Michael Moore in this gut-busting wake- to reveal a vibrant native music scene while exposing the up call that proves a little imagination can go a long way realities and struggles in their communities. As resistance towards vanquishing the Cult of Greed. grows across Indian country, this film about music, art and politics pulls aboriginal stories from the back pages and puts Who knew fixing the world could be so much fun? them squarely at the front of the stage. Festivals and Awards Directed by Michelle Smith and Paul Rickards, determiNATION Sundance Film Festival 2009 songs interweaves the stories of three talented native singer/ Audience Award, Berkshire International Film Festival 2009 songwriters - Samian, Cheri Maracle and CerAmony – Audience Award, Berlin International Film Festival 2009 through the artists’ creative process, inspiration, commitment Audience Award, Planet Doc Festival, Warsaw, 2009 and involvement with the resistance movements in their communities.Ates Cemberinde Gül Yüzler / Smiling Face in the Circle of FireDirected by Mustafa Kilinc | Documentary | 60 mins | 2010 | Germany / Philippines Festivals Rencontres internationales du documentaire Montreal Human Rights Film Festival (FFDPM)This film tells the story of the history, poverty and the de Montréal (RIDM) Dreamspeakers Film Festival, Edmonton, Canadaongoing peoples war, happening in the Philippines . International Festival of Audiovisual Programs Montreal First Peoples Festival 2010, Quebec - Biarritz (FIPA)The film shows the life of the guerillas and their fight American Indian Film Festival, San Franciscoagainst the root problems of society. It also shows Les Rendez-vous du cinéma québécois (RVCQ)poverty in the urban centers of the country. Sounds of a New Hope Directed by Eric Tandoc | Documentary | 40 mins | 2009 | U.S. / Philippines A documentary film about the life of Filipino-American MC Kiwi and the growing use of hip-hop as an organizing tool in the people’s movement for national liberation and democracy in the Philippines.Ang Sandaling Sadya ni Lire and Isa / Lire and Isa’s Unforgettable EncounterDirected by Francis Losaria | Fiction | 28 mins | 2010 | PhilippinesLire is on a special delivery errand for his father. Isa, meanwhile,is armed with a grocery list and a message. Their paths crosson the way to the barrio. In any other place, it would be a normalafternoon where children meet, share songs and toys and stories,maybe even take a liking to each other. But it is Christmas timein the Philippine countryside, amidst a long-standing guerilla war. In Search of LiberationHere, boys and girls have no choice but to grow up fast, because in Directed by Linde Moriau | Documentary | 26 mins | 2008a place like this, even kids cannot be so innocent. | Belgium/PhilippinesFestivals and Awards In 2008, 7 members of Intal, a Belgian solidarity movement,Breakthrough Film Award, 2nd Pandayang Lino Brocka went to the Philippines on an exposure trip. They met withPolitical Film and New Media Festival 2010 activists from different sectors (farmers, women, trade3rd Best Short Narrative Film, 22nd Gawad CCP for unionists, human rights activists). The documentary reflectsAlternative Film and VideoNominee, Best Short Film, 34th Gawad Urian, 2011 the story of Filipinos who tell about their resolve to keep fighting for their rights.14 15
  9. 9. HUMAN R IGHTS CATEGORY | Justice and Human Rights J USTICE and Dukot (Desaparecidos) / Disappeared Operation 8 : Deep in the ForestFeature on Directed by Joel Lamangan | Political Drama | 2009 | 100 mins | Philippines Directed by Errol Wright and Abi King-Jones| Cutcutcut Films | Documentary | 110 mins | 2011 | New Zealand The film takes off from the abduction of Junix Operation 8 examines the so-called ‘anti-terror’ raids that took place around New Zealand / Aotearoa who is listed in the so-called Order of Battle of on October 15, 2007 – asking how and why they took place, and at what cost to those targeted. the military, actually a death list. A student leader, he left school to devote his full time to organizing On October 15th 2007, activists around New Zealand woke to guns peasants and the indigenous community in the in their faces. Black-clad police smashed down doors, dragging hills. On the early morning that he disappears, he families out onto roads and detaining some without food or water. meets up with his girlfriend Maricel who works in In the village of Ruatoki, helicopters hovered while locals were a call center. She used to be a student activist, stopped at roadblocks. Operation 8 involved 18 months of invasive too, but had abandoned the movement for family surveillance of Maori sovereignty and peace activists accused of reasons. attending terrorist training camps in the Urewera ranges – homeland of the Tuhoe people. Operation 8 asks why and how the raids took The parents of Junix team up with Sonia, Maricel’s place. How did the War on Terror become a global witch-hunt of widowed mother, to search for the missing. Ably political dissenters reaching even to the South Pacific? assisted by a human rights group, they go to military camps, morgues, and common graves. They, too, seek the intervention of the court of Festivals 2011 World Cinema Showcase (New Zealand) justice. The quest leads them nowhere – until a 2011 Melbourne International Film Festival (Australia) damning piece of evidence against the military establishment surfaces. Meanwhile, Junix and Maricel undergo untold torture in the course of their interrogation. In this horrid sojourn in search of the missing, the story of Junix and Maricel – and the seething unrest and its consequent social movement in the Philippines – unravels. Festivals and Awards “Dukot” is based on true stories. All incidents in it UCCP: Sa Hamon ng Panahon have actually happened. Directed by Bonifacio Ilagan | Kodao Productions and UCCP | 2009 Montreal World Film Festival 55 mins | 2009 | Philippines Best Picture, 58th Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences (FAMAS) Awards “O righteous God, who searches minds and hearts, bring to an end Best Story, Best Film, Best Actor, Best Director, 8th Gawad Tanglaw the violence of the wicked and make the righteous secure.” Best Film, Best Film Story, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Cinematographer, Best Editor, - Psalm 7:9 4th Gawad Genio Awards “Sa Hamon ng Panahon” is a documentary drama about human Help stop human rights violations in the Philippines, visit rights and the oppression against activist church workers in the Philippines. It tackles the issue of human rights and investigates the alleged state-sponsored murders of UCCP church members and human rights activist Joel Baclao and Rev. Edison Lapuz, and COINTELPRO 101 abduction and torture of Rev. Berlin Guerrero. The Freedom Archives | Documentary | 56 mins | 2010 | U.S. COINTELPRO may not be a well-understood acronym but Listen To Our Voice The Secretariat for Peace and Justice (SKP) Papua & Witness | Documentary | 15mins | 2011 | Indonesia its meaning and continuing impact are absolutely central to understanding the US government’s wars and repression EngageMedia curated film against progressive movements. COINTELPRO is both a formal program of the FBI and a term frequently used to describe a conspiracy among government agencies— Stories told by torture survivors in West Papua. The film local, state, and federal—to destroy movements for self- was screened for the member of the UN Committee determination and liberation for Black, Brown, Asian, and Against Torture during its session on reviewing the Indigenous struggles. situation of torture in Indonesia on May 5-7, 2008 in Geneva, Switzerland. Award Best Documentary | 2011 North Carolina Black Film Festival 16 17
  10. 10. CATEGORY | Justice and Human Rights‘Wag Kang Titingin / Look Away ONMENTA L ACTIVISMDirected by Pam Miras | Digital Cheese | Fiction | 8 mins | 2010 |Philippines Featu re on ENVIR Mirage of El DoradoA father and his two young daughters travel through a war-torn Directed by Martin Frigon | Productions Multi-Monde | Documentary | 75 mins | 2008 | Canada/Chilearea. The father explains to his eldest why they needed to shieldthe youngest from what’s really happening around them. The eldestfinally understands and vows to protect her sister. But how far will Mirage of El Dorado leads us into the mountains of northernshe go to keep her promise? Chile, where the devastating operations of Canadian mining companies threaten a fragile ecosystem in one of the driest parts of the globe.Festivals and AwardsBest Short, 6th Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival and Competition 2010 Our political cowboy flick follows the pitched battle between aBest Short Film, 34th Gawad Urian 2011 farming community in the Huasco valley and Canada’s miningWorld Film Festival Bangkok 2010 giant Barrick Gold with its sidekick Noranda (now part of the Suisse corporation Xstrata). It’s a battle fought high in the Cordilleran Andes where farmers and local representatives43 fear the ravages of open pit mining operations in a placeST eXposure and Anino Shadowplay Collective | Documentary | 14 mins | 2010 | Philippines where a fragile system of glaciers feeds the rivers that flow into the farmlands built out of the advancing Atacama desert.On February 6, 2010, 43 health workers conducting a The camera reveals a Chilean government impotent inmedical training in Morong, Rizal were arrested and the face of unprecedented, potentially devastating, miningwrongfully accused of being members of the communist projects. The film also exposes the hypocrisy of theNew People’s Army. They suffered physical and Canadian government towards its own mining companiespsychological torture while in military custody. and which corrupt foreign governments weaken the process of environmental assessments. The permissive legislation“43” is a short documentary on the plight of the arrested enjoyed by the Canadian transnationals was imposed underhealth workers. It uses shadowplay to dramatize their the Pinochet dictatorship and carried over by successiveexperience in the hands of their captors. transition governments, bowing to the dictates of neoliberal economics.AwardsBest Film, Best Director, Audience Choice - Dcumentary Festivals and AwardsCategory, PELIKULTURA: 1st Calabarzon Film Festival 2011 Grand Prize, 26th Festival International du Film Festival de films de Portneuf sur l’environnement d’Environnement 2008 in Paris. Green Film Festival in Seoul Grand Prize, 7th Festival Internacional de Cine Digital DOXA Documentary Film Festival de Vina del Mar 2009 Festival RésistancesThe Torture of Tunaliwor Kiwo Festival des Films du Monde de Montréal 2008 Cinemaissi 2009, Festival de cine latinoamericano yEngageMedia | Public Service Advertisment | 2 mins | 2010 | Indonesia Festival du film de Sept-Îles 2009 caribeño - Finlandia Rendez-vous du Cinéma Québécois 2009 FIDADOC, Agadir, Morocco EngageMedia curated filmWest Papuan farmer Tunaliwor Kiwo recounts the details ofhis torture by Indonesian soldiers on 30 May 2010. Join the Productions Multi-Monde is an independent film company thatstruggle to end violence against all peoples. creates and produces social and political documentaries as well as fiction and animation films. Founded by Malcolm Guy and Marie Boti in 1987, Productions Multi-Monde (PMM) work is directly linked to their work in social movements at home and abroad. Their aim, to create a collaborative filmmaking community,Eksenang Tahimik / A Quiet Scene where new filmmakers can work on their projects in a supportive environment.Directed by JL Burgos | Poetry in motion | 10 mins | 2009 Based entirely out of Montreal, Quebec, their films have taken them around| Philippines the world, exploring and exposing world issues and their impacts at a local level.Eksenang Tahimik poignantly depicts the human rightssituation of the Philippines through the eyes of the victims’families. It exposes the horrors of a regime that silences Malcolm and Marie are both veteran documentary filmmakers. Their filmsat all cost those who are critical of their policies. It takes look at a variety of local and international issues, with a particular interest inthe audience along the agonizing search, for many always the Philippines. Malcolm is one of the founders of the Centre for Philippineyielding to nothing. Concerns in Montreal where Marie is also a long standing member.18 19
  11. 11. CATEGORY | Environmental Activism CATEGORY | Environmental ActivismSarawak GoneDirected by Andrew Garton | Documentary | 2010 | Australia/MalaysiaSarawak Gone is a micro-documentary series raising awarenessto the persistent decline of indigenous life and culture in Sarawak,the native land titles and human rights that remain at stake andthe rapidly diminishing habitats that remain.Sarawak is one of two Malaysian states on the island of Borneo A River Runs Through Us Directed by Carla Pataky | Documentary | 22 mins | 2011 | Internationaland is home to more than 40 unique sub-ethnic groups, orDayaks. These include the Penan, Iban, Bidayuh, Kenyah and A River Runs Through Us offers a personal and hopeful introduction to the issue of theKelabit. impacts of large dams on the world’s rivers, as told by the activists at the forefront of the global movement to stop destructive dams.The Dam seriesDams are big business in Sarawak. No less than 12 dams are Festivalsproposed for construction. Described as Malaysia’s Renewable Columbia Gorge International Film Festival 2011Energy Corridor, and claims that the program responds to Geography of Hope Film Festival 2011dwindling energy resources and climate change, has alreadyseen the relocation of more than 10,000 indigenous peoples as Carteret Islands : Documenting Culture onthe first dam, the infamous Bakun Dam, gets under way. Islands Disappearing under the Sea Directed by Tara Jones | Documentary | 18 mins | 2011It is alleged that the construction of these dams will increase the wealth and power of Sarawak’s Chief | Australia / Papua New GuineaMinister’s family and their operatives. In doing so, this internationally condemned project will seerelocation of the last of Sarawak’s forest communities and the inundation of precious primary forest EngageMedia curated filmand native habit.The Headman Series The Carteret Islands, low lying atolls east of Bouganville and Papua New Guinea, are being threatenedOn the 23 October 2007 Kelesau Naan, the Headman of the Penan village, Long Kerong, left his wife by a rapidly advancing ocean. This has caused its population to become one of the first indigenousat a rest area in the forest to check on his traps. He never returned. Two months later his remains were cultures forced to prepare for and implement measures for the permanent resettlement of their entirefound scattered across the Segita River. community. This film was a cultural documentation project carried out to assist the Carteret Islanders with preserving cultural knowledge and continuity across community fragmentation and resettlement.Presented by his son, Nick Kelesau, The Headman explores the events leading up to his disappearance.Kelesau Naan sought only to protect his people and their native customary right to the land they have Gaharu: Selamatkan Manusia dan Hutan Papua /lived in for centuries. His struggles may well had been his peril, but as Nick and his fellow Penan Save the People and Forests of Papuaexplain, his legacy endures. Directed by Andre Rimbayana | Sec’t for Justice and Peace (SKP) Merauke, Papua | Documentary | 16 mins | 2010 | Indonesia visit EngageMediaBikpela Bagarap / Big Damage curated filmDirected by David Fedele | Documentary | 46 mins | 2011 | Australia/Papua New Guinea The documentary explains the multidimensional impacts of the gaharu trade on the environment andThe story is told through the voice of villagers. It is a indigenous Auwyu dan Wiyaghar, in Assue District, Mappi, in the South of Papua Province. The filmtale of exploitation and broken promises, where local then explores the new hopes that emerged with the deployment of a government fact finding team topeople are treated as second-rate citizens in their resolve the issues, which produced some solutions, suggestions, and reduced disagreement.own country by Malaysian logging companies andcorrupt politicians. Customary landowners are forced Bunker 0 : Sumirib Plus Directed by Jan Philippe V. Carpio | Documentary | 11 mins | 2006 | Philippinesinto signing documents they don’t understand, for thepromise of “development” – fresh water, roads, health The film focuses on the lives, thoughts, feelings and copingand education, but these essential services are rarely mechanisms of the people of Sitio Sumirib, Guimarasprovided. Instead, their traditional hunting ground is province, as they face difficult times brought about by adestroyed, and their traditional way of life is ruined man-made ecological disaster caused by a massive oil spillforever. from the sunken tanker Solar 1 chartered by the Petron Oil Corporation.Filmmaker David Fedele spent almost three monthstraveling solo in Sandaun Province, Papua New FestivalsGuinea, in order to film Bikpela Bagarap. Based inVanimo town, David traveled extensively into the jungle 20th Gawad CCP for Alternative Film and Video 2007visiting local villages and exploring current and past In Competition, 10th ECO-ETNO-FOLK Film Festival,logging operations. A lot of time was also spent in two Slătioara, Romania 2008of the main logging camps in Sandaun Province – 1st Pandayang Lino Brocka Political Film and New Media Festival 2009Maka Basecamp and Amanab 56 Basecamp. 1st Festival Internacional de Cinema Independente, Rio Claro, Brazil 200920 21
  12. 12. CATEGORY | Plight of the Oppressed OPPRESSED IGHT of theFeature on PL Hingalo / Breathless Directed by Anna Isabelle Matutina | Fiction |10 mins | 2010 | Philippines Ka Bel A desperate man tries to save his wife and the life Mayday Multimedia | Documentary-drama | 60 of his unborn child in what seems to be the longest mins | 2010 | Philippines ride of his life. An inspiring documentary on the extraordinary life and struggle of Crispin “Ka Bel” Beltran, a Filipino working class hero and internationalist. The documentary attempts to capture through portrayals and stories of people close to him, Kinulayang Kiti / Hand-painted Feathers how a poor peasant child came to be a revered Directed by Richard Legaspi | Red Room Productions | Fiction | 24 mins leader who championed workers’ rights from | 2009 | Philippines the factory gates up to the halls of parliament, until he breath his last in his humble abode. A young boy learns to have his own painted chick believing that it can bring back to life the father who was shot to death in a picketline. Diagnosing Poverty, Building Community Directed by Ron Magbuhos Papag and Bedette Libres | Kodao Pruductions and Intal | Documentary | 33 mins | Philippines Let’s Not Be Afraid “All our achievements are fruit of the people’s unity. Without, we would TransAsia Sisters Association, Taiwan | Documentary | 44 mins have been defeated. That’s how we were able to survive.” | 2010 | Taiwan This is how Manang Anita, Filipino community health worker, summarizes the essence of her community’s struggle for health. More than 430,000 foreign spouses from China and Southeast Diagnosing Poverty, Building Community tells the story of Filipinos Asian countries marry to Taiwanese. Many of them are women from who take their health and their future into their own hands like the poor families in rural areas in their native countries. Like everyone poor peasant in Bukidnon, Mindanao, And Gene and Julie, two young else, they dream for a happy marriage and a better future. However, doctors from Manila. only when they arrive in Taiwan, they realize that they are treated as “others” who are strangled by discriminative policies. It is the story of Baby Jessie, a child from a remote indigenous community, who almost died because of his government’s neglect and wrong priorities. Most of all, it is the story of ordinary people’s courage to organized them. A Step Back In Time Directed by Indiriani Kopal | Documentary | 10 mins | 2010 | Malaysia The Oak Park Story Directed by Valerie Soe and Russell Jeung | Documentary | 22 mins | Color | 2010 | U.S. Batu Arang, a small town in a Malaysia - was the birthplace of many radical unions. The Coal Workers Union had a Facing unsanitary housing conditions that leading role in some of the largest strikes of the period led to the hospitalization of several children, when they protested over their working conditions and poor 44 households of Oak Park banded together wages. to sue and eventually won a landmark settlement, against their landlord. Despite the victory, this too brought about some surprising, unintended consequences. 22 23
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