Lights, Camera, Mov_e!
A young girl in prison who dreams of flying. A mother of dragon who yearns for last drops of humanity. A student who aches for the desire to study – poignant characters mirroring real-life struggles against the backdrop of fantasy and reality. These are the faces of human rights victims and victors that belong to the top films of this year’s search for Freedom Mov_E, Friedrich Naumann Foundation’s (FNF) film-making competition.
Through the clear-eyed visions of narratives depicting human rights and freedom by Filipino film-makers across the country, the winning films of Freedom Mov_E came alive on the big screen for the first time, on 28th of September at the Diokno Freedom Park of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) in Quezon City.
"FNF Philippines' Freedom Mov_e hopes to reintroduce and reinvigorate respect for human rights, and along with it, human dignity and freedom. These films hope to transform these intangible notions into something real, raising awareness and understanding of everyone’s rights as well as duties, transcending apathy and moving towards engagement,” said FNF Philippines’ Country Director Wolfgang Heinze.
Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FNF) Philippines collaborated with CHR, DAKILA and Active Vista in this year’s Freedom Mov_E Outdoor Movie Night featuring the top 3 winners of 2017 Freedom Project short film-making competition:
Lupad, Lupad by Steven Paul Evangelio
Andeng, a young girl in prison who dreams of flying - she relays her dreams to her older cellmate, Manang Edith. They contemplate on their freedom, something Manang Edith will soon have, as she is getting paroled soon. This saddens Andeng, as she will lose her only friend. She sleeps again, with the hope of going back to her dream of flying. She dreams of flying again, higher and higher.
Daing sa Dilim by Eve Baswel
Isabelle is a grade school student wanting to go back to school. However, Teresa, her mother, does not approve of it. It is a story that questions whether your words can hurt as much as you mean them.
Prayers of the Prey by Dylan Ray Talon
As the last survivor of its species, the mother of dragon is keeping herself and what's inside of her alive and all while trying to hide from the marauder. The mother's prayers echoed all the other preys': “let there be humanity left in their predators”
Launched in June this year, the Freedom Mov_E is a search for short films, that translate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights into timely narratives. One objective is to employ digital technology to trigger discussions and initiate actions.
The board of jury consists of experts from different fields: Chairman Chito Gascon of the CHR; Thorsten Gottfried, Cultural Secretary of the German Embassy; Bart Guingona, renowned theater director and actor; Hector Calma, multi-awarded film-maker and member of Dakila; and Wolfgang Heinze, Country Director of FNF Philippines.
“This evening is one of those moments where we can celebrate art, celebrate cinema, and celebrate freedom - to remind us of the importance of human dignity and to remind us that because we live in a world that demands more peace, justice and human rights, each of us is called in our own way to do what we can to make a difference,” remarked Chairman Chito Gascon of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR).
The outdoor cinema event was made more special with the special screening of the multi-awarded Filipino independent film, “Respeto”, directed by Treb Monteras II and produced Monster Jimenez. This film marries Filipino hip-hop and poetry, conceiving a clear picture of social ills in the country. Critically-acclaimed, Respeto has been lauded with brilliant reviews since it premiered in cinemas on September 21 in 2017. Through Active Vista, this film has been allowed to be screened exclusively for the Freedom Mov_e Night. Active Vista is a learning center for human rights education utilizing film, art, media and popular culture that organizes the Active Vista Human Rights Film Festival.
When asked the audience why the arts, like the films that were shown, are more effective when it comes to captivating people’s psyche and emotions?
“There are two things about the visual arts, which I think are able to succeed where facts and lectures don’t: These present the truth in a roundabout way - a parable - that is easier to accept and digest; and the second is through the use of music, through a more emotional story, relatable characters - people feel more sympathetic towards the situation that is portrayed in the film which they don’t do so much when it comes to a news report,” explained Arun Singh, a Blogger of the Weekend Warrior Reviews.
Wolfgang Heinze, FNF Philippines Country Director, could not agree more: “We try to explore platforms that will transform the seemingly abstract concepts of human rights and freedom into stories that are relatable and real. This gave birth to the Freedom Mov_e, an outdoor film-showing that showcased short films that translate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights into timely narratives,” he shared.