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TRAVELS TO 20 CITIES NATIONWIDE TO PROJECT TRUTH IN SOCIAL REALITIES
Active Vista Human Rights Film Festival travels to 20 different cities nationwide to bring a plethora of films that project truth in social realities. The festival kicked off last July 11 at the Robinsons Galleria Movieworld with the screening of “This Is Not A Film” by Jafar Panahi and Mojtaba Mirtahmasb.
The clandestine documentary, shot partially on an iPhone and smuggled into France in a cake for a last-minute submission to Cannes, depicts the day-to-day life of acclaimed director Jafar Panahi during his house arrest in his Tehran apartment. While appealing his sentence – six years in prison and a 20 year ban from filmmaking – Panahi is seen talking to his family and lawyer on the phone, discussing his plight with Mirtahmasb and reflecting on the meaning of the art of filmmaking.
Lourd de Veyra, President of the Dakila Artists Collective, in his statement, mentioned, “This Is Not A Film is an effort by the artist to document his personal struggle as well as a powerful political statement. While the film’s courageous gesture is exemplary, it also opens up a myriad of discourses on what makes cinema and consequently, art. Active Vista aspires to bring to the table this meditation on art and advocacy that successfully treads the thin line between the two.”
Since July, Active Vista has been traveling to schools and communities to screen various human rights themed films. It also held an advocacy filmmaking seminar last May 2012 and awarded production grants to 13 aspiring filmmakers for their human rights themed short films. The 13 films will be in competition for the ALAB Short Films and will be awarded on December 2012 during the Festival closing.
Leni Velasco, Active Vista Film Festival Director and Executive Director of Dakila, said “This 2012, Active Vista celebrates our ability to think, to react, and to respond to truths in projections of human realities. We hope to spark discussion on human rights issues and concerns. Active Vista believes that no film is totally neutral. Every film makes a statement by its choice of subject, by what its say and what it omits. “
“Because discourses on human conditions do not go well with popcorn and soda, Active Vista is more than just a film festival. It is cinema that grabs you by the collar and shakes you out of your apathy. “ Velasco further added.
Bringing along with them filmmakers, cast members, representatives from Government, NGOs, Media and the Academe, Active Vista engages its audiences in a discussion after every screening. It has in its roster of films indie blockbuster hits such as Zombadings and Ang Babae sa Septic Tank; film classics such as Kisapmata and Orapronobis; avant garde films such as Maynila sa Pangil ng Dilim and Ex Press; Lav Diaz’s 6 hour masterpiece Century of Birthing; Ditsi Carolino’s acclaimed documentary films such as Bunso; Cinemalaya winners Jay, Brutus and Tribu; crowd pleasers like Senior Year and Last Supper No. 3; Brillante Mendoza’s Cannes Film Festival award winning film Kinatay; and controversial documentary film Give Up Tomorrow.
Lourd de Veyra, further explained, “"The worst load of bull ever said about cinema is that it can change society. Active Vista does not have any illusion that it will change society but it does hope to, at the very least, make a dent by challenging its audiences to change the way they look at things.”
Active Vista is organized by Dakila - Philippine Collective for Modern Heroism through the support of AusAID, Movies that Matter (Netherlands) and the Royal Norwegian Embassy.