Filmmakers from around the world to attend AGITPROP Film Festival opening

Filmmakers from around the globe flew all the way to Manila for the opening of Metro Manila’s first ever AGITPROP Film Festival on Saturday.

Among them is Brazilian activist-filmmaker Iara Lee, whose film “Cultures of Resistance” will headline the opening night.

As an activist, Lee works for peace and justice initiatives around the world. She was among the passengers of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla who were attacked by the Israeli navy last year in their attempt to bring humanitarian aid to Palestinian refugees. Of the passengers, only Lee and her crew were able to hide and preserve a footage of the attack. The footage will be released worldwide after it has been screened at the United Nations. (click here for the video)

Iara presently works with the activist network, CULTURES OF RESISTANCE of which the film of the same name is the central project.

The film is a documentary feature about different artists and cultural groups from around the world taking part in social movements through their creative works.

The film won several awards including Best Documentary at the Tiburon International Film Festival and Best Documentary on Human Rights at the Steps International Film Festival.

Apart from Lee, other foreign filmmakers Malcolm Guy and Marie Boti of Canada’s Productions Multi-Monde (PMM), journalist and filmmaker Mustafa Kilinc of Germany, and Filipino-American filmmaker Eric Tandoc, will grace the festival’s main event.

Malcolm and Marie are award-winning documentary filmmakers and long-time advocates of people’s movements here in the Philippines. Malcolm founded the Center for Philippine Concerns, an agency for Filipino immigrants in Canada. determiNATION songs,” one of the two PMM films slated at the festival, will mark the start of the festival.

Mustafa and Eric’s film, on the other hand, tackles protest movements in the Philippines. Mustafa’s film, “A Smiling Face in the Circle of Fire (Ates Cemberinde Gül Yüzler)” features the armed guerilla movement of the New People’s Army which he filmed in 2009; while Eric’s “Sounds of A New Hope” is about a Filipino-American Rapper named Kiwi who went here to the country to learn about grassroots movements. Both their films will also be shown on Saturday.

According to AGITPROP Festival Director RJ Mabilin, the organizers were surprised and overwhelmed by the number of filmmakers who will be attending the festival.

He said the event was produced out of little resources, thus, they were unable to fund the travel expenses of the filmmakers.

“This just shows how deep the solidarity is among the filmmakers who promote the same cause of social justice and change. This is one of the objectives of AGITPROP: to create a venue to consolidate filmmakers around the world that have taken the role of making films for genuine social change,” he added.

The 1st AGITPROP International Film Festival on Peoples’ Struggles will run from July 2-4 at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City.

The festival is organized by the Southern Tagalog Exposure, along with other multimedia and cultural groups Mayday Productions, Tudla Prodcutions, and Concerned Artists of the Philippines, Free Jonas Burgos Movement, the Artists’ Arrest and Kodao Productions.

Click here for the complete screening schedule


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