1st AGITPROP international film fest closes, nationwide screening seen

Audiences lined up for the closing screenings at UP Film Institute's Cine Adarna, co-sponsored by CONTEND- UP

The 1stAGITPROP International Film Festival on People’s Struggle has come to a close on Monday, July 04 at the UP Film Institute’s Cine Adarna, UP Diliman featuring acclaimed and equally significant films in the lineup.

Multi-awarded documentary, The Yes Men Fix the World directed by Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno formally closed the three-day international gathering of political and activist films and filmmakers. The documentary follows the journey of two political activists who pull pranks on executives of giant corporations that threaten the general welfare of people around the world.

It gained prominence when it took the US by surprise when it published a prank edition of the New York Times with a headline proclaiming the end of war in Iraq. It won the audience award in the 2009 Berlin International Film Festival, 2009 Berkshire International Film Festival and the Planet Doc International Film Festival and was among the official selections at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.

Other featured films were Mayday Multimedia’s Ka Bel documentary, which depicts the life and struggle of revered labor leader Crispin “Ka Bel” Beltran and Joel Lamangan’s human rights film, Dukot (Disappeared).

Making the night colorful were the presence of director Lamangan himself and Dukot’s lead actor, Allen Dizon who sat for a

Director Joel Lamangan sharing about his film.

brief interaction with the audience. Brazilian filmmaker and activist Iara Lee also graced the closing screenings.

Lamangan shared his personal experiences as political prisoner, torture victim and activist during the First Quarter Storm and Martial Law. The experience he said reflects in his films even in the mainstream arena. He also affirmed his commitment to making more socially relevant films, one that exposes social realities and the struggles of the people.

Dizon on the other hand captivated the audience while relating his experience in the making of Dukot, which required him to immerse with the people’s movement, such as joining rallies and integrating with marginalized communities. This he said has heightened his consciousness on the real score in the ground and has changed his misconceptions on people struggling for their rights.

A jampacked venue highlights the closing day

Earlier in the day, a jam-packed venue witnessed the special re-screening of award-winning documentaries, Mirages of El Dorado by Productions Multi-Monde and Cultures of Resistance by Brazilian activist and filmmaker, Iara Lee. The afternoon screening featured human rights films, Cointelpro 101(USA), Operation 8 (New Zealand), Kodao Production’s Sa Hamon ng Panahon (PH) and Pam Miras’ Urian-winner Wag Kang Titingin (PH). The Congress of Teachers/Educators for Nationalism and Democracy – University of the Philippines (CONTEND-UP) co-sponsored the third day screenings.

Actor Allen Dizon posed for photo ops after gracing the open forum

A local initiative by independent multimedia Southern Tagalog Exposure along with other artist groups in the Philippines, AGITPROP is another unique addition to the stream of independent film exposition in the country that highlights films and documentaries depicting peoples’ struggles and genuine change as themes.

Meanwhile, festival director RJ Mabilin of ST exposure announce that the festival would be toured around the country inthe coming months in furtherance of AGITPROP’s aim of propagating discourse and actions through cinema.

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

 

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