1st AGITPROP INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL ON PEOPLES’ STRUGGLES
July 2-4, 2011| Metro Manila, Philippines
Throughout the world, living conditions of majority of people remain difficult. Workers still don’t receive decent wages, farmers and peasants remain enslaved by 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 reasons, people have learned to stand up and fight. Unfortunately, however, the brave struggles of people oftentimes fail to reach its much-needed popular support because they don’t 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 to film these peoples’ struggles in the hope of spreading information and ideas that will lead to mobilizing people to support the plight of the oppressed. Through their works, we are able to hear and see social realities silenced and confused by the dominant modes and channels of information and imagination.
Alternative mode of imagining the world
It is within this context that a festival of films about genuine peoples struggles is being organized. Through this festival, we seek to present alternatives to popular modes of imagining the nation and the world. To be featured in the festival are films about struggles in different countries. Through these films, we aim to cover the battles in two fronts: the reel and real. The name of the festival borrows the title of the educational campaign launched in Russia in the 1920s. It takes inspiration from AGITPROP’s position of promoting counter discourses through cinema, 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 collective aspiration for a just and humane society is at stake.
Furthermore, the festival will be a venue where we can consolidate global efforts to produce a kind of cinema that is not only independent but also liberating. We’ve learned and validated from the history of our struggle that victories are won through committed collective action and this very much applies to cultural battles. As we drumbeat pressing issues such as human rights, welfare of the working class, and freedom from oppression among others, we also champion the cause of progressive artists and filmmakers who are encumbered by limited exhibition spaces for works teeming with artistic brilliance and social value and conscience. We seek to give them the audience they deserve in this festival. The screenings will be free of charge to accommodate more people. Simultaneously, we also provide filmmakers an opportunity to reach out to one another in the hope of forging unity in issues and concerns in their sector.
Historic occasions in the Philippines
AGITPROP is being organized by the Southern Tagalog Exposure, along with other Philippine-based multimedia groups Mayday Philippines, Kodao Productions, and Tudla Productions.
It will be held alongside two historic events that will take place in the Philippines this coming July 2011 – The International Conference on Progressive Culture (ICPC) and the 4th International Assembly of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS).
The ILPS is an anti-imperialist and democratic organization which at present includes more than 350 member organizations from over 40 countries. The ICPC, on the other hand, is an initiative of ILPS member cultural organizations.
Both events seek to forge a stronger and broader solidarity among organizations and individuals (including artists) in the struggle to advance and defend the peoples’ genuine democratic rights and aspirations throughout the world.
The festival will feature films of any length and genre, and will divided according to the following thematic categories:
- Anti-imperialism | Films tackling the issue of global capitalism, neoliberal globalization and imperialism, including the struggle of nations for genuine national independence and democracy.
- Local struggles | Films depicting the struggle to defend and assert the democratic rights of a particular community, trade union, or a grassroots organization. The category may include a wide range of issues including workers’ rights, migrants rights, youth and children’s rights, land reform, indigenous people’s rights, social services, and other social justice struggles.
- Human Rights | Films tackling the issue of state sponsored terrorism and fascism, and the gross violation of civil and political rights of the people.
- Gender | Films on the issue of gender discrimination and violence, and the promotion of women and gay rights.
- Environment | Films tackling the issue of environmental preservation and sustainability, and the struggle against ecological destruction caused by large-scale capitalist plunder of the environment.
The festival will be first held on July 2-4 in Metro Manila. Afterwards, it will tour different parts of the country, especially in universities. It will also be open to anyone or any organization willing to promote and mount the festival outside of the Philippines.
The actual festival will be free of charge. However, if conditions (resources) will not permit, the organizers may charge for a ticket at a very low cost, just enough to cover some of the technical expenses.
Please visit our festival guidelines page for details on how to join.