Lanao civil society to celebrate 'Week of Peace' with indie films

ILIGAN CITY (MindaNews/19 Nov) — A non-government organization specializing in peace building and resource management in this city will celebrate the Mindanao Week of Peace by showing independent films on stories that relate to community-based peace efforts documented in a number of towns in Lanao del Norte after experiencing a series of wars in the first decade of the century.

The films will be screened on Nov. 24-25 at the conference hall of the College of Nursing at the Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT).

Ecosystems Work for Essential Benefits, Inc. (EcoWEB) is set to launch “Cinema for Peace” in partnership with the MSU-IIT Institute of Peace and Development in Mindanao (IPDM) and the school’s College of Nursing, with the support of the German Development Service (GTZ-DED).

Precious Derro, project officer, explained that this aims to “make the film documentation of various peace initiatives accessible to the public and for viewers to be inspired from these various efforts as well as to appreciate lessons from conflict transformation in Mindanao.”

To be shown are “Lumbac: A Mindanao Story,” a film produced by Ecoweb that tackles the settlement of a contested 200-hectare farm land in the municipality of Kolambugan; “Rising from the Ashes,” a story Muslim and Christian friendship in rebuilding war-torn Kolambugan after the 2008 war; “Children of Mindanao’s Hidden War,” produced by Catherine Boyle and BirthDev, Inc.; and a documentary on the life of Dante Mutia, a former commander of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) who became mayor of the municipality of Tangkal, produced by Ted Juanite and Pakidgait, Inc.

Other films that will be shown are “Peace in Our Village,” produced by the World Bank, that relates about conflict’s impact to the economy; “Mindanao Voices for Peace” by Steven Griffiths produced by Forum CFD; “Sports for Peace” produced by GTZ which tells of a creative approach to teaching peace and values to children using sports; “Abogado ng Bayan,” produced by Alternative Law Groups that relates about how alternative lawyering helped poor and marginalized sectors like the case of the Sumilao farmers’ struggle for land and life; and “Healing the Past, Building the Future,” a film about engendering the culture of peace in Mindanao, produced by Margie Moran Florendo.

They will also show “Women Displaced by War,” produced by CFSI. Films about peace building done in other countries will also be shown. Among them are “Mokaramen” of Iran; “Muslim Ketiga Dry Season” from Indonesia; “A Small Dream” from Pakistan; and “Wangjia Hutong Women’s Mosques in Kaifeng” from China. These films were produced by the Women’s Empowerment in Muslim Contexts (WEMC).

The organizers are asking for a P10 donation to help support the continued production of local films and the ongoing conflict transformation efforts, particularly in Lumbac.

Derro said that the film showing will go to the MSU main campus in Marawi City on Dec. 1 to 2, in partnership with the Department of History, College of Business Administration and Department of Social Works.

During the same event, EcoWEB will launch the book “How to Split an Orange,” which is about conflict and its transformation.

The group will also hold the “Panagtagbo sa Kalinaw” (convergence for peace) with a “kanduri” or thanksgiving in Lumbac to celebrate the initial gains in settling the land conflict in the area.

This year’s Week of Peace celebration carries the theme “Responsive and Responsible Governance: Key to Peace, Development and Sustainability.” (Violeta M. Gloria / MindaNews)