Film by GenSan students make it to finals in international short film competition

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 15 Oct) – A short film produced by a group of student filmmakers from this city has emerged as among the five finalists in this year’s Faith Shorts, an annual global short film competition for the youth launched by the London-based Tony Blair Faith Foundation.

Percival Pasuelo, executive assistant for information technology of the city mayor’s office, said Monday the short film entitled “Letting Go, Letting God” made by high school students of the Notre Dame of Dadiangas University – Integrated Basic Education Department (NDDU-IBED) here has made the shortlist of the competition following its final screening.

He said the three-minute film was directed by Charles Andrew Flamiano, a fourth year high school student of NDDU-IBED, and was assisted by classmate Alyanna Pauline Tambuli, who developed the script.

Fellow students Georgianne Eve Soledad did the editing while Eda Carillo handled the cinematography along with Flamiano and Tambuli, he said.

Pasuelo said Flamiano and his group were recipients of the training programs on filmmaking earlier launched by the city government as part of its enhanced SHEEP- Computer Literacy Program (CLP).

“Now they’re considered as among the best amateur filmmakers in the world,” he said.

SHEEP stands for Social Transformation, Human Empowerment, Economic Diversification, Environment Security and Regeneration and Participatory Governance and Transparency, which are the city’s main development thrusts.

The city government earlier launched the CLP as a major component of the SHEEP program’s education-related initiatives.

Pasuelo said the short film, which was entered in the 14-to-17 age category, was based on the competition’s theme: “How My Faith Inspires Me.”

“It was about a woman whose life and faith was shaken after being diagnosed with a life-threatening illness but eventually turned to God for peace and comfort,” he said.

In a press statement, the Tony Blair Faith Foundation said “the shortlist reflects the global nature of the competition with film makers coming from Israel, India, Egypt, Argentina, Pakistan, Singapore, Lebanon, and the Philippines.”

“More than ever before, people can propagate negative views of religion in an instant through social media. Faith Shorts challenges the voices who try to distil faiths into stereotypical sound bites and offers these films as a powerful alternative,” it said.

The group said the films were personal stories that offered a glimpse into how young people view their faith in their own lives.

“This year one film maker tells the story of a boy who lost both of his hands in a land mine accident and found strength in God to overcome the challenges and see the opportunities he has in life; our first-ever animation film questions the existence of God; while another film maker focuses on Islam and its role in promoting equality for both men and women,” the foundation said.

“Each young person tackled interesting and difficult topics through their films, breaking down many prejudices and stereotypes about religion along the way,” it added. (Allen V. Estabillo / MindaNews)