Indie filmmakers abducted in Sulu

ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/23 June) –  Two independent filmmakers — sisters Nadjoua and Linda Bansil — were kidnapped Saturday morning in Patikul, Sulu by armed men suspected to be Abu Sayyaf members,  while on board a jeepney bound for Jolo.

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) Zamboanga City chapter appealed to police and military officials, ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman, Sulu Governor Abdusakur Tan and other local officials in Sulu to “coordinate and move for the safe and speedy release of sisters Linda and Nadjoua Bansil.”

In a statement issued June 23, NUJP-Zamboanga said the sisters traveled to Sulu to take footages for an upcoming Indie film they are working on.

Nadjoua Bansil directed the short film, “Bohe: Sons of the Waves” which she co-wrote with her si ster Linda and Honeylyn Joy Alipio. The film was nominated for “Best Short Film” in the Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival in 2012.

Nadjoua Bansil  graduated from the Ateneo de Zamboanga University in 2006 with a degree of Bachelor  of Science in Office Management with Mass Communications units.

According to the DocNet Southeast Asia website,  her films are “both personal and referential to her orientation.”

“As a human rights advocate most of her works are grounded in the Human Rights framework which focuses on the marginalized sectors of society. Nadjoua started producing documentaries for human rights, cultural and social issues in 2004 during her college days,” the website said.

“Coming from Mindanao, Nadjoua has an intrinsic understanding of the ways and culture of her community values and sentiments of the community where the voiceless and nameless are not given space for their stories to be told,” it added.

The NUJP Zamboanga City chapter said the safety of media workers “has long been on the line and this violent act stains further the image of the Philippines as the most dangerous country for media workers to operate on.”

It called on the national government “not to allow this incident to be another demonstration of its helplessness in addressing the roots of the social conflict in Sulu.”

“Instead, let its immediate action towards the Bansil sisters’ freedom from their captors, young orphaned sons of the Abu SayyafGroup members, be an initial manifestation of the GPH’s efforts to address the structural and cultural violence that have long been inflicted upon those in these conflict areas,” it said. (MindaNews)