Chemistry could be explained through catchy romantic terms. The use of simple words that evoke romantic or emotional messages, such as the current hugot lines used by teenagers, could help explain difficult chemistry or scientific terms.
This was manifested by a group of student-filmmakers from Mapua Institute of Technology who succeeded in explaining the complex topic of chemical bonds in their film entitled Bonding Tayo, earning them the Best Film Award at the pioneering Indie-Siyensya Filmmaking Competition. Indie-Siyensya was organized by Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST) Science Education Institute (SEI).
At the recent awarding ceremony at the DOST headquarters in Taguig City, the team, composed of Marvin Nofuente, Nikkei Bernal and Charles Ongchangco, bested 15 other groups to claim the top award and went home with a P50,000 cash prize.
Their film, Bonding Tayo, is about two Chemistry students who were working on a research paper. The male character, named Nito, tries to explain chemical bonds to his partner, Elisa, through hugot lines, or catchy romantic and emotional lines, which also served as his way to express his feelings toward her.
The board of judges composed of scientists and filmmakers said the movie chose an effective treatment in discussing a complex topic, such as chemistry, as it “meets the language of the millennials.”
“[We] liked it because chemistry is hard to explain and [the filmmakers] found such an effective way to make the subject appealing to the young audience, especially in this era of AlDub [Alden Richards and Dub smasher Maine Mendoza love team], JaDine [James Reid and Nadine Lustre love team] and the like,” said Pauline Mangilog-Saltarin, Creative Director of Jesuit Communications at the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU), who was one of the judges.
Placing second was the team of Jasmin Robert Bansil, Aira Jill Brosas and Danielle Andrea Ferrer for their film entitled Bathala. The film was about how a student was able to develop a prototype of a technology, which can produce energy and potable water for the Dumagats. The film netted the team a P30,000 cash prize.
The trio of Princess Bacani, Angelica Mateo and Cristina Tula won third place and P20,000 for Pwede Bang Red Uli?, a short film on scientific ingenuity in addressing color blindness and how a person’s concern for another can push one to look for solutions using science to help.
The other members of the board of judges were former Science Undersecretary Fortunato de la Peña, University of the Philippines Assistant Professor Dr. Aletta Yñiguez, former Sineskwela producer Marcela Claudette Villanueva, Museo Pambata Executive Director Maricel Montero and ADMU’s Communication Department Chairman Dr. Severino Sarmenta.
DOST-SEI Director Dr. Josette Biyo said she was impressed with the quality of the entries, describing them as “effective and entertaining means in communicating science” to the public.
“We have proven that Filipino-made science films are indeed effective means of bringing science and technology closer to the people,” Biyo said.
For his part, de la Peña urged the filmmakers to keep making films and discovering science as the field offers unlimited topics that can be tackled through artistic methods.
“I hope this activity marks the start of your own story, whether in film or in science. We hope that you really use your gifts for the best cause, that is, to serve the nation,” he said.
The films were shown to high-school and college students on March 29 and 30 at the DOST’s Philippine Science Heritage Center in Bicutan, Taguig City.
Film entries were limited to five to 10 minutes in length, and were guided by the theme, “Spectrum: Capturing the Colors of Science.” The films were judged based on content, technical excellence and creativity.
Indie-siyensya was launched late in 2015 to spark creativity in communicating science among the youth. The competition aimed to encourage young students to capitalize on film as a tool for influencing people about the benefits of science, technology and innovation. Biyo earlier referred to the competition as “a move to really get creative inputs from students on how they see and appreciate science and technology.”
She said the number of entries was a good indication of the high interest in science and in filmmaking among the youth given the relatively short timeframe from the project launch to the screening and awarding.
“We are very happy about the number and quality of science films these students produced for this competition. It shows how talented our students are and how high the potential of film as tool for science education is in the country,” Biyo added. S&T Media Service