DUTCH and Filipino films promoting human rights will be showcased in selected cinemas in the country from July to October.
As part of the celebration of the 65 years of diplomatic relations and 150 years of consular ties between the Philippines and the Netherlands, artist collective Dakila collaborated with the Kingdom of Netherlands Embassy in bringing the Active Vista Human Rights Film Festival, which will have Dutch and Filipino movies highlighting the promotion and preservation of human dignity.
According to Dutch Ambassador Marion Derckx, film is an effective way to engage people into acting against world problems that affect human condition, like human trafficking, poverty and hunger.
“We think this generation is a crucial generation for humanity. We are the first generation in human kind that can bring an end to hunger. If we continue to work together, hunger can be a thing of the past by 2030. At the same time, the generation can also exhaust the world if we do not take the challenges of our time seriously. Vital resources will be depleted and climate change will have devastating effect on our living environment. Film is one of the media that can serve as a source of inspiration,” Derckx said.
Derckx also said the two countries have a connection when it comes to filmmaking, and that Filipino independent movies have been earning recognition in the Netherlands.
“The Philippines-Netherlands connection in filmmaking is quite strong. For many years, Filipino filmmakers and films are well-known in the Dutch film scene. We share the passion of innovation. The Netherlands has been instrumental in keeping the independent film industry alive for decades already and, at the same time, Filipino films continuously inspire the film scene in Netherlands, so it is always an exchange,” Derckx said.
According to Derckx, Filipino filmmaker Lav Diaz’s works are famous in the Netherlands. She also noted that many Filipino films are regular entries in international film festivals.
The Dutch diplomat also lauded the quality of films the independent scene in the country is producing.
“The Filipino movie world is quite serious. There many good films. The independent filmmakers, it is not easy for them to stay alive and make a living but they make good products, and you have well-established people here in the Philippines. They are known in the Netherlands. You have something to be proud of,” Derckx said.
Dakila Executive Director Leni Velasco said the Dutch Embassy has always been a partner in human rights and innovation, and she hopes that cinema can empower the Filipino audience into contributing in bringing about genuine and relevant social change.
The Dutch-Filipino Film Festival will run until October in key cities across the country, with screenings in Metro Manila, Davao, Iloilo, Cebu and Baguio.
The festival will feature Filipino films like Taklub, by Brillante Mendoza; Barber’s Tales, by Jun Lana; Himpapawid, by Raymond Red; Honor Thy Father, by Erik Matti; Bunso, by Ditsi Carolino; Engkwentro, by Pepe Diokno; and Norte, by Lav Diaz.
Image credits: Rodel Alzona