The Embassy of Japan in Manila has announced the Philippine entries for a regional student film festival in Japan. This year’s theme for the annual student film contest is bullying, which most students can at least relate to. As part of the international program, high school students from East Asia and Southeast Asia have been encouraged and given the opportunity to showcase their film-making skills.
Called “Asian International Children’s Film Festival,” the competition is part of the relaunch of “Japan-East Asia Network of Exchange for Students and Youth (JENESYS 2.0),” a youth development program initiated by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during his first stint in the top government office in 2007. According to the Japanese Embassy, “The theme for this year is centered on bullying, and the student films deal with the different faces of bullying, the consequences and the challenge to stand up against it.” Bullying in schools may be rampant in Japan, but other Asian nations are also having the same experience.
The Filipino student films chosen by the Japan Information and Culture Center and the Philippines’ National Youth Commission were among the 11 entries in the country. Those selected to represent the Philippines were If Only… by Mary Rose E. Brandon, Savannah Maria Lantay and Danielle Angela Montezon of The Living Epistle Christian Academy Inc. in Quezon City; Perishable Goods by Justin Daniel de Dios, David Alexander Tabuena Gordon and Russ Earl Micah Malangen of La Salle Greenhills in Mandaluyong; and Salamat (“Thank you”) by Genevie Abarsoza, Henzor Dauigoy and Sabrina Elysha Go Santos of Southville International School and Colleges in Las Piñas. All schools are from the Metro Manila area.
These nine students are to join other high school delegates from Mongolia, China, South Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, and Malaysia on November 25 until December 2 in Japan. Their eight-day trip will be part of other cultural exchange activities, all expenses paid. Philippines, courtesy of James Francis Conda and Kyle Robert Vergara of San Beda College Alabang in Muntinlupa City, also won the second place in the Minister of Foreign Affairs Award at the film festival last year.
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