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‘Unsung Sariling Bayani’ — a short film competition

A project of the FDCP, presiding over the contest is 2018 National Artist for Film and Broadcast Arts Kidlat Tahimik.

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National Artist for Film Kidlat Tahimik with FDCP chair Liza Diño. / PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF FDCP

The Filipino youth is encouraged to introduce to the public the country’s lesser-known heroes in Kidlat Tahimik’s Unsung Sariling Bayani (USB) Short Film Competition.

Launched on 27 April — the 500th anniversary of the first circumnavigation of the world that led to the discovery of the Philippines, as well as Lapulapu’s Victory at Mactan against Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan — the contest will serve as the prelude to the USB Online Film Festival to be held 11 to 17 November.

It is a project of the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) in partnership with the National Quincentennial Committee (NQC), with support from The Bureau of Learner Support Services-Youth Formation Division of the Department of Education.

Speaking online at the USB launch, Kidlat Tahimik, 2018 National Artist for Film and Broadcast Arts, said he preferred to tap aspiring young filmmakers because they “are not pushed by the commercial sector to make it (filmmaking) for a living.”

The contest is divided into three categories: two Youth Categories (Public and Private Senior High School) students and Adult Category (18 years old and above)
Entries should focus on Filipino heroes who had appeared at least once in any literary work.

Each entry should be five to eight minutes long, using Filipino, English, or any native or foreign language — provided that there are Filipino subtitles.

Filmmakers may also choose from live-action, documentary or animation genres.

Deadline for submission of entries is on 11 October.

A total of 30 finalists will be selected, with equal representation from the National Capital Region (NCR), Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao and Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

Finalists will each receive cash prizes and free access to all educational events to aid in their filmmaking process. After the competition, USB winners and finalists can attend more free training sessions and workshops to be conducted by the FDCP.

Kidlat Tahimik said that the project will honor unknown Filipino heroes and make them accessible through films.

FDCP chair Liza Diño pointed out that filmmaking in the country became “too global” that many Filipinos forget their own heroes.

“We would like younger people to know that heroes are also human like them,” Diño said.

Like Kidlat Tahimik’s symbolic bamboo camera, the USB Short Film Competition is envisioned to boost a new generation of filmmakers that will enrich Philippine history.

“We, the small filmmakers, can contribute to the archives of our relevant local history,” Kidlat Tahimik said.