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‘i-Witness’ bags award at environmental films

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PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF I-WITNESS ‘i-Witness’ program host and writer Howie Severino.

During the Covid-19 surge in 2021, the i-Witness team of program host and writer Howie Severino’s didn’t have to travel far for its documentary work.

Littered on the shores of Manila Bay was an overlooked danger the virus had bred: discarded surgical masks which are considered hazardous waste. In the sea itself were more used masks, which threaten corals and marine life.

A toxic side effect caused by a global health crisis, mask pollution was an issue that resonated with an international jury which gave the i-Witness docu “Masked Land” a Silver Green award in the Health and Living Environment category at the Deauville Green Awards in France, one of the world’s longest running environmental film festivals.

“Like everyone else in 2021, our movements were very limited. Good thing my team found an urgent topic nearby that many around the world could relate to,” said Severino, who receive the award on behalf of GMA Network and i-Witness.

“The pandemic has challenged all of us to produce quality work under very stringent conditions. My talented and courageous team stepped up,” added Severino, who in 2020 produced another prize-winning documentary about Covid-19 — his personal experience as a patient and survivor.

The Deauville Green Awards is an international film festival that honors the best of environmental reporting.

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