The campaign to celebrate film as a medium to communicate science and create positive change continues and remains strong as the Indie-Siyensya Film Festival returns to various Cinematheque Centres across the Philippines and streams online via JuanFlix, courtesy of the Department of Science and Technology-Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI) and the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP).
Almost three years after the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country, the DOST-SEI, in partnership with FDCP, finally brought back Indie-Siyensya’s on-site film festival with a two-day film screening of science-based creative films at the Cinematheque Centres in Manila, Nabunturan, Davao, and Negros from January 21 to 22, 2023. Cinematheque Centre Iloilo also joined the celebration as it followed with the screening on January 26 to 27.
The film festival kicked off at the Cinematheque Centre Manila with a brief opening ceremony conducted to formally welcome everyone to the film screening. Present during the program were officials of DOST-SEI and FDCP, namely, Engr. Albert Mariño, DOST-SEI’s Deputy Director; Mr. Randolf Sasota, DOST-SEI’s S&T Manpower Education Research and Promotions Division’s Officer-in-Charge; Mr. Daniel David Morales, FDCP’s Executive Director; and Ms. Rica Arevalo, FDCP’s Education and Development Support Division Head and one of the 6th Indie-Siyensya jurors.
Directors, scriptwriters, and members of the featured films’ production team also graced the event. They all showed gratitude for being a part of the Indie-Siyensya’s movement to use films to communicate science and contribute to building ripples of change for communities. They also expressed delight to learn how passionate Filipinos are in creating films that mirror the realities of society and how the Indie-Siyensya has inspired and nurtured this passion among them as filmmakers.
“Being with these people, looking at the films, nakakaiyak kasi I know na hindi lang ako, hindi lang ako yung passionate about this. Everyone is. And [I am] super grateful. This competition is just doing many things for many,” said Kyle Carlo Lasala, director of one of the featured films, when asked about his experiences in joining the 6th Indie-Siyensya Filmmaking Competition during the festival’s talkback.
The filmmakers all expressed hope to tell more stories, create more documentary films, and join more science film festivals with the aim to inform, educate, and enrich the knowledge of the public about a certain issue, and eventually move them to action. Such is the issue of the climate change crisis.
Through the Indie-Siyensya Film Festival, DOST-SEI pledged to continue to harness the potential of films in communicating science, building awareness on critical issues, and driving action for the betterment of the country and the world.
DOST-SEI’s Deputy Director Engr. Mariño thanked FDCP for sharing in the advocacy of bringing science closer to the Filipino people through competitions like Indie Siyensya and helping spark the interest of the youth to join the science community.
Meanwhile, FDCP Executive Director Mr. Daniel David Morales commended the DOST-SEI for successfully cultivating creativity and innovation, as well as creating a means to highlight meaningful content through the Indie-Siyensya Film Festival. He pointed out how films are not only a visual treat but also an excellent vehicle for science communication, social change, and advocacy.
Mr. Morales added that the FDCP will continue to support the DOST-SEI by making Indie-Siyensya an Inter-Agency Partnership Program under the leadership of its new chairman, Mr. Tirso Cruz III.
Just like the previous Indie-Siyensya Film Festivals, this year’s event featured the ten (10) finalists of the Indie-Siyensya Filmmaking Competition. With the theme “Communicating Climate Change,” the festival screened short documentary films and explainers that confront environmental challenges and advocate solutions to climate change.
The film entries are also available on JuanFlix until February 5, 2023. Viewers must register first at juanflix.com.ph to watch the entries for free.
Formerly known as the FDCP Channel, JuanFlix is a streaming platform that features classic Filipino films and special selections from recently conducted local film festivals. It aims to offer educational entertainment for all learners and film enthusiasts through homegrown films that inspire, enrich, and challenge perspectives.
For this year, the 6th Indie-Siyensya’s Viewers’ Choice Award will be given to the film entries with the highest number of votes per category from the combined on-site and online voting results. The winners of the Viewers’ Choice Award will take home the Php 20,000.00 cash grant. Online voters are highly encouraged to watch all the Indie-Siyensya film entries on JuanFlix.
The Awarding Ceremony will be held on February 25, 2023 at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City.
To know more about the finalists of the 6th Indie-Siyensya Filmmaking Competition, you may read: https://www.sei.dost.gov.ph/index.php/news-archive/408-young-filipino-filmmakers-focus-lens-on-climate-change-awareness-in-6th-indie-siyensya-film-festival