Five reasons you should see the Dutch-Filipino Film Festival

Films have a distinct power to distill the complexities of the common human experience and translate it into moving and compelling art. The stories told in movies– whether it is about a country’s culture, a person’s experience, or prevalent social issues– allows the audience to see and understand realities that are unfamiliar or unbeknownst to them.

Recognizing this, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, in cooperation with Dakila – Philippine Collective for Modern Heroism, holds the Active Vista Presents: A Dutch – Filipino Film Festival as part of the celebration of the 65 years of diplomatic relations and 150 years of consular ties between the Netherlands and the Philippines. Themed “Inspire Innovation: Leading Sustainable Innovations toward a Progressive World”, the three-month film fest reflects the two nations’ commitment to promote human rights and aims to inspire sustainable innovations to address the global challenges ahead.

Here are five reasons why you should check this film fest out:

1. It will open your eyes to a world sometimes unseen, oftentimes ignored

Films can move people to tears or more importantly, to action. The Dutch-Filipino Film Festival features full-length films that showcase the different injustices that are prevalent in our world today. Serious issues like rape, racism, murder, immigration, gender inequality, and women rights violations, are tackled to open the audience’s eyes to the many atrocities committed in today’s modern world.

Those Who Feel the Fire Burning
Morgan Knibbe’s Those Who Feel the Fire Burning

These issues are best represented by Dutch feature films Those Who Feel the Fire Burning by Morgan Knibbe, 12 Months in a Day by Margot Schaap, Forget Me Not by Jan Jaap Kulper, A Haunting History by Ilse van Velzen and Fernke van Velzen, A Family Affair by Tom Fassaert, Kicks by Albert Ter Heerdt, Boys by Mischa Kamp, Accused by Paula van der Oest, and Borgman by Alex van Warmerdam.

The curated list of featured Filipino include Kano: An American and His Harem by Monster Jimenez, Edna by Ronnie Lazaro, Ang Huling Cha-Cha ni Anita by Sigrid Andrea Bernardo, Purok 7 by Carlo Obispo, Imbisibol by Lawrence Fajardo, Himpapawid by Raymond Red, Crescent Rising by Sheron Dayoc, Mondo Manila by Khavn Dela Cruz, Swap by Remton Siega Zuasola, Shift by Siege Ledesma, Bunso by Ditsi Carolino, Iisa by Chuck Gutierrez, Balikbayan #1: Memories of Overdevelopment Redux III by Kidlat Tahimik, Miss Bulalacao by Ara Chawdhury, Honor Thy Father by Erik Matti, Barber’s Tales by Jun Lana, Taklob by Brillante Mendoza, Engkwentro by Pepe Diokno, and Norte by Lav Diaz.

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2. Don’t have the luxury of time? Indulge in immersive short films

If you’re pressed for time and can only watch short films, the Dutch-Filipino film fest also features a collection of short documentaries to warm your heart, get you thinking, or thrill you to the bone.

Donna Verheijden's Land of Desire - Happy is the New Black
Donna Verheijden’s Land of Desire – Happy is the New Black

Dutch short films include 10 x 1: A Collection of One Minute Films by Gertjan Zuilhof, Land of Desire – Happy is the New Black by Donna Verheijden, I Am a Girl! by Susan Koenen, Arigato by Anielle Webster, Sniper of Kobani by Reber Dosky, The Double by Roy Villevoye and Jan Dietvorst, Under the Apple Tree by Erik van Schaaik, and Sprinkles 4-Ever! by Willem Baptist.

Katapusan Labok by Aiess Alonso, Wag kang Titingin by Pam Miras, Mga Alingawngaw sa Panahon ng Pagpapasya by Hector Barretto Calma, Missing by Zig Dulay, Sa Wakas by Ma. Veronica Santiago, Bakaw by Ron Segismundo, Ang Telenovela ni Juan at Luzviminda by Emerson Reyes, Hindi Ako Makatulog Nang Wala Ka sa Tabi Ko by Jade Castro, Da More Da Meniyer by Erik Matti, and Faculty by Jerrold Tarog are among the Filipino short films featured in the film fest.

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3. Witness two different cultures merge through the language of film

Despite the geographical distance and their cultural differences, the Netherlands’ relationship with the Philippines is defined by mutual understanding and cooperation. Nothing is more fascinating than to see these two countries work together toward a common goal using creative means like movies.

Behind the scenes of Ara Chawdhury’s Miss Bulalacao

The Dutch-Filipino film fest will showcase the best of Dutch and Filipino films which tell stories in extraordinary ways. If you’re a movie-goer who likes watching documentaries that make you think of today’s society or a film student who likes to learn about different cultures, this film fest is definitely for you.

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4. Be fascinated by the magic of award-winning films

If you want to watch Dutch and Filipino films that have been recognized by the world’s most prestigious award-giving bodies, then this film festival is the perfect venue for you.

Borgman
Alex van Warmerdam’s Borgman

Those Who Feel the Fire Burning
Golden Calf for Best Documentary Long Documentary & Best Sound Design,
Nederlands Film Festival

Borgman
Golden Calf for Best Feature Film, Best Actress, & Best Script,
Nederlands Film Festival

Balikbayan #1: Memories of Overdevelopment Redux III
Caligari Film Award,
Berlin International Film Festival

Brilliante Mendoza's Taklub
Brillante Mendoza’s Taklub

Norte, Hangganan ng Kasaysayan
Filipino entry for Best Foreign Language Film, 87th Academy Awards
Nominated for Prix Un Certain Regard, Cannes Film Festival
Best Picture and Best Actress, Gawad Urian Awards
Nuremberg International Human Rights Film Award

Taklub
Ecumenical Jury Prize- Special Mention, Cannes Film Festival
Best Picture, Gawad Urian Awards
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5. No need to spend a single peso to satisfy your craving for films… and learning!

You don’t have to spend a lot to learn new things, culture, or even language and immerse yourself in a world of ideologies and insights. Watching films featured in the Dutch-Filipino film fest will let you do all those things for no cost at all.

All you have to do is to sit back, relax, and enjoy the variety of films the film festival is offering. You can also invite a friend or two!

Erik Matti's Honor Thy Father
Erik Matti’s Honor Thy Father

The Active Vista International Human Rights Film Festival is co-presented by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in partnership with the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines, Film Development Council of the Philippines, National Commission for Culture and the Arts, University of the Philippines Film Institute, Movies that Matter, Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates, Ateneo Human Rights Center, Alternative Law Groups, Metro Manila Pride, Filipino Freethinkers, ABS-CBN News Channel, BusinessWorld, WhenInManila.com, and CinemaBravo.

Cebu

Films will also be screened in Davao (July 30-August 5), Iloilo (August 9-13), Cebu (August 20-26), Baguio (September 6-10), and Manila (September 27-October 1). Closing screenings will be held on October 8-9 at Shang Cineplex, Shangri-La Mall, Mandaluyong.

For more information on the Dutch-Filipino Film Festival, visit the website and Facebook or follow on Twitter.

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