Saturday, September 13, 2008

HUPA & the MoonRise Film Festival Movies

By Reymundo Salao

One of the most important social issues of our times which have been focused on by many documentaries like “An Inconvenient Truth” and “The 11th Hour” is the issue of Global Warming and Climate Change. Sometimes we need to watch full length documentaries about issues like these in order to get a detailed and a somewhat internally interactive reflection on issues that are of great importance, not only to our environment, but to ourselves as well. I was surprised to find that what’s showing here in one of Iloilo’s big mall cinemas this week is The Moonrise Film Festival, which features documentaries on the world's foremost cultural, environmental, and social issues. This environmental documentary film fest aims to make the public aware of the issues surrounding the environment through the film medium.

The highlight of the Moonrise Filmfest movies line-up is HUPA, not only because it's a purely Ilonggo film documentary, but also because it is the winner of The Grand Charlie Award at this filmfestival. ON Creative's HUPA is produced and directed by Oscar Nava, with the help of ABSCBN Iloilo and Aksyon Radyo. It is a documentary that chronicles the Flood Tragedy that was caused by Typhoon Frank last June. With the aid of news files, footages, and reports from sources like ABS-CBN News Iloilo and Aksyon Radyo, Oscar Nava and ON Creative was able to make this documentary which surely will serve as a sort of official documentary piece about the said tragedy.

Ranging from footages taken in the actual flood scenes, up to news broadcasts, and even up to scenes of what was going on in the Mayor's office during the height of the calamity, along with interviews and scenes of the aftermath; the docu weaves several viewpoints which make it a rich and complete docu in itself. The tragic events of that time were indeed such a heart wrenching drama of real life horrors. Among the scenes which gave much impact were the scenes of families in a state of panic and desperation, many of them, in a traumatic state of despair, but the one which was most shocking was the scene wherein rescuers discover the remains of a family which was trampled by a cement wall which collapsed upon them. It was such a grim and very sad scene as rescuers were left with no choice but to wash the muddy remains of these dead bodies in the floodwater. The docu is a must-see for those who live and love Iloilo because this event will forever be one of the most haunting episodes of this city's history; a reminder and a warning that should make us not take our environment for granted.

Along with the number of movies included in the Moonrise Festival is the docu by the Presidential Task Force on Climate Change (PTFCC) "PANAHON NA!" which is a very informative documentary that serves as a tool in order to educate people about Climate Change; how it affects the environment, and how to solve it. Hosted by Nikki Gil and Dingdong Dantes, along with interviews from many resource persons, the docu makes sure that the audience will have a solid understanding of this global risk.

In this documentary, the municipality of Dumangas, Iloilo (and the mayor of Dumangas Mayor Golez) was also able to cross the centerstage as it was praised for spearheading one of the best environmental projects that is very beneficial to farmers; Their Climate Field School educates farmers in anticipating the changes in the weather, making them more efficient farmers who can wisely monitor their crops.

"PANAHON NA!" by the PTFCC warn us of the factors that destroy the planet; from basic reckless littering up to reckless negligence of power consumption, factories, industries, and power plants. It also provides for solutions and even basic tips that the normal Pinoy can take note of. I strongly urge you all to watch this documentary, along with the other environmental features from this Moonrise Filmfestival.

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