, News, Open University System
Open University System’s (OUS) short film entry “Dayuhan” made it to the Top 5 of the World Refugee Day 2023 Refugee Film Festival Short Film Competition. The team of first-year Broadcasting students includes James Nebril, Sean Diaz, Kien Manuntag, John Jerick Pastoral, Laiza Mae Malatag, Taylor De Guzman, and Alexis Caceres. They developed, produced and directed the winning film.
The World Refugee Day (WRD) Film Festival is an international platform established to showcase the experiences of people who have fled their homes due to war or persecution. This year’s edition of the competition was held last June 20–22, 2023, at the Cine Adarna, University of the Philippines Film Institute in Diliman, Quezon City.
“Our film will give everyone hope that they can still live the life they want despite numerous downfalls in a world where we believe it is harsh to live. [Dayuhan also demonstrates] how and why Filipinos should treat refugees in a good manner in this country,” Caceres, the film’s director explained in an online interview.
Dayuhan presents the story of a 19-year-old Russian who found refuge and solace in a Filipino family. It follows the competition theme “Hope Away From Home,” which aims to help bring awareness, build empathy, and mobilize action for and on behalf of the 103 million forcibly displaced persons worldwide.
“We joined the competition because we wanted to challenge ourselves, as aspiring future media practitioners, on how we can contribute to the lives of refugees, IDPs, and asylum seekers, through filmmaking. We also wanted to highlight the issue of refugees in this country and their experiences on why they are forced to flee. We believe that it is a topic we should discuss more for the general public to raise awareness,” Caceres added.
This accomplishment once again proves that it’s possible to look at the world’s issues through the lenses of art, advocacy, and education. The team behind the film stands for the importance of collaboration between private and public sectors. It sends an important message to the viewers that it’s possible to turn life’s adversities into successes even during tough times.
The team also participated in the World Refugee Day Forum moderated by UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador and Broadcast Journalist Atom Araullo, which facilitated meaningful discussions amongst relevant actors on how they can each contribute to advocating for inclusion and building hope and solutions with and for forcibly displaced and stateless persons.
Among the schools who participated in the short film competition are Lyceum of the Philippines University – Manila, Cebu Institute of Technology – University, University of San Carlos, San Pedro College, University of Southeastern Philippines, University of Mindanao, Indiana Aerospace University, Cavite State University, De La Salle University-Dasmariñas, Cavite State University, and Technological University of the Philippines-Manila.
The festival is organized by United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) with the support of the UP Asian Center, showcasing films and documentaries on the plight of refugees worldwide.
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