Films to exemplify Sen. Loren Legarda’s advocacies

April 30, 2015

Two films opening in two different prestigious events in Europe will showcase Sen. Loren Legarda’s advocacies. The lady senator is, of course, the Philippines’ leading stalwart on Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction Laws.

The first film is the newly-restored version of the 1950 film “Genghis Khan,” directed by National Artist Manuel Conde and co-written and designed by Carlos Francisco. The said film will be exhibited at the Philippine Pavilion during the Venice Biennale International Art Exhibition from May 9 to November 22.

Also to be exhibited at the Bienalle are Jose Tence Ruiz and Manny Montelibano’s “Shoal” (an art installation referencing the BRP Sierra Madre, the Philippines’ rusty and dilapidated outpost on the Ayungin Shoal); and a multi-channel video called “A Dashed State” (shot in the southern part of Palawan, a place relatively shut out from the rest of the world except for the constant intrusion of Chinese channels on the radio). This is for Dr. Patrick Flores’ curatorial project called “Tie A String Around the World.”

Set to make waves in Cannes, on the other hand, is the advocacy film “Taklub” from awarded director Brillante Mendoza that stars Nora Aunor. The film will be screened as part of the 68th Cannes International Film Festival kicking-off on May 13 and running till May 24.

Aside from her concern for the environment, Sen. Legarda has also been a staunch supporter of arts and culture.

During a recent press conference for “Taklub,” after a comment from one of the entertainment writers that she has gone international with her advocacies, she explained, “Because they are great Filipino artists and ako gusto kong tumutulong.”

To date this is the Senator and Brillante’s fifth project together but the most ambitious in terms of content.

The past four were simple documentaries entitled “Buhos,” “Ligtas,” “Philippine Marine Biodiversity” and the latest, launched before Earth Day, “Antique: Coral Restoration Program.”

She recalled, “Inisip namin ni direk ito in the aftermath of Yolanda in November of 2013. I said direk gawa tayo ng documentary parang hindi pa sapat na merong ‘Buhos’ at ‘Ligtas’ na documentaries para maalala ang kahalagaan ng paghahanda. Sabi niya, ‘Okay, let’s go.’ Pero sabi niya gawin nating feature film para mas medaling maintindihan ng mga tao mas mag-create ng awareness. At the time wala kaming balak makapasok sa Cannes, Berlin, Venice or ano pa man because I wanted a documentary. But he said let’s make a feature film and who knows, it might be selected in an international film festival…hindi ko na naisip ‘yung international acclaim kasi ang gusto ko talaga itulak ang advocacy ko sa Climate Change Adaptation, ang DRR or in simple words paghahanda para hindi na maulit muli ang trahedya ng Yolanda.”

Brillante explained that “Taklub” is a different perspective or point of view on climate change and it involved people who experienced “Yolanda.” He added though that they didn’t recreate the typhoon since the story revolved more on the typhoon’s aftermath.

“Hindi kami nag-recreate pero parang meron kaming ginawang similar. Parang semblance of Yolanda pero maliit lang ‘yun. It’s a very small scale. Pero pinakita namin in that small scale, imagine kung anong nangyari imagine kung anong nangyari doon sa Yolanda. ‘Yung recreation namin matindi na siya so pinakita lang namin ng example,” Brillante cited.

The Senator who with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in cooperation with the Presidential Communications Operations Office-Philippine Information Agency (PCOO-PIA) made “Taklub” possible, is in awe with Brillante’s creativity in “Taklub.”

She is happy with how the director injected her advocacies in the movie like the DRR measures such as early warning systems, mangrove reforestation, preemptive evacuation, and designating no-build zones.

“When you see the film, you will see the creative genius of an artist mainstreaming our laws on climate change and disaster reduction in a feature film…that’s what I truly admire about direk Brillante. If I may, it seems that was no script, even if there was a script. It was just so heartrending that I watched it trice and talagang maganda and natutuwa ako na nagawang-mainstream or nailagay doon na hindi hardsell ang DRR or tinatawag naming Paghahanda,” opined Sen. Legarda.

Aside from raising awareness on her advocacies, she hopes the film will inspire other producers and filmmakers to create more feature films that would help improve our lives.

The Senator also hopes that “Taklub” could be released in theaters in the country for free in the near future.

Manila Bulletin