LPU MMA students compete for 5th Rotary PSA Festival Awards

Six Multimedia Arts majors from the Lyceum of the Philippines University Manila will vie for the top prizes after they made it to the semifinals of the 5th Rotary PSA Festival. The awarding ceremonies will be streamed via Facebook Live (https://www.facebook.com/RotaryPSAFestival) on December 11.

Eunice Angelica G. San Juan’s “Boto Para sa Pagbabago” (Vote for Change), Mark Wilson S. Catindig’s “Kain-Basura” (Food for Trash), Dan Enrico P. Picardal’s “Billiards,” Rikki Lou Bonifacio’s “Laro Tayo, Resiklo” (Let’s Play, Recycle) and Venus Mariel Orbon’s and Lovely Rose Veroya’s “Hide and Seek” have been selected among 355 submissions from 27 different high schools and colleges nationwide.

The Rotary Club of Circuit Makati has been organizing the 30-second video making competition for amateur and student filmmakers since 2017. Last year, LPU Manila had four semifinalists in the competition, namely Ashley Cordero’s “Alone,” Francis Alba’s “Mother Tongue,” Austin Banaag’s “TULOy Tuloy,” and Rochelle Philippe Jedidah Urag’s and James Nadora‘s “Ang Ating Gubat” (Our Forest). All nine LPU semifinalists were final projects submitted to their Fundamentals of Film and Video Production subject.

Five semifinalists were chosen for each of the seven Rotary International Areas of Focus, namely Peace and Conflict Prevention and Resolution, Supporting Environment, Water and Sanitation, Maternal and Child Health, Economic and Community Development, Disease Prevention and Treatment, and Basic Education and Literacy. All 35 semifinalists will automatically receive 2,000 pesos each.

The Top 5 winners will each be awarded cash prizes amounting to 35,000 pesos (first prize), 25,000 pesos (second), 15,000 pesos (third), 10,000 pesos (fourth), and 5,000 pesos (fifth) plus a digital certificate of recognition from the organizers. A special award for Best Direction will also be given 5,000 pesos and a plaque to the director who has exhibited outstanding direction for a video entry.

San Juan’s PSA focuses on the victims of extrajudicial killings “as violence and killings are still alarmingly increasing,” she said. “We might not see it often in the news, but it is still present. I want people to never forget about these innocent victims who died during this administration and still haven’t got justice yet.”

“As Election 2022 is slowly approaching, we are hoping for a change to avoid injustices and abuse of authority. We are yearning for an administration that is competent. Voting wisely starts with the Filipino. We should always be reminded that no one is above the law, even the president. So we have to speak and fight for the victims whose voices are silenced,” San Juan stressed.

Meanwhile, Orbon and Veroya, who are both advocates of women empowerment, shared that their PSA was inspired by “friends and family who have suffered greatly because of failed marriages and domestic violence and friends who have traumatic experiences from being physically abused.”

“We wanted this entry to be an eye-opener to the public that not everyone has the same childhood experiences, and not every child has the same safe environment, and not all women have their dreams come true when they get married,” Veroya revealed.

“The experiences we had heard from people around us made us believe how strong a woman – a mother – can be for her children, and for those who suffer from this kind of situation. We wanted them to be free because we always believe that a woman is where we all came from. A threat to her life is a threat to our own,” she added.

Catindig, who also competed at the Three Shots Film Festival last month, believes that developing opportunities for the community is a small step in building a better nation. “Listening and creating solutions for the neighborhood is one of the many ways to develop a self-sufficient community. In creating this call for action, I didn’t need to seek inspiration. I just laid the platform for the voice of the community,” he explained.

On the other hand, Bonifacio noticed his nephews playing with pinwheels made from plastic bottles while he was conceptualizing for a project. He was able to think of an idea by recycling plastics to reduce pollution for the Supporting Environment category. He added that he wants to persuade people not just to throw their trash everywhere but to use them creatively in coming up with useful projects.

Picardal, for his part, based his concept on a game. “Since the start of the pandemic, we all miss going out, doing things we normally do. I waited for the time we will get the vaccine for this pandemic, too. As we experience more and more variants, people still seem to resist getting a vaccine shot now that we got it. The concept is simple and I based it on a game that I’m not good at but I like watching, billiards.”