October 4, 2023

Welcome to Cinemata's latest newsletter! We're thrilled to introduce our new support pages to ensure an even smoother user experience, plus more info on how you can help sustain the vital work of the Cinemata video platform and community. 

Together with advocacy partners, the Cinemata team recently hosted a film screening and talkback session that addressed historical revisionism in the Philippines. In case you missed it, you can catch up on the event highlights. Read on to discover new videos on Myanmar's innovative responses to internet challenges post-coup, watch digitally restored social issue classics from the Philippines, and delve into the realm of digital security for human rights defenders in the Asia-Pacific.

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'Legacy of Struggle: Cinematic Perspectives on Martial Law'

Last September 22, Cinemata organised a screening and talkback session featuring films on the Philippines’ martial law era in partnership with DAKILA, Active Vista Human Rights Festival, Altermidya, AlternaTV, and Amnesty International Philippines. The screening, titled “Legacy of Struggle: Cinematic Perspectives on Martial Law,” was held at the UPFI Film Center in Manila, Philippines.

The collection is a showcase of films reflecting on the profound impact of Philippine martial law—a historical chapter that continues to cast its shadow over the country to this day.

In collaboration with the Polytechnic University of the Philippines’ Center for Heritage Studies, Cinemata contributed to digitally restoring socially relevant films using AI video enhancements and mastering the audio levels for better viewing. For the first time in Philippine cinema history, these films were screened in High Definition.


Read the post-event article here. This initiative is part of the Cinemata Archium project that aims to ensure the preservation and accessibility of Southeast Asia's short films, capturing cultural heritage, shedding light on social issues, and fostering an inclusive platform for engagement and dialogue.


Introducing Cinemata's 'Help and Resources' page

Need guidance on navigating the Cinemata video platform? Check out the Help and Resources page to find detailed instructions on how to open an account, upload videos, and create playlists. Users can also find additional information about Cinemata Trusted Users, the benefits of being one, and an easy guide on how to become a trusted user.


Support the Cinemata video platform and community

Cinemata is committed to promoting diverse voices and fostering a sense of community among filmmakers, advocacy groups, film initiatives, educational institutions, and audiences. Help us continue this vital work by donating to Cinemata.

Your contributions will help sustain our efforts in providing a platform for social issue filmmakers and storytellers from the Asia-Pacific region. With your support, we can continue to showcase relevant social issue films, amplify underheard voices, and facilitate initiatives and meaningful discussions in the region. We deeply appreciate your generosity in helping us maintain and enhance the video platform and the community. Visit the Donate page today.



'Myanmar Internet Crisis: Using Alternative Communications'

The Myanmar people continue to face challenges to internet access following the 2021 coup. In response, digital rights advocates have turned to alternative forms of communication to stay connected.

This video is part of EngageMedia's initiative to raise awareness of digital rights issues in Myanmar and to support activists, digital rights advocates, and ordinary citizens in enhancing their digital safety. 

၂၀၂၁ ခုနှစ် အာဏာသိမ်းမှုအပြီး မြန်မာနိုင်ငံမှာ အင်တာနက်အသုံးပြုခွင့်ဟာ ကန့်သတ်ချက်များစွာရှိလာခဲ့သည်။ မြန်မာပြည်သူများသည် အချင်းချင်း ချိတ်ဆက်မှုရှိနေစေရန် Walkie-talkies၊ ဂြိုလ်တုအင်တာနက်နှင့် အခြားဆန်းသစ်သောနည်းပညာများ ကဲ့သို့သော အစားထိုးဆက်သွယ်ရေးနည်းလမ်းများကို စမ်းသပ်အသုံးပြုလာကြရသည်။

Organisation: EngageMedia

​​Country: Myanmar


Visit engagemedia.org/myanmar for more information on EngageMedia's work in Myanmar.

'Papel ni Hapon (Paper of Asao)'

Papel ni Hapon (Paper of Asao) narrates the life of Asao Shimura, a wandering artist, bookmaker, and papermaker from Japan who came to the Philippines to build his handmade paper dreams in the tranquil mountains of Sitio Poking in Benguet.

The film by Michael Roxas and Jon Vic Digma is the Third Prize Winner in the Documentary Category of the 35th Gawad Alternatibo.  

Director: Michael Roxas and Jon Vic Digma

​​Country: Philippines


Cinemata is the official streaming partner of Asia's longest-running alternative films competition, the 35th Gawad Alternatibo. Watch the rest of the 35th Gawad Alternatibo finalists for the Documentary Category.

'Beyond the Walls of Prison'

A film essay on life within and beyond the prison walls of the Marcos dictatorship, this documentary features interviews with former political detainees who expressed their desire to be reintegrated into mainstream society while keeping their commitment to social transformation alive.

Beyond the Walls of Prison is a documentary by AsiaVisions with the Samahan ng mga Ex-Detainee Laban sa Detensyon at para sa Amnestiya (SELDA) and the Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP).

Content Warning: Contains blood and police violence

Director: Joe Cuaresma

Country: Philippines


This film is part of the “Legacy of Struggle: Cinematic Perspectives on Martial Law” film collection. Watch the rest of the films in this playlist.

'Digital Security and Human Rights Defenders in the Asia-Pacific'

Open and secure tools can help guard against state surveillance, but their use among human rights defenders remains low.

This video highlights key findings from EngageMedia and Asia Centre's research behind the limited adoption of safeguards against digital surveillance.

Producer: EngageMedia​​​​​

Region: Asia-Pacific


Read the research report "Digital Security and Human Rights Defenders in the Asia-Pacific" which aims to understand the reasons behind the non-adoption or low prioritisation of safeguards against digital surveillance among human rights defenders.


More Videos on Cinemata

'Come Walk With Us'

Maritime Union of Australia

'Alon (Waves)'

Eugene Hontiveros and Nicole Salazar

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