February 17, 2023

This edition highlights a student film showcase from the Philippines exploring stories on the COVID-19 pandemic during one of the longest lockdowns in the world. We also highlight films uncovering the threats faced by communities and environmental conservationists in Cambodia.

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Cinemata Visions: Lived Lives in the Present Struggle

For Cinemata Visions' second showcase, we spotlight recently-produced student films from the University of the Philippines Film Institute (UPFI) programmed by documentarist and UPFI assistant professor Adjani Arumpac. The films were produced at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Philippines and explore challenges posed by one of the longest lockdowns in the world.

The playlist title, "Lived Lives in the Present Struggle", comes from Alice Guillermo’s Social Realism in the Philippines (1987). The video playlist will be available until April 2023.

Read the film collection's curatorial notes here.

Curator: Adjani Arumpac
Country: Philippines


Cinemata Visions spotlights notable works from film schools and learning institutions dedicated to cinema in the Asia-Pacific. It aims to harness creative film outputs and encourage young filmmakers to produce more social issue works by providing a free, independent, and secure video hosting platform beyond the usual corporate platforms.

Let's Document Cambodia: Films by indigenous Cambodian youth

From January to March 2023, Cinemata will be releasing 11 documentaries on health and environmental issues produced by indigenous Cambodian youth as part of the “Let’s Document Cambodia” (LDC) initiative organised by the Sunflower Film Organization.

Read more here, and watch the documentaries now available on Cinemata here.

'Forest of Life'

Paklae is home to a group of Mel ethnic people in Kratie, Cambodia. They depend on the land and the forest for their everyday needs. Faced with the threat of illegal loggers, community members risk their lives to protect and preserve their last natural resource.

Producer: Sunflower Film Organization
Country: Cambodia


'Kaeng's Deer'

Through the conservation efforts of Khim Sat, the population of deer in Kratie, Cambodia, has increased significantly. But his work has also led to threats to his life and criticism from wildlife traffickers.

Producer: Sunflower Film Organization
Country: Cambodia




'Naghihintay ng Bayan' (Willing to Wait)

Manila's streets are roads to opportunity for the working person, but in transit, the common Filipino endures indignities and hours stuck in traffic. The commute is crucial to everyday life, yet why does the road ahead always feel so stifling?

The short documentary by student filmmaker Jamie Imperio is part of "Cinemata Visions: Lived Lives in the Present Struggle".

Director: Jamie Imperio
Country: Philippines



Like many Filipinos, the Arcanghel siblings dream of setting foot in America. The night after receiving their passports, they discover that one of them has been keeping a secret, causing a rift among the three and prompting them to make difficult decisions.

Director: Theophany Dionisio
Country: Philippines



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