June 29, 2023

Welcome to the latest edition of the Cinemata Newsletter! This issue features Cinemata's partnership for preserving history and promoting awareness of the martial law era in the Philippines and a film playlist highlighting LGBTQIA+ films in Southeast Asia. Discover film grants and festival submissions, plus thought-provoking films on displacement and development aggression in the Philippines, media freedom in Thailand, and a new video podcast episode on alternative communications in Myanmar.

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Amnesty International Philippines and Cinemata partner for Martial Law Bloodline Project

Amnesty International Philippines and Cinemata will showcase a diverse selection of films and videos as part of the Martial Law Bloodline Project, which aims to preserve history and promote awareness of the martial law era in the Philippines.

The year-long initiative, which started in 2022, coincided with the 50th anniversary of the declaration of martial law that brought the Philippines under the dictatorship of the late Ferdinand Marcos Sr. in the 1970s. The collaboration with Cinemata aims to address generational trauma among the children and families of martial law heroes and survivors while safeguarding the accurate remembrance of history.

The on-site film screening will be held on June 30, 2023 at Cubix Park, Iloilo City. Gates open at 5 PM. To secure a spot and receive a souvenir event band, pre-register at https://bit.ly/MLBLIloilo.

Organiser: Amnesty International

Country: Philippines


Amnesty International Philippines: LGBTQ+ Films from Southeast Asia

In partnership with Amnesty International Philippines for their Martial Law Bloodline Project, Cinemata showcases a collection of classic and contemporary films from Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Cambodia that explores themes of coming out and the defiance of conservatism in societies where acceptance of LGBTQ+ people continues to be challenging.

Through a combination of documentary, short fiction, and experimental works, this selection of award-winning films aims to shed light on the experiences and struggles of LGBTQ+ individuals in Southeast Asia.

Organisers: Amnesty International and EngageMedia

Region: Southeast Asia


Read Amnesty International's article feature of the playlist here.

Film grant opportunity: CCCL Film Festival

Changing Climate, Changing Lives (CCCL) Film Festival is now accepting proposals for short films on climate-related issues.

Film production grants (up to 30,000 THB per project) will be offered to 10 emerging Thai and Southeast Asian filmmakers with powerful stories that can creatively visualise the impact of climate change on the environment and on our lives. Submit your entries by July 23, 2023 here.

Organiser: Changing Climate Changing Lives (CCCL)

Region: Southeast Asia


Chaktomuk Short Film Festival Submission

Less than 20 days to go before submissions close for the Chaktomuk Short Film Festival in Cambodia! Connect your stories to wider audiences by submitting your fiction and documentary short films via https://filmfreeway.com/CSFF or http://csff.co/submission/. The deadline for submissions is July 15.

Chaktomuk Short Film Festival is the first and largest short film festival in Cambodia, organised by Sunflower Film Alliance, a collective of young filmmakers and Cambodia-based film professionals.

Organiser: Sunflower Film Organization

County: Cambodia




Anatman Pictures

Cinemata Features’ is a series highlighting film practitioners in the Asia-Pacific – filmmakers, film groups, curators, critics, and archivists – who create and disseminate social and environmental issue films in the region.

This sixth feature spotlights Anatman Pictures, a leading film production company that creates commercial work to support the production of documentaries on the environment and social justice. Founded in Jakarta, Indonesia in 2013, Anatman Pictures has extended its studio to Bali, producing several feature-length films, hundreds of short documentaries, and dozens of animation videos on issues surrounding the environment and social justice.




'Pisapungan (Crossroads)'

The film explores how thousands of indigenous people and farmers are at risk of being displaced due to the public-private partnership between the Philippine government and the Bases Conversion and Development Authority to build the ‘New Clark City’ in Capas, Tarlac.

Director: Khalil Salih Verzosa

Country: Philippines


'Re-examining the Thai Media Landscape'

Re-examining the Thai Media Landscape delves into the challenges confronting independent news organisations in Thailand. The film uncovers their struggles in their quest for sustainability, safety, and access to information while navigating complexities surrounding press freedom.

Producer: Prachatai

Country: Thailand


'A Letter to My Friend (ငါ့ကောင်ကြီးသို့ပေးစာ) '

A man writes a letter to his friend and talks about the oppression they experience in the digital space following the 2021 coup in Myanmar.

The film, which highlights friendship, resilience, and resistance in the aftermath of the 2021 Myanmar coup, is based on the collective experiences of young Myanmar activists who continue to fight for their freedoms.

Producer: EngageMedia

Country: Myanmar


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.

To learn more, look up #DigitalSafetyFirstMM on social media and visit https://engagemedia.org/myanmar/.

'Pretty Good Podcast Live at DRAPAC23 with a Social Technology Researcher'

PGP Live at DRAPAC23 is a special episode series of Pretty Good Podcast, recorded live at the Digital Rights Asia Pacific Assembly in Chiang Mai, Thailand, last May 22 to 26, 2023.

In this episode, social technology researcher Bradley (pseudonym) discusses the alternative communication methods used in Myanmar in response to the internet shutdowns and destroyed infrastructure following the February 2021 coup.

Producer: EngageMedia

Country: Myanmar


Read the accompanying blog post that provides additional references and relevant links to this podcast episode.


More Videos on Cinemata

March for Wages, Rights, and Freedom #WorkersPride

Mayday Multimedia

Nowhere To Hide Campaign - Week of Action

Maritime Union of Australia

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