In celebration of the UN International Year of Biodiversity 2010, the Philippines is having its first ever Scientific Film Festival with the theme "SineSiyensiya: Kamanghaan ang samu't-saring buhay sa daigdig."
It is actually part of an international festival, spanning other Asian countries such as Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos and the Philippines. Here in Manila, the film fest is a joint effort between the Goethe-Institut, ABS-CBN Foundation, French Embassy, DepEd, DOST and the ASEAN Center for Biodiversity.
I have been following film festivals in the Philippines for a few years now. I've heard of indie film fests, foreign film fests and silent film fests... but a scientific film fest? Cue flashback to all the boring documentaries you forced yourself to sit through back in elementary school because you had to do a reaction paper afterwards.
Well here's the good news... that initial picture in my head cannot be farther from the truth!
I was fortunate enough to have been invited to the opening ceremonies of the festival, which included the screening of their opening film, the French documentary, "Oceans", by Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud. It was amazing! Nothing at all like what I used to watch as a kid.
The quality of the film was really good. And the two Jacques seem skilled at making their point without shoving it down your throat. Indeed, they understand that "show, don't tell" is an essential rule to getting your point across without bordering on preachy.
If this film is any indication of what the festival has in store for its viewers, then I can guarantee you that you will have a great time.
As H.E. Christian-Ludwig Weber-Lortsch, Ambassador of Germany, puts it:
"Educational institutions are usually faced with a big challenge of presenting scientific concepts in a manner that the students will appreciate. While teaching methods such as classroom discussions, outdoor/interactive activities or laboratory experiments may offer many opportunities for learning, students, too often, remain wanting of creative ways by which they learn various science and technological topics."
It's exciting to see that efforts such as this are being made to make scientific knowledge a lot more accessible and engaging for a wider audience. "Science communication", as the SineSiyensiya programme called it.
The festival will run from November 16 to 30, and screening will happen in nine different venues showcasing local and foreign films. So do drop by if you have time, it'll be worth your while :-)
"The role of science and education in achieving sustainable development cannot be overemphasized.. I am convinced that the MDGs will not be achieved by merely a 'more of the same' approach. In other words, the MDGs call for creativity and innovation (a key role for Science) and for a boost in capacity via training and education (a key role for education)."
-- Dr. Hubert Gijzen, Director of the UNESCO Regional Science Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, Jakarta Office
Venue: ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB)
Screening Dates: Nov 16 - 19 and 22
Address: 3F, ERDB Building, University of the Philippines (UPLB) Forestry Campus, Los Baños, Laguna
Telephone: +6349 536 2865 +63928 550 9808
Venue: Alliance Française de Manille
Screening Dates: Nov 16, 18, 23 and 25
Address: 209 Nicanor Garcia Street (formerly Reposo Street), Bel-Air 2, Makati City
Telephone: 8957585 or 8957441
Venue: Escaler Hall, Ateneo de Manila University
Screening Dates: November 22 - 26
Address: Loyola Heights, Quezon City
Telephone: 4266001 loc 5350 and 5351
Venue: Karapatan Hall, Museo Pambata
Screening Dates: Nov 16-18, 23-25
Address: Roxas Boulevard corner South Drive, Manila
Telephone: 5231797-98 or 5360595 local 103 (Programs Department)
Venue: National Library of the Philippines
Screening Dates: Nov 18, 20, 24, 26, 29
Address: T.M. Kalaw Street, Rizal Park, Manila
Venue: National Museum
Screening Dates: Nov 17-21
Address: T. Valencia circle, Rizal Park, manila
Venue: Philippine Science Centrum
Screening Dates: Nov 16-20, 22-27, 29-30
Address: E-Com Building, Riverbanks Center, marikina City
Venue: Quezon City Interactive Science Center
Screening Dates: Nov 16-19, 22-26, 29-30
Address: Quezon City Division of City Schools Compount, Nueva Ecija Street, Barangay Sto. Cristo, Bago Bantayan, Quezon City
Venue: NIDO Fortified Science Discovery Center
Screening Dates: Nov 17-20, 29-30
Address: Southside Entertainment Mall, SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City
Telephone: (Ticket Reservations) 5562153 (Group Booking Inquiries) 5560331