Thru the kindness of Senator Francis Pangilinan, the Film Academy of the Philippines is offering a scholarship program for its educational arm, the Film Gym. The scholarship program is the first in the series that is calendared for one year.
Scheduled for the semestral break, the intended beneficiaries are those in the academe, mostly teachers and students. Applicants from other sectors are also welcome to apply. To date, there are 116 applicants coming from all parts of the country.
The big number of applicants is due to the convenience provided by technology. Distance is not an obstacle since application is thru the internet. The Film Gym can be reached via its website at http://thefilmgym.webeden.co.uk/
Majority of prospective scholars are teachers from as far as Mindanao particularly in Davao, Cagayan De Oro and Cotabato. Other educators are from Zambales, Tarlac, Bicol region, Nueva Vizcaya and Manaoag, Pangasinan.
One such teacher is Malou Tiangco from the Holy Cross of Davao College. Based on her teaching experience, Ms. Tiangco believes in the power of film as an alternative to the traditional teaching method.
Rolly Ruta of the Film Academy has the same opinion. “Sa ibang bansa, puro audio visual na lang ang ipinakikita sa students. Mas madali kasing matutunan ang lesson pag may audio na tapos may visual pa.”
With the desire to improve her teaching methods by using film as main medium, Ms. Tiangco was so glad to hear of the scholarship being offered by the Film Academy.
Ms. Tiangco, however, faces the problem of logistics since Davao is a distant place from Quezon City. She was advised to seek out a kind-hearted benefactor who would shoulder the transportation expenses.
The Film Gym session hall
Some other applicants are NGO advocates like the one from the Climate Change Commission, International Institute of Rural Reconstruction and IRRI (International Rice Research Institute) in Los Baños, Laguna.
There are also applicants from Non-Timber Forest Products Exchange Programme for South and Southeast Asia, Int’l Center for Innovation, Transformation and Excellence in Governance and Agri-Aqua Development Coalition-Mindanao.
Another Mindanao applicant was the one from Mindanao Peoples Caucus. Other NGO advocates are from the Philippine Federation for Environ-mental Concern, Philippine Social Enterprise Network, and Urban Poor Ministry.
Some others are from Paglilingkod Batas Pangkapatiran Foundation, Para Sa Mga Bata Citizens Network, Center for Ecozoic Living and Learning/ Cavite Green Coalition, SRI (System of Rice Intensification) Pilipinas and San Juan City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office.
An interview of applicants was held last October 8 at the Film Gym office in Teacher’s Village, Quezon City. Conducted by Film Gym Director Surf Reyes, the objective was to ascertain the commitment of the potential scholars.
There were 30 applicants who arrived. One was a teacher coming all the way from Nueva Vizcaya. Director Reyes said that the 9-hour trip was more than enough proof of commitment on the part of that teacher.
The interview session culminated in an open forum cum orientation. Director Reyes expressed his vision/mission that filmmaking can be used as a bridge to integrate the academe and the community.
Advocacinema, according to Director Reyes, is to make the viewer a more positive, responsible and constructive member of the community. This is the meaning of film for personal and social transformation.
The scholarship program will be focusing on the use of film as a powerful and dynamic tool for education and community development. For the educators, it would most likely be the production of documentary or docu-drama videos.
The scholars will be treated to hands-on in film production starting with Basic Scriptwriting. The script, according to Director Reyes, is the basic foundation of the film so it is very important to have a good script.
The participants will be provided with 2 digital high definition cameras and 8 lighting units for the principal photography stage. Embedded in the module are the lectures but more on practical usages.
They will also undergo Basic Directing techniques to equip them with the necessary skills in film production. The participants will learn the production terms being used in the movie industry.
For post-production, there are 2 editing machines for the free use of the scholars. Understandably, since editing consumes time, the use of the machines will be on a rotation basis.
The Film Gym’s scholarship program is from October 17 until October 28 under the guidance of Film Gym Director Surf Reyes.
By the way, Ms. Malou Tiangco of The Holy Cross of Davao College sent word that she was able to find a sponsor for her desired trip to the Film Gym.
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