Filipino team finalists in global video "democracy" film

May 28, 2009 1:25 pm 

MANILA, May 28 — Two Filipinos — Melissa Peñafiel and Miguel Ocampo — are among the 18 finalists in a worldwide video contest sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, with their three-minute video film about democracy entitled “Long Live the Fearless Man.”

Penafiel and Ocampo, along with the actor in the three-minute video, Alastaire Tabilos, were the special guests of U.S. ambassador Kristie Kenney at a special screening today of the film at the U.S. embassy.

The Philippine entry could emerge the East Asia region's winner through public online voting via the YouTube. Voting ends midnight of June 15.

Kenney commended the producers for their “wonderful achievement” in a competition where more than 900 entries from 95 countries participated.

Kenney remarked that the video “shows the real power of Filipinos increasingly in the film and creative arts industry.”

Other guests included Edward Cabagnot, Head of the Film Division, Cultural Center of the Philippines, and Jey Layco, senior student of communications of Far East University, who were among the judges who selected the Philippine winner in an earlier phase of the competition.

“Democracy Video Challenge” was launched by the U.S. Department of State on United Nations Democracy Day in September 2008. The contest called for three-minute videos that offer the best definition of democracy.

One winner for each of the world’s six regions will be eventually chosen. In East Asia, Peñafiel and Ocampo’s video vies with entries from Japan and Singapore.

The finalists (three for each of the six regions worldwide) were chosen by a panel of respected jurors from film, media and related sectors, but the regional winners will be determined by online public voting on YouTube.

The 18 finalist videos may be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/democracychallenge and to vote for your choice click the “thumbs up” icon.

The producers of the six winning videos will be awarded an all-expense trip to New York, Washington and Hollywood in October this year, according to the U.S. embassy. During the trip, the winners will visit television/film sets, meet with film professionals, democracy advocates, the media, and government officials. Their winning videos will also be featured in special screenings. (PNA)

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