Young filmmakers garner awards with climate-change awareness film

TANAW, a 10-minute short film on the many conflicting sides of the controversial quarrying businesses and their impact in the lives of farmers, workers and locals, bagged a total of four awards at the recently concluded Klima Filmfest (KFF).

Created by Playback Multimedia, a start-up production that aims to preserve and tell stories through films and photographs, Tanaw was directed and co-written by Kaila Ysavl Bergonio—a digital filmmaking (DFilm) student from De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, together with Fred Autor—a multimedia arts student from Far Eastern University-Alabang.

DFilm major Allynna Santiago served as the assistant director, production manager, sound and production designer.

The young student-filmmakers met through Cine Sundays—an online film community founded by director Dan Villegas, with one goal: remind viewers of the many facets and causes of climate change, as well as the urgency to address it, through the youngsters’ creativity and skills.

Tanaw follows Aira Mendoza (Andrea Mari Bool)—a 17-year-old Humanities and Social Science senior high-school student assigned to write a research paper about the reasons for climate change. Her mother, a retired barangay captain and an environmental activist, was motivated to dig for the truth behind the quarrying businesses. In turn, she becomes educated and unbiased in her advocacy.

In her directorial debut, Bergonio delved not just on the impact of environmental issues in the world, but also on the different roles of society in addressing concern. She unraveled the many facades of the problem, and invited the audience to understand the diverse perspectives of people involved—especially those torn between providing food for the family and saving the environment.

“We, as members of the youth and the future caretakers of the Earth, must not remain silent. We should not forget to act, especially when we have the power and access to education and information,” she added. “We should be open to healthy discourse, so that we can step forward and fully recognize our capabilities and power to stand up for something we believe in. We [must also] educate ourselves more to start a change—to be present in a crisis, be more critical, and involve ourselves.”

Bergonio shared that the film also serves as a nudge that while there is a bigger culprit behind climate change, each small individual effort is still crucial in saving the planet: “The consequences of our actions toward our surroundings have long been discussed, and we have long acknowledged to pledge and do better to save the Earth and create a better environment for future generations. It is now up to us to make a difference, be vigilant, and be enlightened in times like these.”

The second edition of the KFF, which provided a platform and mobilized young Filipino filmmakers to highlight the importance of local climate solutions and climate-adaptation stories, earned Bool the Best Performance award. Tanaw was recognized with the Best Screenplay and Gender-Responsive citations. The film was second runner-up overall in the festival.

Winners took home cash gifts as well as trophies made from recycled materials. KFF is a joint initiative of the Climate Change Commission and the Oscar M. Lopez Center—a science-based institution committed to building a climate-informed society.