The Quisumbing-Escandor Film Festival highlights pandemic stories of Filipinos

Published October 27, 2021, 3:30 PM

by Joe Priela

Live on CCP Vimeo!

The Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), in partnership with the Quisumbing-Escandor Film Festival for Health, launches its first online film screening for the fourth QEFF. The online film screening is currently on the CCP Vimeo platform that is running up until Oct. 29, 2021, to be followed by the awards night on Oct. 30.

Fourth QEFF’s ‘Bilang Nilalang’ official poster

The Quisumbing-Escandor Film Festival for Health is a nationwide film-making competition and film caravan organized by the Mu Sigma Phi Fraternity of the UP College of Medicine. Since its inception in 2008, it has aimed to promote awareness about the most pressing health issues in the country through film. The festival also aims to establish a network of active advocates for health and to create a digital library of films used as a resource for health advocacy and education.

In its current edition, QEFF4 features short films from eight film finalists and 13 film proposal finalists, all of which reflect unique stories of the Filipino people during the pandemic.

“In its current iteration, QEFF4 wants to focus on the stories behind the individuals affected by the pandemic”, said Benjamin K. Valdez, Co-Head of the QEFF4. “The films from our finalists are compelling and definitely capture the essence of our theme ‘Bilang Nilalang.’ We hope that more people get to see these insightful and relevant films.”

Our current situation pushes the need to surface the unheard stories of our fellow countrymen. QEFF4 provides a platform for these people to share the struggles and challenges they faced during these trying times with the hopes of informing policies on pandemic preparedness and response. In addition, this film festival aims to create an archive that represents the greater narrative of the Filipino people during the pandemic for the future generations to see.

These films will be added to a film library that will be distributed to partner schools, agencies, and organizations all over the country. Government agencies, non‐governmental organizations, medical institutions, and other concerned parties will be able to use these films for their own health education and advocacy programs.

The winner of this year’s film festival will be determined by judges from various esteemed institutions including the World Health Organization-Western Pacific, the Department of Health, the Film Development Council of the Philippines, the CCP, and the Philippine Association of Communication Editors. The Gawad Quisumbing-Escandor will be given to the film submission that best embodies the film festival’s advocacy, having effectively depicted the most pressing, stirring, and most controversial health issue. The award comes with a grand prize of ₱100,000 and a trophy. Subsequently, the winner of the Best Film award will get ₱75,000, the first runner-up ₱45,000, and the second runner-up ₱30,000.

‘Bilang Nilalang’ and its partners

This event is organized by the Mu Sigma Phi Fraternity of the UP College of Medicine, Department of Health, Cultural Center of the Philippines, University of the Philippines Manila, Philippine Association of Communication Educators, Film Development Council of the Philippines, Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Association of the Philippines, and Cinemata. It is held in partnership with the Mu Sigma Phi Foundation, Inc. and the Filipino Screenwriters Guild.

For more information and updates, visit their official Facebook page.