KWENTO NATIN ‘TO: A Guide to the Active Vista International Human Rights Festival 2021

Do you feel heard and seen? Do you think that the dominant narratives in our country tell the real stories of your life, livelihood, and lifestyle?

In time with the commemoration of the Martial Law declaration in the Philippines on September 21, human rights organization DAKILA will launch the annual Active Vista International Human Rights Festival (AVIHRF) with the theme “Kwento Natin ‘To: Reclaiming our Stories as a Nation”.

With film screenings, forums, virtual performances, online exhibits, and workshops from September 21 to October 10, this 9th edition of the festival invokes the power of stories — imagined or real — in shaping history to change the narratives of our lives.

So ready yourselves — here’s a guide for you to enjoy the festival and be part of reclaiming our stories as a nation as we connect our collective struggles, and hold together as communities in this time of lies and deception.

1. Have a movie marathon through the Festival Film Screenings

Want to see real-life stories told through films about human rights?

The Festival is hosting film screenings that depict various human struggles we face as a nation. It’s an exciting lineup of thrilling, heartfelt, and thought-provoking stories that provide powerful takes on different civil, political, and socio-cultural issues. If you haven’t seen these award-winning, critically-acclaimed, and talked about — both in the country and abroad — films yet, don’t miss the opportunity to watch them during the festival.

Front lining the film screenings are Alyx Carumpac’s Aswang; Ramona Diaz’s A Thousand Cuts (exclusive screening available in the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia); and Benedict Mique’s ML; Auraeus Solito’s Pisay; Treb Monteras’ Respeto; and Lauren Greenfield’s The Kingmaker. A film version of Mae Paner’s four-part monologue Tao Po shall also join the frontline screenings.

Also joining the lineup are Raymond Red’s Himpapawid; Glenn Barit’s Cleaners; and the late Joseph Laban’s Bakunawa, Chuchera, and Nuwebe.

2. Take a deep dive into human rights issues through the Viewpoints Festival Forums

The Viewpoints Festival Forums are a series of forums and dialogues that complement focused issues of this year’s festival including Martial Law, the administration’s war on drugs, press freedom, and democracy. Designed to allow the audiences to participate and share their own narratives, these forums seek to broaden perspectives on our current societal contexts. Audiences may register through the following:

MARTIAL LAW: #NeverForget #NeverAgain

● Healing Traumas: Exorcising the Terrors of the Philippines’ War on Drugs

Press in Distress! Will Journalism Survive in Southeast Asia – [Watch out for registration link announcement.]

Those who will not make the registration cut need not worry. All the forums will also be broadcasted live on the Active Vista and DAKILA Facebook pages, and

3. Be one with artists, advocates, and organizations through the Festival Panorama Events

Our stories as a nation are both personal and shared. Thus, AVIHRF provides platforms for citizen-led actions to reclaim online and offline spaces through creative expressions to realize their imagined nation.

Active Vista Panorama showcases a range of human rights-themed performances, talks, and workshops to present an extensive and wide-angle view of creative pursuits and interventions as transformative tools to take back the real narrative of our nation, including:

Common Threads Music Sessions hosted by Quark Henares and Mich Dulce, and with performances from Noel Cabangon, Ang Bandang Shirley

Realizing the Score: Film Music Basics and Appreciation Workshop with Francis De Veyra

Reel Talk: a discussion on finding our nation’s narratives through our own stories

Catch all the events happening throughout the Festival on Active Vista and DAKILA Facebook pages, and

4. Journey through our past and present times through virtual exhibitions

Made accessible for everyone as we stay at home to lessen health risks, the Festival shall hold virtual exhibitions highlighting our nations’ struggles in our recent history, from the Martial Law era to the present administration, through digital art gallery, virtual museum, and book launch.

Old Mirrors, New Reflection – A collaboration of and Assumption College Grade 6 students

To know more and be updated about the festival, visit and follow Active Vista and DAKILA

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