Long Form Feature: THE MADRASAH AS INTERVENTION VS VIOLENT EXTREMISM
Documentary: A MEMORY OF EMPIRE (work-in-progress)
Directors: Jean Claire Dy, Manuel Domes
Set against the backdrop of Mindanao conflict history interconnected with migration narratives from the Visayas, A Memory of Empire explores the epic life history of Norma Limoso, a 75 year old woman from Iloilo, Panay, Philippines. In 1960, Norma became part of the state-sponsored resettlement from Panay towards Mindanao, the then Muslim-dominated “land of promise” in the Southern Philippines. She and her companions settled in the former Empire Province of Cotabato, where traditional Muslim clans ruled over social and political life. At 23, Ms. Limoso married Datu “Boy” Dilangalen, a Muslim royal leader, without the approval of her Christian relatives in a Muslim rite deep in the mountains. Her husband would later on become influential in the founding of the Moro National Liberation Front, the first Muslim armed group openly rebelling against the rule of the Philippine central government.
The presence of Christian settlers, like Norma Limoso, was one of the key reasons for the rebels to take up arms. Ilonggos from Panay in particular have been associated with landgrabbing and violence perpetrated against Muslims by vigilante groups such as the ilaga. Ms Limoso gave birth to her first child in her hometown Iloilo, where she had relocated at the outbreak of the war. Believing her husband dead after an encounter with government soldiers, she later re-married. Years after, a knock on her door brought the Memory of Empire back into her life.
Documentary: HOUSE IN PIECES (work-in-progress)
Directors: Jean Claire Dy, Manuel Domes
In May 2017, war broke out in Marawi City, Philippines. It resulted in the displacement of almost half a million people who mostly ended up in evacuation centers in Iligan City, a town away. Most of the evacuees are children and women.
In their first encounters with aid workers, the children evacuees drew shelters. A humanitarian group headed by Maranaos, saw the need to use culturally sensitive toys in their activities with children.
The first puzzles were produced a few year ago, before the war broke out. Its creators in Davao City didn’t know then that they would eventually be used in the context of recovery from conflict.
Marawi City is known for their traditional woodcarvers who create furnitures and other products that represent the unique Maranao okir designs. After the war in Marawi ended, the puzzles were turned over to Maranao traditional woodcarvers who trained selected internally displaced individuals from the evacuation centers in the production of more puzzles.
The film will then follows Yusuph, a carpenter whose family is one of evacuees staying in the Toril compound, an informal evacuation center in Iligan City, his journey back to Marawi in efforts to rebuild his physical home.
The cultural memory embodied in the puzzles links the story to the larger context of destruction and preservation of cultural heritage in the Marawi conflict.
Piecing together a puzzle is like piecing back together what was lost due to war.
(A 5-minute cut of the film is now available for screener purposes)
Narrative Short: PAGLUBAD (UNRAVEL)
Ligaya, a filmmaker, stays with her uncle Primo in Iloilo, to finish a documentary film about her roots. Motivated by the need to understand why her family in Cotabato resists her plan to marry her Muslim boyfriend Malik, Ligaya is determined to find answers from her uncle. Malik is an orphan whose parents were killed in a fire during one of the massacres perpetrated by the Christian militia known as the ilaga during the war in the 1970s in Central Mindanao.
Ligaya seeks to find answers from her uncle about his past life in Mindanao during the tumultuous 1970s. Armed with her camera, she doggedly observes her uncle doing his rituals, practicing arnis martial art movements, persistently pushing him to answer the questions about the past. Primo, on the other hand, resists Ligaya’s questions. When finally Primo agrees to a video recorded interview, Ligaya is faced with the weight of the wartime secret she unwittingly unravels.
Written and Directed by Jean Claire Dy, Cinematography and editing by Manuel Domes, Musical Score by John Diagoras of The Good Friday Experiment
Documentary Short: PAGRARA SANG PATIPURON (WEAVING A CIRCLE)
Nominated in the documentary category of the 2017 Sinag Maynila Film Festival.
“The media has a profound impact on the way we see the world, how we interpret news events, and the way we respond to these events. This is especially true in the wake of natural disasters, shootings, bombings, and other tragedies.
The media tells us what happened, how many homes were destroyed, who was killed or injured — all the facts that keep us informed. These stories are important, but they’re often confined to tragedy, despair and loss.”
–Mallary Tenore, Defining the Restorative Narrative
Stories Beyond believes that we need restorative narratives to mobilize people and communities in ways that traditional “IF IT BLEEDS, IT LEADS” news stories can’t. There must be better ways to move people rather than incite anger, hate, frustration, and most of all, fear.
Meet the storytellers who are working to make that happen.
JEAN CLAIRE DY
Founder of Stories Beyond, Jean Claire Dy is a third-generation Filipino-Chinese media artist and educator. She holds a Master of Arts in Media Studies and Film degree from the New School University in New York City, which she completed under a fellowship from the International Ford Foundation Fellowships Program and a Department Merit Scholarship from the New School Media Studies Program.
Claire headed MindaNews TV, the now defunct convergence media component of MindaNews where she also worked as a correspondent and travel editor. In the past, Claire has taught in the Creative Writing and Media Arts programs of the University of the Philippines Mindanao and recently was a Visiting Lecturer at the Convergent Media Lab of the Cheung Kong School of Journalism and Communications in the People’s Republic of China.
Personal Website: www.jeanclairedy.com
Lendz Barinque is a filmmaker and producer who has helped produce several feature films and documentaries distributed nationwide and screened in international film festivals. He received a Diploma in Digital Filmmaking at the International Academy for Film and Television before he set out to pursuing a Bachelors degree in Creative Writing at Silliman University.
Manuel Domes is a filmmaker based in the Philippines. He has worked on conflict transformation projects in Mindanao with different international organizations since 2009. In early 2015, Manuel moved to Manila as networking manager for the German NGO forumZFD-Civil Peace Service, focusing on projects that sparked dialogue between Mindanao and the National Capital Region through films. He is currently pursuing a graduate degree in Media Studies (Film) at the University of the Philippines.
Born and raised in Kassel, Germany, Manuel holds a BA in Political Science from the University of Bremen and a MA in International Relations from the Free University of Berlin.
Cinematography reel: www.vimeo.com/manueldomes
Personal website: www.manueldomes.com
MARIUS ANGELO MONSANTO
Marius Angelo Monsanto is a graphics designer and animator based in Brisbane, Australia. Born and raised in Davao City, Philippines, Marius holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Creative Writing from the University of the Philippines Mindanao. He is also a published writer of poetry and creative nonfiction. Currently, he is pursuing an Associate Degree in Design (Graphic Design) at the SAE Creative Media Institute in Brisbane.
Roan Ng is a professional actress, a storyteller, and an advocate for veganism and compassionate choices . She has acted in several short films, and feature-length films screened in the Philippines and in international film festivals. She currently also hosts events organized in the country. On her free time, she writes poetry and prose.
Friends in Manila, Jean Claire Dy ‘s Paglubad and Manuel Domes’s Traces will screen at Ateneo de Manila this Friday and two weeks after. Check the poster for details
Paglubad (Unravel) recently screened in Berlin during Jean Claire Dy’s artist talk at Takt AIR Academy in Neue Hochstrasse. The screening had a good turn out as audience range from Filipino migrants, scholars, German development workers, and other artists from different countries. There was a short discussion after the screening where questions generated interesting conversations …
Stories Beyond recently had a successful screening of its short narrative film “Paglubad” (Unravel) at the FDCP Cinematheque Iloilo last October 20, 2017. The talkback after the screening generated a lively discussion on history, memory-making, and dealing with the past, especially ones that are complex and complicated. The Ilonggo audience also raved about the screenplay …
Comments or questions are welcome.