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Salesians in Cambodia set to hold first short film festival for Asian Indigenous youth

The Media Communication Department of Don Bosco Technical School and the Social Communication Delegation of the Salesian Delegation of Cambodia have launched the inaugural Namuncurá Short Film Festival, a unique platform for young filmmakers from Asian indigenous communities. 

Set to commence online from September 2 to 7, 2024, the festival seeks submissions that delve into the profound connection between indigenous peoples and their ancestral lands.

Salesian priest Albeiro Rodas, rector of Don Bosco Technical School in Kep Province, told LiCAS.news that the initiative aims “to create more opportunities” for Asian Indigenous youth to express themselves and “share their unique perspectives and stories through the medium of film.”

“We rarely hear Indigenous voices in the mainstream media, even in the film industry. So, there is a need to create platforms that will highlight and amplify these voices that are often silenced and neglected,” the priest said.

This festival is dedicated to Blessed Ceferino Namuncurá, a revered Mapuche youth from Argentina, who studied under Don Bosco before his untimely death in 1905. Namuncurá was beatified in 2007, symbolizing a bridge between cultures and generations.

Themed “Looking at the Meaning of our Ancestral Territory,” the festival invites young filmmakers to explore various dimensions of Indigenous life, including their traditions, environmental stewardship, and spiritual practices. 

The aim is to illuminate the pivotal role indigenous communities play in conserving nature while fostering a deeper understanding of their cultural and spiritual heritages.

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Participants are encouraged to submit short films ranging from 5 to 15 minutes, highlighting their indigenous roots and the significance of their ancestral lands. 

Films must be presented in horizontal format with English subtitles, and adhere to technical specifications that include high-resolution video quality. 

A separate presentation video, not exceeding three minutes, should accompany the submission to offer insights into the filmmakers’ creative journey and Indigenous background.

The registration period is open from May 31st until July 31st, 2024. Filmmakers can submit their entries by August 31st, 2024, by uploading them to a digital platform and emailing the link to the festival’s directors at [email protected].

The festival will culminate in an online event broadcast live across YouTube and Facebook, where films will be evaluated based on originality, artistic merit, and the depth of cultural representation.

The winners will be announced on September 9, 2024.  For more details and to register, participants can visit the official festival website.

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