Passions and Obsessions

‘Alon’: Filipino docu on plastic waste to be screened in Florence

Gabriel Fernandez wrote and directed film on the extent of pollution—seen through the eyes of local surfers

Local surfer as eco-warrior

Plastic wasteland in Metro Manila ‘estero’

London International Film Festival awardee Alon (Wave), a documentary on plastic waste, will be screened in the 5th European Philippine International Film Festival (EPIFF) in Florence, Italy.

Spearheaded by the Islands Stream Cultural Association of Florence, Italy, founded by Filipino-Italian actor-director Ruben Maria Soriquez with Italian filmmakers Maurizio Baldini and Lorenzo Galanti, EPIFF aims to strengthen cultural relations between the Philippines and Europe through cinema.

The fest utilizes the creative platform to showcase the complexity, richness, and diversity of Filipino culture through the works of promising Filipino filmmakers around the world. It also serves to connect them with European producers and distributors.

Written and directed by the late award-winning filmmaker and educator Gabriel Fernandez and produced by De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, Alon was selected by the festival curator to be part of EPIFF 2022.

Siargao landfill

The documentary aims to create awareness on the immense impact of plastic pollution by presenting the contrast between the wonders of the Philippines’ growing surf tourism and its environmental problems.

It projects the issue through the lenses of local surfers as eco-warriors who strive to save the environment in their own ways. It features breathtaking views of the six leading surfing communities in the country—Siargao, La Union, Baler, Mati in Davao, Gubat in Sorsogon, and Sabang Daguitan in Leyte—where plastic trash from packaged commodities resurface as proof of the extensive presence of plastic across the country.

From La Union to Siargao, local surfers try to be eco-warriors.

The National Commission for Culture and the Arts granted Alon the prestigious Ani ng Dangal Award (Harvest of Honors), a recognition that pays tribute to Filipino artists whose talent and craftsmanship have earned international accolades and brought pride to the country, after it took home the Science and Education Award from the 2020 London International Film Festival.

Alon was also nominated as the Best Foreign Language Documentary, and for Best Director of Foreign Language Documentary in the UK competition.

It was also nominated for Best Documentary Film at the 2021 World Cinema Milan and was an Official Selection at the 2020 Amsterdam Lift-Off Film Festival.

EPIFF is from June 10 to 12, 2022 with both on-site and online screening.

For more information, visit EPIFF on Facebook.

Local surfer as eco-warrior

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