Get Woke! Active Vista Human Rights Festival

Cover Art Erka Capili Inciong

Words by

Digital Reporter

Ilove how woke our generation is. It’s hardly a question of whether or not our businesses should be socially responsible. We just do it anyway. We aren’t satisfied with what we’ve learned in the classroom. We read books, we read articles and we discuss (rather heatedly) with our peers.

And for those who aren’t satisfied with their current Woke fix, Active Vista has you covered from November 22 to December 10, with various film screenings, talks, plays and exhibits. You can find more details about Active Vista’s Human Rights Festival on their website and facebook page.

Here are the award‑winning films that you can catch starting this Monday to December 8, and where you have to go.

Blanka by Kohki Hasei

November 27 and 29, 7:00 p.m., Shangri‑la Plaza




A story about the friendship between Blanka, a young pickpocket who wants to earn enough money to “buy” a mother, and a blind street musician named Peter. The streets of Manila is a dangerous place for the two of them, but perhaps a bit of music can make things better.

Respeto by Treb Monteras

November 27, 1:00 p.m., University of Makati | December 2, 7:00 p.m., Cinema Centenario, Maginhawa St. | December 6, 1:00 p.m., University of Sto. Tomas.

Hendrix, a young drug runner, dreams of escaping his poverty driven life by earning his place and respect as one of hiphops greatest artists. He crosses paths with Doc, retired poet and owner of a second‑hand bookstore, who shows him just how much he has to learn. The film blends the underground hiphop scene with traditional Balagtasan, Oplan Tokhang with Martial Law. Read our full review here.

Small Talk by Hui‑chen Huang

November 28, 7:00 p.m.,Shangri‑la Plaza

“We want to understand you, but you won’t let us,” director Hui‑chen Huang tells her mother, a professional spirit medium who has felt absent for most of the director’s life. Instead of taking care of her and her siblings, her mother was either at work or with her girlfriends. Through twenty years of persistent questioning and filming, Huang weaves the story of her mother: abuse survivor, religious leader, dependable friend and lover, and a lesbian born at the time when it was customary to marry off girls at a young age.

Die Beautiful by Jun Lana

November 29, 7:00 p.m., Pineapple Lab, Makati

This last year’s entry to the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) did more than just ride on the coattails of actor Paolo Ballesteros’ talent for makeup transformations. Die Beautiful is about the life and death of transgender woman Trisha Echevarria (played by Ballesteros), and how her friends sought to keep her dying wish of being presented as different female celebrities on each night of her wake despite her conservative father’s insistence that she be buried as a man. A TV spin‑off entitled Born Beautiful is currently in the works.

On the Job by Erik Matti

December 3, 7:00 p.m., Cinema Centenario

There’s a certain devious logic to temporarily releasing prison inmates to hire them as hitmen against political rivals, which led to the real‑life scandal that inspired this film. Exploring both government and prison politics, the film follows inmate/contract killer Mario as he trains Daniel to be his replacement for when he gets out on parole. A sequel miniseries is currenly in the works, as well as a Hollywood remake.

Last Supper No. 3 by Veronica Velasco

December 4, 7:00 p.m., Cinema Centenario

Sometimes anthills turn into molehills which turn into lengthy legal battles under the Philippine justice system. Assistant production designer Wilson Nañawa faces estafa and serious physical injury raps after he loses one of the three Last Supper displays that he borrowed for a TV commercial shoot. Neither wealthy nor with powerful connections, Nañawa tries to fight against a charge that could land him around five years in jail. Based on a true story.

Jay by Francis Xavier Pasion

December 5,7:00 p.m., Cinema Centenario

Jay Santiago is a homosexual TV producer investigating the hate crime against homosexual Jay Mercado for a documentary TV exclusive. He gets close to the desceased Mercado’s family, his exes, his social circle. Starring both Baron Geisler and Coco Martin, this thriller can get intense.

Bunso by Ditsi Carolino

December 6, 7:00 p.m., Cinema Centenario

A documentary about the children who live in a city jail in Visayas, and how they strive to survive with their street‑smarts and innocence. Prior to the passage of the Juvenile Justice Law in 2006, several children lived alongside adults in reguar jail. Since President Rodrigo R. Duterte has a few months ago threatened to repeal this law, there is no better time to watch this film than now.

Himpapawid by Raymond Red

December 7, 7:00 p.m., Cinema Centenario

A lone and seemingly deranged man hijacks a plane flying high above the city of Manila, a city that has promised so much but gave so little. What events led to this suicidal act and are his actions justified?

Engkwentro by Pepe Diokno

December 8, 7:00 p.m., Cinema Centenario

Brother against brother clash as Richard and Raymond find themselves in rival crime gangs. But that seems to be the least of their problems. Teenage gangsters from both sides have been summarily executed by a vigilante death squad that’s allegedly backed by the city mayor. Totally absolutely not at all based on a certain alleged death squad that’s allegedly led by a certain mayor turned national government official from a non‑fictional city that’s located smack‑dab on the balls of an elephant‑shaped island. Also we said the word “alleged”, which according to a certain major blogger’s logic should absolve us from any responsibility for making this connection. Allegedly.