At 46, an illiterate tribesman enrolls in Grade 1 and starts studying 1,2,3 from A,B,C.in order to go to college.
Agustin, a 46-year old tribesman, cannot read and write. He belongs to an indigenous tribe in the Philippines called the Aeta. Like Agustin, most Aetas are illiterate. They are the last hunter-gatherer tribe in the country, inhabiting some isolated, mountainous parts of the island of Luzon. Mining, deforestation, and illegal logging have caused their tribe’s population to steadily decrease. The government affords them little or no protection. Seeing that they can no longer solely depend on the forest for their food, Agustin realizes the need to keep up with modern times. One day, he enrolls in Grade 1. With the goal to get a college degree, Agustin starts learning his ABC’s and 123’s.
Grace P. Simbulan graduated Cum Laude from the University of the Philippines with a degree in Film and Audio-Visual Communication. Her first mid-length documentary film, Traces of Awakening, received a grant from the European Union as part of their project entitled “In Defense of Land and Life: Addressing Human Rights Concerns of Indigenous Peoples in Resource Conflict Areas”. This 30-minute documentary weighs in on the issues surrounding the entry of large-scale mining operations and its impact on the basic rights of indigenous communities where most of the mining projects are located.
In 2014, Grace directed a short film entitled Bonifacio. That same year, Bonifacio won the Audience Choice Award at the QCinema International Film Festival.
Grace has worked on several award-winning TV shows and feature films. She is also an alumna of the Asian Film Academy under the directing program. She was awarded with a film scholarship at the New York Film Academy, 2016 in the said program. On November 2015, she represented the Philippines in the Kyoto Filmmaker’s Lab and received tutelage under renowned filmmakers in Shochiku Studio.
Cha ESCALA is a Manila-based documentary film producer and director. Her latest documentary, Nick and Chai(2014), was in competition at IDFA, BIFF, among others. It was awarded Best Picture at the QCinema IFF’s Circle Competition. She attended the Berlinale Talent Campus in 2010 and the Berlin Today Award in 2011 where her screenplay titled Curacha was a semi-finalist. She was a fellow at the Asiadoc Documentary Scriptwriting Residency organized by Lumiere du Monde in Phnom Penh in 2015 and in 2016.
Seon-kyu PARK started his career with I Film Inc. in South Korea as part of the production team which produced Shiny Day(2005) and joined various Korean projects before pursuing his passion for multicultural exchange through working on numerous international projects. In 2007, he worked on Japanese film and TV productions shooting in Korea Hero(2007) and 20th Century Boys(2009) to broaden his exposure and experience on an international level. He has also worked with prominent Korean directors on projects such as A Barefoot Dream(2009) and God’s Eye View (2013) selected for Korea Cinema Today - Panorama in Busan IFF.
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