The Pandayang Lino Brocka Political Film and New Media Festival is a cultural gathering that aims to inspire the creation and popularization of truthful, artistic and relevant audiovisual works to enlighten and cultivate critical consciousness of the mass audience. This maiden launch of this festival in 2009 aims to be an aggregate of efforts in political cinema production and distribution in the first decade of the 21st century, a time of worsening economic crisis aggravating the poor people’s plight.

This affair hails the daring of the late Lino Brocka, whose works earned local and international acclaim for political cinema and whose untimely death saw a decline in political cinema in the mainstream. While critical of the government and the prevailing system, even the government recognized his talent and contribution, as he was given the posthumous distinction of National Artist for Film in 1997.

It is Lino Brocka’s strong conviction that artists are first and foremost citizens, and must address the issues confronting the country. That’s why in his practice, his films look with sympathy on the common man and the human condition and were situated in their dwellings and thoughts. Lino Brocka firmly believes that films and politics cannot be dissociated. His desire is to develop what he calls “the Great Filipino Audience” which for him is more important than creating “the Great Filipino Movie.”

Films of political and progressive content are deemed to be not widely patronized or are thought to be not commercial successes. But if the audience is the common people and the works speak of their lives, no political film shall ever be unpopular and immaterial. They will always find audience among the millions of poor and oppressed people in society, as the films of Lino Brocka.

There is a battleground in the field of filmmaking and artistic production—the struggle for the hearts and minds of the people. This festival engages itself in this battle, as it campaigns for artists and audience to revert from the dominant practice of local mainstream and Hollywood entertainment production and consumption to film as a platform for social and political commentary.

Truly, film is a powerful tool to shape mind and consciousness. Artists are here challenged to use film as a vehicle for socio-cultural reflection and as an ideological weapon to liberate the minds of the people. For films as art that exposes, identifies and defies the oppressors in society leads the way for the realization of the aspirations of the people.

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