Saturday, May 22, 2010

Lisa Harney and Brillante Medoza shows support to Kapit Bisig Para sa Ilog Pasig

Award-winning BBC and Discovery Channel director Lisa Harney and 2009 Cannes Film Festival Best Director Brillante Ma. Mendoza showcased the infomercials they did on the Pasig River in an exclusive screening at the Powerplant Mall in Makati City last Thursday (May 20).
Directors Brillante Ma. Mendoza and Lisa Harney

Harney, known for her documentaries on art, history, and the environment, has been in the Philippines to support “Kapit Bisig Para sa Ilog Pasig” (KBPIP), the river rehabilitation project of the ABS-CBN Foundation in partnership with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources through the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission.
ABS-CBN Foundation Managing Director Gina Lopez

Harney wrote and directed an infomercial for KBPIP focusing on the concept of a “River Goddess.” Her mini-documentary, meanwhile, looks into the “River Warriors,” which is KBPIP’s newly-formed community of volunteers committed to safeguard and protect the waterways leading to the Pasig River.

An environmentalist at heart, Harney believes restoring the Pasig River is a step towards restoring people’s value for life. “I believe it’s important for people to value their environment. Man has been nature’s predator but it is ultimately foolish as without Mother Nature’s benevolence, we can’t survive,” she said.

Salamin ng Langit (A Song for the Pasig River)

Like Harney, the Philippines’ very own Mendoza shared his talent for the cause of the Pasig River. Mendoza directed five infomercials featuring Karen Davila, Kim Atienza, Coco Martin, Zaijan “Santino” Jaranilla, and himself, which were shot in the unhealthy and garbage-laden communities in Estero de Paco, a tributary of the Pasig River.

The internationally-acclaimed writer-director believes in the importance of changing the mindset of not only the people living along the estero, but every Filipino. “Even if we spend billions of pesos in the project, it won’t be successful if the people don’t believe. So we have to change their mindset—let them believe with what we’re doing. Once they believe, then we can have them participate,” he said.

ABS-CBN Foundation Inc. managing director Gina Lopez said the infomercials and mini documentary will be aired in cinemas and on ABS-CBN with the goal of raising awareness and gaining support for the project from the public.

Apart from the Pasig River infomercials, the screening also featured Mendoza’s award-winning film “Lola,” which tells the story of two grandmothers coping with life’s harsh realities. The film recently won at the 24th Fribourg International Film Festival and the 11th Las Palmas de Gran Canaria International Film Festival.

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