Curated documentary on plastic waste “Alon!” has been nominated for the Best Foreign Language Documentary, Best Director of Foreign Language Documentary, and Science and Education Award at the London International Cinema Festival happening this year from Feb. 8 to 15.
Written and directed by Gabby Fernandez, and produced by the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB) through the Office of the Vice President for Advancement, “Alon!” aim to remind of the immense impact of plastic pollution, it presents the wonders of the Philippines’ growing surf tourism and its relationship with the looming environmental problems.
The film projects the issue through the lenses of the local surfers as eco-warriors who, in their own ways, are thriving to help save the environment. It showcases the breathtaking views of the six leading surfing communities namely Siargao, La Union, Baler, Mati in Davao, Gubat in Sorsogon, and Sabang Daguitan in Leyte, where resurfaced pieces of trash in form of packaged commodities hold proof of the extensive presence of plastic from Luzon to the Visayas and Mindanao.
“It is an interesting contrast: the beauty and simplicity of the surf lifestyle against the backdrop of runaway consumerism and ubiquity of plastic waste,” said Fernandez. “This is an issue that this generation, the students themselves, feel strongly about. It is their advocacy and for a change it is our generation following their lead. They take it seriously – as we all should,” he continued.
Fernandez added: “What was presented was just an outcropping of a larger problem. The surfers have answers to help solve the plastic pollution of the oceans. So in turn, we used those insights and applied them to see where the root causes were coming from.”
“Alon!” was screened in various schools including Jaime Hilario School-De La Salle Bataan, La Salle Green Hills, and De La Salle Lipa.
It started its pilgrimage to the featured surfing communities to honor the eco-warriors, with a premiere at the Lola Sayong Eco Surf Camp in Gubat, Sorsogon as part of “Swellfest,” an annual celebration of the start of the surf season wherein the locals immerse their guests in tours, workshops, and clean-up drives that aim to educate them on the risks of plastic.
The annual week-long London International Cinema Festival celebrates the global independent film industry through a series of professional lectures, workshops and financing seminars. Showcased are premieres and screenings, and the highlight is the recognition of the year’s most promising independent and studio films from around the world. It likewise serves as an ideal platform for networking among the participating like-minded creatives and potential investors in a collaborative community setting.