Some 12 Theater Arts students of UP, accompanied by director-playwright Anton Juan, are joining the Up International Students Film and Theatre Festival in Pristina, Kosovo, from Nov. 21 to 27, 2008. They've been invited to perform Dr. Juan's most recent play, Hinabing Pakpak ng Ating Mga Anak, which was first staged by Dulaang UP a few months ago. This is the first time an Asian country will join the festival, a competitive event with awards for Best Play, Director, Actor and Actress.
The Filipino contingent will compete with groups from the US, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Iran, Israel, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo. There will 150 delegates and entries for film as well. Pat, the assistant director and dramaturg for Hinabi, will head the UP Diliman-Philippine Delegation.
The festival is shouldering food and accommodations only, so the kids need help for their airfare. Not all of them can pay for the trip. They are appealing for donations so the entire group can make it to and perform in Kosovo (and also for the Filipino community in Greece along the way).
Please, if you have extra cash with you--any amount will do--let's try to help these students.
Full disclosure: I didn't like Hinabi, as was clear from my review. But this has nothing to do with my or anyone else's individual opinion now.
These young artists are eager to seize the chance to present the product of their hard work and creativity before an international audience, while also exposing themselves to new cultures, ideas and theatrical traditions. That interaction with peers and kindred spirits from other countries--in fact, just to be able to leap across boundaries and see a bigger world beyond our shores--should prove to be a priceless, life-altering experience for them.
“We are very eager not only for the opportunity of furthering our education but especially for the chance of representing the Philippines, for showcasing our craft that UP has honed, and for the privilege of performing a piece to the world that is both relevant and haunting,” says Pat in the solicitation letter. I also did a brief video chat with him below so he can explain further the fine print of their fund-raising drive.
How to help: For donations, please contact Pat Valera 0927- 4464001 or Chic San Agustin 0906-3916169. Again, the formal solicitation letter is here, noted by Dr. Anton Juan and with full details of the trip, including the members of the student delegation.
Our artists need our help. Thank you in advance for your generosity.