The short film ‘Verdant’, produced by ‘Ang Maharlika Productions’, an all-Viscan production team, received prestigious awards during the 2020 Klima Film Festival.

Verdant was declared the first runner up for the Best Film Award, as well as the winner of the Best Director, Best in Cinematography, Best in Production Design, and Best in Musical Scoring Awards, and one of the Nominees for the Audience Choice Awards, Best in Screenplay, Best in Performance, and Best in Research and Content.

The festival was organized by the Climate Change Commission (CCC) and the Oscar M. Lopez Center (OLM Center) on November 19-24, 2020.

Verdant was among the top 10 best short films among 50 teams representing 14 regions across the Philippines, where they underwent a four-month-long journey that involved training and mentorship by science and film experts.

Verdant follows the journey of Pete Bolfango, the last environmental scientist on Earth, and his twin brother Noah, a mission captain on Mars, as they try to find a new home for humankind and a new beginning following the downfall of the planet Earth brought by the devastation of the climate crisis.

Mikone Joshua Calungsod, a VSU Environmental Science freshman, directed, edited, and portrayed the main protagonist of the film. Meanwhile, Leila Amore M. Galvez, a VSUIHS alumna, and Darwin B. Palermo, an Agriculture freshman, were the film’s writer and cinematographer, respectively, with the three comprising the ‘Ang Maharlika Productions’.

When asked about the source of inspiration for the short film, Calungsod attributed it to the catastrophes and drastic effect of climate change that Filipinos constantly face.

“As the director of Verdant and at the same time an Environmental Science Student, I had a vision. A vision for a very long time. It is a vision about the future of a Verdant paradise. That's how we came up with the title of the short film. Verdant, the greening of the earth. I believe, I still do believe in humanity uniting and doing the necessary steps in order to save this planet. We have a lot of catastrophes because of the drastic effects of climate change, it was our basis and our inspiration for the short film”, Calungsod explained.

Calungsod further said that he hopes that the film will spark awareness among Filipinos to the unimaginable future that we will have if the climate crisis continues.

“We want to send a message and a warning to Filipinos. The short film portrays a scenario about the future, a possibility that will happen if we will not act now. As the main statement of the short film goes: "There's an Eden out there somewhere, the wind that'll touch our skin, the fresh air that'll stream through our lungs. We're almost there, feel it. A verdant paradise for you and me." We still have time, Calungsod shared.

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The Klima Film Festival (KFF) was launched by the Climate Change Commission (CCC) in collaboration with the Oscar M. Lopez Center (OLM Center) in order to mainstream the effects of climate change through compelling storytelling and cinematic techniques.

According to Climate Change Commission’s (CCC) website, the Philippines is one of the most vulnerable countries to the impacts of climate change, including sea level rise, increased frequency of extreme weather events, rising temperatures, and extreme rainfall, among others. Since climate change poses risks to the environment and to humanity, it is imperative to communicate the importance of climate change adaptation and mitigation to arrest the catastrophic effects of climate change, especially to the youth.

Besides Verdant, the entry titled “Manalas”, directed by Niño Paolo Elegio, a VSU junior AB English student, also won the Best Liked Poster Award during the Klima Film Festival.

All of Klima Film Festival’s (KFF) top ten best short films are unlimited for viewing at iWantTFC, the festival’s official media partner. You may watch Verdant through this link: https://tfc.tv/show/details/7503/verdant.

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