What We Stand For
A society that respects, upholds and values the dignity, rights and freedom of its people is the vision that Active Vista underpins. Active Vista (AV) brings attention to stories of human rights struggles to enable the public to help dismantle barricades that hinder the pursuit of human rights. Active Vista is a word play on ACTIVE (dynamic) and VISTA (viewing), the dynamic way of viewing films. It is the Filipino word for activist (aktibista).
Active Vista is a human rights education platform to empower audiences in bringing about relevant social change. By showing and creating films that address core human rights messages, it aims to stir critical thinking among its audience as a step towards their education as citizens.
While Active Vista recognizes that no film, no song, no painting, no novel or no poem has ever stopped a tank, prevented a bullet, fed a hungry child or overthrown a corrupt government, the power of the art form cannot be rivaled. While art may not change the world, it can change the way we view the world. True revolution begins in the imagination.
Active Vista believes in the power of cinema. It challenges to define a spectrum in the use of films and digital media as a tool in shaping the consciousness of a new generation into the importance of knowing and understanding human rights as an integral foundation of responsible citizenship and nation building.
Active Vista recognizes the pedagogical strength of cinema in education. It allows an opportunity to debate, discuss and shape society as we arrive at a collective understanding of human rights as the backbone of the development of a nation.
Active Vista understands the value of marrying art and advocacy, of films and human rights, and of entertainment and empowerment. It encourages critical thinking, dynamism in views and creative expression as fundamental requirements in addressing methods and directions of social transformation.
- Active Vista raises awareness on human rights issues and concerns. It aspires to bring its audience to understanding human rights through the cinematic experience itself.
- Active Vista provokes discourses on human conditions. It stimulates debates and dialogues to understand the political, economic and cultural causes and impact of human rights violations and visions and solutions to address it.
- Active Vista educates on the understanding, promotion and protection of human rights. It empowers its public in recognizing and fulfilling their human responsibility to contribute to transformative social change.
- Active Vista fosters a culture of involvement. It inspires a new generation of human rights defenders to use film as a weapon to inform, challenge and enlighten their public.
- Active Vista cultivates advocacy cinema. It encourages production of human rights themed films with good cinematic quality that will engage people to create change.
- Active Vista reaches out to the broadest audience possible. It seeks audiences beyond traditional public spaces and in remote areas through film exhibitions to develop a critical citizenry and open new platforms of expression and democratic participation.
- Active Vista gathers people in solidarity. It brings a network of people to the human rights movement to collaborate and drive its collective aspirations forward.
- Active Vista popularizes the concern for human rights. It presents films to illuminate life and make real the stories behind the headlines and statistics so that we may be able to empathize with these struggles and embrace it as our own.
How We Started
Active Vista was established by Dakila – Philippine Collective for Modern Heroism, an organization building a movement of heroism towards social transformation, in 2008. Dakila is a pioneering NGO in the Philippines that has been actively in the forefront of using creative and innovative forms in human rights education and advocacy work. Apart from its Active Vista human rights program, Dakila is actively engaged in the advocacies for climate justice, peace, road safety, internet freedom, democracy and good governance and the campaigns against human trafficking and gender discrimination.
The first edition of the festival was organized in December 2008 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Human Rights Declaration. With the theme, “Cinema with a Conscience”, it brought together, filmmakers, civil society, government, business, the academe and youth to spark the conversation on the power of cinema not only to entertain but to educate.
Active Vista bannered the theme, “True revolution begins in the imagination”, in the second edition of its festival in 2010 and expanded its program to an advocacy filmmaking workshop and a nationwide film competition that encourages young and aspiring filmmakers to tackle human rights issues and concerns.
Active Vista in 2012 bravely went to the extreme as it traveled to 20 cities across the country bringing about more than 60 human rights films to 25,000 audiences nationwide. Its advocacy filmmaking program trained 60 aspiring filmmakers and gave production grants to 10 short films exploring the human rights issues of the festival theme, “Projecting Truth”.
In the 4th edition of Active Vista in 2016, it promises to go bigger and deeper as it launches a new phase of its journey towards its evolution into an institutional program bearing a multi-pronged approach in human rights education through cinema.
Active Vista has garnered the support of like-minded organizations, institutions and individuals through the years. In its past editions, it has been supported by the Commission on Human Rights, the National Commission of Culture and the Arts, the National Youth Commission, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Australian AID, the Royal Norwegian Embassy, the Canadian Embassy, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), The Asia Foundation, and Movies that Matter. Active Vista boasts of partnerships with human rights and civil society organizations, schools and universities nationwide and media institutions.