About Active Vista

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.

What We Stand For

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.

Our Goals

  • 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.

Our Core Programs

Active Vista Human Rights Film Festival

The 4th edition of the Active Vista Human Rights Film Festival ushers in a milestone as it transforms into an international human rights film festival bringing in a wide array of film selection from all over the world to promote an understanding of human rights as an integral foundation of social progress in the time of globalization. Active Vista brings to the Filipino audience a world-view on the human rights situation through moving images that project truths on important global issues and facilitates the use of the power of cinema to empower its audiences to collectively wield relevant social change.

The Active Vista International Human Rights Film Festival will happen on February 24-28 coinciding with the 30th anniversary of the historic EDSA People Power Revolution, the culmination of the series of civil resistance against human rights abuses in the Martial Rule that led to the restoration of democracy in the Philippines.

Active Vista Human Rights School

Active Vista banners human rights education work through films. The AV Human Rights School facilitates the integration of human rights framework into the classroom or alternative classroom setting and in multi-disciplinary subjects by providing films complemented by creative toolkits, study guides and learning materials in teaching human rights issues and concerns to young people. It aims to instill awareness among young people on their rights and responsibilities as citizens, raise their consciousness on social issues, and foster their involvement in social transformation. The AV Human Rights School is a collaborative effort of human rights institutions, filmmakers, the academic community and human rights activists to address the need to educate the Filipino youth on human rights and contribute to the shaping of an informed citizenry.

Active Vista Advocacy Film Workshop

Anchored on human rights education, the Active Vista Film Workshop conducts trainings for students, filmmakers and development activists on the use of film and video for human rights advocacies. Facilitated by seasoned filmmakers and human rights activists, the sessions enables sharing of expertise of advocates and artists towards creating effective compelling films on human rights. The curriculum is designed to deepen the understanding how this platform can be utilized to tell stories on human conditions in a manner that allows the audience to empathize and to encourage social engagement. The AV Film Workshop breeds filmmakers whose fresh takes and innovative approaches to films will inspire revolutions of the mind and create movements. It encourages new paradigms and forms of aesthetic expressions in telling stories in the context of advocacy.

Active Vista Mobile Screening Program

As providing access to human rights films is the heart of Active Vista, it carries out imperative and continual human rights educational work through its mobile screenings in schools and communities to promote audience development in both film culture and human rights advocacy. It provides access to a catalogue of a wide array of human rights themed films and an opportunity for schools, organizations and communities to screen it. It brings these films to places where they are not readily available to spread awareness on human rights concerns, encourage conversations on the issues, and foster participation on nation building. Screenings are coupled with discussions on the human rights issues presented in the films participated by human rights experts, filmmakers, artists, representatives from the government, civil society, media, academe and the audience.

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