/ 4 July 2023

A TEAM of broadcasting students from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines Open University landed in the top five in the 2023 World Refugee Film Festival.

James Nebril, Sean Diaz, Kien Manuntag, John Jerick Pastoral, Laiza Mae Malatag, Taylor De Guzman and Alexis Caceres were recognized in the short film category for their entry “Dayuhan.”

The short film presents the story of a 19-year-old Russian who found refuge and solace in a Filipino family.

It follows the competition theme “Hope Away From Home,” which aims “to help bring awareness, build empathy, and mobilize action for and on behalf of the 103 million forcibly displaced persons worldwide.”

“Our film will give everyone hope that they can still live the life they want despite numerous downfalls in a world where we believe it is harsh to live. “[Dayuhan also demonstrates] how and why Filipinos should treat refugees in a good manner in this country,” PUP quoted the film’s director Caceres as saying.

“We joined the competition because we wanted to challenge ourselves, as aspiring future media practitioners, on how we can contribute to the lives of refugees, IDPs, and asylum seekers, through filmmaking,” he said.

“We also wanted to highlight the issue of refugees in this country and their experiences on why they are forced to flee. We believe that it is a topic we should discuss more for the general public to raise awareness,” Caceres added.

The Lyceum of the Philippines University Manila, Cebu Institute of Technology-University, University of San Carlos, San Pedro College, University of Southeastern Philippines, University of Mindanao, Indiana Aerospace University, Cavite State University, De La Salle University-Dasmariñas, Cavite State University, and Technological University of the Philippines-Manila were among the schools that participated in the competition.

The festival is organized by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees with the support of the University of the Philippines Asian Center. It was held in celebration of the World Refugee Day.