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Filipino film is finalist in global competition

By: - Reporter / @TarraINQ
/ 08:47 PM November 06, 2011

A short film by a Singapore-based Filipino student is one of 14 finalists in an international competition on expressing the meaning of faith through a three-minute screenplay.

“First Steps to Recovery,” a film by 18-year-old Paulo Reyes, a scholar at Singapore’s LASALLE College of the Arts, was short-listed for Faith Shorts, a global film competition by the Tony Blair Faith Foundation (TBFF).

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The contest challenged budding filmmakers 14-18 years old to express on film their thoughts on the theme “Let Me Show You How My Faith Inspires Me.”

An international panel of judges, including former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Hollywood actors Hugh Jackman and Jet Li, will pick the three best short films.

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Winners, which will be announced in December, will fly to London to present their films at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (Bafta), TBFF said.

Reyes’ film revolves around a topic that is painful to many—terminal illness.

“I remember Mom telling me a story she heard about a boy who was terminally ill yet he was the one who kept encouraging others around him. So I wrote the character based on that,” Reyes said in response to e-mailed questions.

“On a more personal level, I was writing about who I wanted to be. I wanted to be a person who trusted God completely and knew that He would take care of me whatever happened. That’s what ‘First Steps to Recovery’ is about. A little boy with big faith,” he added.

TBFF, the foundation of the former British prime minister that seeks to promote harmony among the world’s different religions, selected 14 finalists from a flood of entries coming from five continents.

Also short-listed were entries from Australia, Canada, India, Lebanon, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and the United States that explored themes “from family loss to overcoming adversity, personal devotion and hope.”

Blair said, in a statement, “By gaining insights into the lives of young people across the world, this competition has the potential to build bridges across cultural and religious divides.”

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The short films offered “a positive alternative to the often pessimistic portrayals of faith in today’s world,” TBFF said.

Asked what he would like viewers to remember about his film, Reyes said, “If there is one thing I want my viewers to pick up from my film, it would be that faith is not just believing that God will pull through for you. It’s also putting your complete trust in Him even if He does not pull through for you.”

Reyes’ film may be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QIBvokvatWg&feature=player_embedded

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TAGS: Cinema, faith, film competition, filmmaker, finalist, First Steps to Recovery, Paulo Reyes, Philippines, short film
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