EngageMedia announces the selected filmmakers from Thailand and the Philippines who will produce films on human rights in the digital age for Tech Tales Youth, which aims to bring the creative voices of young filmmakers into the digital rights movement.
Building on the success of the 2021 film collection Tech Tales: Films about Digital Rights in the Asia Pacific, Tech Tales Youth offers a mentorship program for young filmmakers between the ages of 18 and 30 to broaden their knowledge of how human and digital rights are intertwined and how their films can be used for social change.
The selected filmmakers are Jaime Morados, EJ Gagui, Kristine Camille Sulit with her co-director JV Sangalang, and Kat Catalan from the Philippines, and Weeraya “Min” Vichayaprasertkul, Patipat Oakkharhaphunrat, and Thanakorn “Meen” Yangmeesuk from Thailand.
“Internet penetration grows yearly in Thailand and the Philippines, and young people account for most users. But, being digital natives, they’re vulnerable and at risk, given the dependency and demands of this era on connectivity and technology. So supporting them in telling their digital stories is vital”, said EngageMedia Video Manager King Catoy. “Peer sharing, especially on film, allows young people to connect and learn from each other.”
Each fellow will receive up to USD 2,000 to work on their films. They will also be joining masterclasses and sessions on digital rights and video for change as fellows of the upcoming DRAPAC23 Assembly in Chiang Mai, Thailand, from May 22 to 26, 2023.
The Tech Tales Youth film collection, set to premiere in December 2023, will be used for rights campaigns and advocacy and training tools to increase civil society’s understanding of digital rights. The films will be available on Cinemata, a platform for social and environmental films about the Asia-Pacific.
Tech Tales Youth Fellows
Weeraya “Min” Vichayaprasertkul, Thailand
Min is a co-founder and video producer for EcoCupid, a platform to promote hidden environmental projects from Southeast Asia through multilingual media content. She is a freelance producer, creative, and TV host. Since she started her career five years ago, she has won global awards for her documentary work focusing on environmental, educational, and social movements. She was a documentary film mentor for EJN grantees at Internews.
Min also works on media campaigns with Siriraj Hospital, the oldest hospital in Thailand, to push for health policy movements. Previously, she was a video creator for the Thailand Education Partnership Facebook Page that drives the education movement in Thailand. As a mass media communicator, she has been contributing her career to help save the world. She is a cat and food lover.
Jaime Morados, Philippines
Jaime is a director and producer from Biñan City, Laguna. His works have been selected and awarded in local and international film festivals. He won the Jury Prize at the Binisaya Film Festival for his film Protacio and the Bum (2021), and Best Picture at Montañosa Film Festival. He was mentioned in CNN Philippines’ Best Filipino Films of 2022 for his film Aga-Hiw, The Dreamer (2022). He is also known for his short film Ang Pagliligtas sa Dalagang Bukid (Saving the Country Maiden, 2022), which was part of the QCinema International Film Festival in 2022. He playfully mixes fantasy, comedy, and drama in his films with his love for Philippine history and culture.
Thanakorn “Meen” Yangmeesuk, Thailand
Meen is a young director and writer born and raised in Bangkok, Thailand. As a passionate cinephile, he always finds an opportunity to learn and practice making films while studying at Kasetsart University in the Department of Communication Arts and Information Science. He is very passionate about telling stories through various genres of cinema. His first short film as a director and writer, One Use (2022), was selected for CCCL Film Festival Official Selection 2023.
Kat Catalan, Philippines
Kat is a young labour rights advocate and filmmaker in the Philippines.
She graduated from the University of the Philippines Film Institute and joined independent productions and local film festivals since she was a student. In 2020, she won 3rd Place in the Documentary Category of Gawad CCP Para sa Alternatibong Pelikula at Video. She currently works as a freelance video editor and animator.
She is a member of the political film collective Mayday Multimedia, a community media outfit focusing on workers’ issues.
Patipat Oakkharhaphunrat, Thailand
Kristine Camille Sulit and JV Sangalang, Philippines
Kristine is a communication, film, and multimedia instructor at Mapua University, CIIT College of Arts and Technology, and iAcademy. She was Deputy Film Festival Director at the 2018 Quezon City International Pink Film Festival. As a filmmaker, she became a delegate for Platform Busan at the 2022 Busan International Film Festival. Her latest short film, Read-only Memory (co-directed with David R. Corpuz), won 1st place in the Experimental Category of the 34th Gawad Alternatibo.
Her co-director, JV, pursued a career in media and journalism after attending a free basic filmmaking workshop in 2015. At the heart of all his endeavours is his activism, which also led to professional opportunities, such as being a writer for organisations like the Philippine Safe Abortion Advocacy Network. As a member of the urban poor group KADAMAY, he makes sure his activist ideals and goals are embodied by the work he produces.
Bhuriphat “Bazer” Chaoprasertkul, Thailand
Bazer hosts a show called “Thub Krung Thep” that focuses on opinions on authorities in Bangkok. As a filmmaker, his goal is to enhance people’s literacy and to encourage critical thinking. But he aspires to do more outside his country, so he founded a global media platform called “Lenses“, which creates relatable and engaging explainer videos and text-based content that offer new perspectives.
EJ Gagui, Philippines
EJ is an independent Filipino-Kapampangan filmmaker. He studied filmmaking at the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, specialising in documentary production. He co-founded a regional-based mini-film company, Eximious Produkt, to showcase his visual practice of combining fiction and documentary in narrating the everyday miracles, revelations, history, and crises within his hometown. His first short film Ing Tianak was selected as a finalist of the Film Development Council of the Philippines’ Mit Out Sound 2021. His second short film Rock in a Windless Wadi premiered at the Opening Scenes competition at Visions du Réel 2022, won Special Mentions in Gawad Alternatibo and SeaShorts Film Festival, and was nominated in the documentary short category at Pinoy Rebyu Awards by the Society of Filipino Film Reviewers. His medium-length film, Kamumulan kapupus ning pangamate ampon ding anggang milabas, is currently in post-production.