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US International Film & Video Festival Award Winners
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DOCUMENTARY: Social Issues

Entrant: GMA Network, Inc. / Quezon City
Production Company: GMA Network, Inc. / Quezon City
SVP, News and Public Affairs: Marissa L. Flores
Credits: FVP, Public Affairs: Nessa Valdellon; SAVP, Public Affairs:
Clyde Rolando A. Mercado; Program Manager: Joy Madrigal

ADDITIONAL CREDITS: Host/Writer: Atom Araullo; Executive Producer/Director: Bryan Kristoffer J. Brazil; Program Researcher: Nyorly Gail Montero; Edit Supervisor: Harvey Henryan Bayona; Production Assistant: Pauline Jane Castillo, Regit Adrian Antonio; Editors: John Wesly Lagdameo, Gavian Llave, Genice Panuncio, Jhoan Antenor; Videographer: Vince Eribal; Production and Logistical Support: Joan Camaya-Pacson
In a refugee camp in Bangladesh, a Rohingya mother carefully prepares a simple meal for her kids. They live in a small makeshift tent, bare except for a few belongings strewn on the earthen floor. Hamida says she hardly brought anything when she fled Myanmar, not even clothes for her kids. Her husband was killed by the military, she claims. When asked how she feels about their situation now, Hamida solemnly says heaven is within her reach. In recent years, insurgency has persisted in the northern part of Myanmar, a clash between the Buddhists Burmese and the Rohingya Muslims. The Myanmar government denied the citizenship of the Rohingya and their movement within the country is restricted by local authorities. The internal conflict eventually prompted thousands of Rohingya to flee to neighboring Bangladesh. The UN has called the decades-long oppression and the atrocities by the military in Myanmar as a form of “ethnic cleansing”. Myanmar officials are firm in their stance that the Rohingya are not citizens of their nation while neighboring Bangladesh considers them as forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals who could be deported anytime soon. I-Witness followed the journey of a Filipino serving as a humanitarian worker in the largest refugee camp in Bangladesh. This documentary teaches us the value of compassion, bridging differences in color and beliefs.

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