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Published March 25, 2022, 1:52 PM
by John Legaspi
The Philippines is among the many countries that greatly experience the effects of climate change. We’ve seen it yearly with floods happening not only in the country’s capital but also in its rural areas. Being part of the typhoon belt, the country expects 20 storms yearly. And as global warming increases, these storms are expected to be more powerful. Previously unimaginable levels of devastation due to increased flooding has been happening more often in the past decade, the most recent of which was last December with Typhoon Rai (Typhoon Odette locally) damaging many places in the Visayas and Mindanao regions.
Putting this issue in the spotlight is Filipino global environmental film “Theory of Light.” Directed and written by Juan Paolo Gopez, the documentary focuses on the need for more urgent and united action to protect our people and future generations from the adverse effects of climate change.
Part historical chronicle, part environmental lesson, “Theory of Light” shows how Liter of Light, a global grassroots solar lighting movement that started in the Philippines, has been reinvigorating efforts to take action and inspiring new generations of innovators from the Global South to come up with ideas that will change the world. It advances bold storytelling that centers the climate emergency through a climate justice lens. With a commitment to uplift the perspectives of black, brown, and indigenous communities whose lives are already being impacted by climate change and gives a voice to those who feel excluded from the climate movement and whose voices have not been represented in traditional climate storytelling.
“Most media coverage to date focuses on the receiving effects of the climate crisis; as victims and stops there,” says Filipino-Italian Illac Diaz, founder and director of Liter of Light, in a story by Dubai Vibes Magazine. “Filipinos are admired for our resilience, but rarely do stories focus on the rising up, building back, and [on] innovative solutions that communities themselves have developed to take dramatic action. In fact, only 1 percent of all global expenses for filmmaking are spent on the environment and the growing climate crisis. With this documentary, we want to flip the script, and share stories of common humanity and hope that inspires others to make urgent and right decisions for the people and planet.”
Aiming to spread its message further, “Theory of Light” is set to make its Dubai premiere through Expo 2020. With the theme of “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future,” Expo 2020 provides a great opportunity for the Philippines to share its stories of innovations to a wider audience. The film will be shown on March 27, 7 p.m., at the United Nations EXPO Opportunity Pavilion Auditorium.
Produced and distributed by TBA Studios, the production company behind box office hits such as “General Luna” and “Goyo: The Boy General,” “Theory of Light” is also made possible with the support of SM Prime Holdings, Inc., and in collaboration with Boomtown Studios.
Watch its trailer below:
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