By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
International League of Peoples’ Struggle
November 10, 2015
On behalf of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle, I convey warmest greetings of solidarity to the organizers and participating film makers and viewers in the 2nd AGITPROP International Film Festival on People’ Struggles. I congratulate the Southern Tagalog Exposure (ST eXposure), together with AlterMedia, PinoyMedia Center and other Philippine-based multimedia groups, for realizing this film festival.
We commend you for perpetuating the Festival, which you established in 2011, in order to provide a venue to films of artistic and social value that are not given space by the big commercial media and moviehouse chains, and to promote the theme of peoples’ struggles against imperialism and reaction all over the world. We are glad that you feature films under such categories as: Local Struggles, Human Rights, Gender, Anti-Imperialism and Environment.
We are pleased that the festival is being held in proximity to the International Festival of People’s Rights and Struggles (IFPRIS) and the 5th International Assembly of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS). These events are meant to foster a stronger and broader solidarity among organizations and individuals in the struggle to uphold, defend and advance the people’s democratic rights and aspirations for a socially just world.
We have the highest appreciation for your initiative in holding the AGITPROP Film Festival. It is of great importance that you undertake this in response to the need for mustering film making and the film makers and all cultural workers in the service of the people of the world in their struggles for greater freedom, democracy, all-round development, social justice, cultural progress and international solidarity against imperialism and all reaction.
We must confront and fight monopoly capitalism and reaction as the crisis of the world capitalist system is ever worsening and the people are increasingly suffering from the escalation of plunder, austerity measures against the working people, state terrorism and wars of aggression. We must promote and develop film making in its various genres and forms, including feature films, short films, documentaries, news clips, animated films, educational or instructional videos and so on, as a weapon against the escalation of oppression and exploitation and for national and social liberation. We must encourage more activists from all sectors to learn how to wield this weapon of mass agitation-propaganda effectively with available equipment, resources and platforms, which are exponentially growing in this age of affordable good-quality phone cameras, simplified editing software, DVD duplication, digital projectors, and online outlets such as Youtube and Vimeo.
We agree with you that the AGITPROP Film Festival is a celebration of cinema’s role in social transformation by providing voice and vision to people’s desire and struggle for a fundamentally new and better world. May the creative work in the reel craft reflect the real world to expose the dismal facts of life and inspire the heroic efforts of the people to change these.
May your festival ignite enlightening discussion and forge the resolve to take revolutionary action by exhibiting films that take up the urgent social issues. May you succeed in constructing further a venue for consolidating efforts to produce a kind of cinema that fights imperialism and the exploiting classes, that is artistic and socially relevant, that is accessible to the broad masses, and that contributes to the liberation and upliftment of the people. May your festival serve to strengthen the ranks of the progressive film makers and other artists. We wish you the utmost success and we look forward to your next festival.###