Kidlat Tahimik, FDCP initiate short film competition spotlighting unsung heroes


Launched on April 27 through the initiative of the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), in partnership with the National Quincentennial Committee (NQC), is Kidlat Tahimik’s inaugural Unsung Sariling Bayani (USB) Short Film Competition.  

In a recent press conference, Kidlat Tahimik, National Artist for Film and Broadcast Arts, aired his hopes that the effort will serve to counterbalance the influence of foreign superheroes in the mind of the nation’s youth.  

“I think, even at high school age, we are all intelligent enough to see positive value in choosing a hero who can really bring out the best in us,” he said. 

Note the Bureau of Learner Support Services – Youth Formation Division of the Department of Education (DepEd) is supporting the project.

Why April 27? 

To those not in the know, the date is significant in Philippine history as it marks the 500th anniversary of Lapu-Lapu’s victory in Mactan.

Kidlat Tahimik, 78, remarked, “I think it is very timely, itong 500 years after…Para sa akin, magandang catalyzer itong pang-udyok para maka-focus tayo on heroism but maybe also redefine it: ‘Ano ba talaga ang heroism?’” 

The USB has three categories: Youth Category – Senior High Student (Public School), Youth Category – Senior High Student (Private School), and Adult Category (Aged 18 and above).

The deadline for the submission of entries is on Oct. 11, 2021.

The FDCP Channel will host the USB Online Film Festival from Nov. 11 to 17 and will stream the Awards Ceremony on Nov. 14.

A total of 30 finalists will be selected for the USB, with equal representation from the National Capital Region (NCR), Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao, and Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

Finalists will receive cash prizes and free access to all educational events to aid in their filmmaking process.  

“Through the guidance of National Artist and Father of Philippine Independent Cinema Kidlat Tahimik together with other esteemed Filipino filmmakers, I am confident that the USB finalists will take inspiration and motivation from Tatay Kidlat’s ‘bamboo camera filmmaking’ to promote the appreciation for lesser-known local heroes through short films,” said FDCP Chairperson and CEO Liza Diño.  

The bamboo camera has been a symbol of Kidlat Tahimik’s remarkable local storytelling through the years.

“Sa dami ng mga bagong kuwento, I think yayaman ang kasaysayan ng Pilipinas and we, the small filmmakers, can contribute to the archives of our relevant local history,” noted Kidlat Tahimik.  

For more information and to download the application form, visit For inquiries, contact Mr. Mark John Pamintuan at [email protected] with the subject heading “Query: USB 2021.”

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Written by Tempo Desk

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