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This young Davaoeño’s Emmy awarded film tackles the Marawi siege

In this year’s International Emmys, a one-minute short film made by a young Davaoeño bagged an award. Breech Asher Harani is the latest recipient of the JCS International Young Creatives Award for his film “Next To Me,” a story about a displaced Muslim student surviving the Marawi siege.

Hindi ako makaniwala kasi, kung iisipin mo, the Emmys is for television ’di ba? Tapos they opened their doors for short film like this, so thankful ako,” explained Harani in his ABS-CBN News interview. Other winners of the award are Funke Alafiatayo from the United Kingdom’s  “P.E.A.C.E. – A Spoken Word” and Artes Ferruni from Albania’s “IT STARTS WITHIN.”

Read more: Your guide to Filipino films competing at QCinema 2019

The JCS International Young Creatives Award is given to young talents from across the world as they create a dialogue on peace. And Harani’s Emmy-winning film does exactly that. 

“Next To Me” sheds light on what children go through during socio-political struggles. It’s based on a true story about a Marawi siege survivor adjusting in his new, non-Muslim school. This film is about important current events, as well as a study on empathy—a trait a lot of us need nowadays.

Read more: “Homebound” is a queer coming-of-age short on friendship and homesickness

“It’s very important nowadays to educate our young children to be tolerant of other students with different traditions, different religions,” he said. “It’s very important especially in the age of social media, where children will be watching 1-minute videos on their phones. I think it’s important that they see contents like this so that their minds would be molded into doing good.” 

The JCS International Young Creatives is free for anyone to enter. If you’re as gutsy as this young filmmaker, you can take a shot at bagging this award in 2020. It’s open to non-American citizens (dual citizens are eligible) aged 18 to 29. The competition will open around June next year. 

Watch Harani’s short film here.

Still from “Next To Me”

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Rogin Losa
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