Supertyphoon Yolanda film by Joanna Arong wins Utah’s Slamdance Film Festival

HSBC Philippines
Yolanda film
“To Calm the Pig Inside (Ang Pagpakalma sa Unos)” is a 19-minute documentary written, produced, and directed by Cebuana Joanna Vasquez Arong and narrated in Cebuano dialect. Photo from To Calm the Pig Facebook page.

A film about Supertyphoon Yolanda’s impact in the Philippines has won the Grand Jury Prize at Utah’s 2020 Slamdance Film Festival.

“To Calm the Pig Inside (Ang Pagpakalma sa Unos)”, a 19-minute documentary written, produced, and directed by Cebuana Joanna Vasquez Arong and narrated in Cebuano dialect, won the Documentary Short Grand Jury Prize on January 30, 2020, at the 26th annual Slamdance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.

“To Calm the Pig Inside” tells the filmmaker’s story of the personal and the collective pain of the people affected by Super Typhoon Yolanda (International name: Haiyan) in Tacloban. It was developed by the filmmaker after spending time with people from post-calamity areas.

“After spending weeks line producing on a film production on the devastation super typhoon Haiyan wreaked around the Philippines in 2013-2014, I felt there was another layer to the stories which hadn’t been shared yet… To Calm the Pig Inside became a contemplation on how people cope with both personal and collective pain,” shared Arong in a feature by We Are Moving Stories.

“The film is a reflective essay pondering on trauma that’s passed on from both family schisms as well as from calamities.” she added.

The Slamdance Jury informed Arong through a letter that the award qualifies “To Calm the Pig Inside” for consideration in the Academy Awards’ best documentary (short subject) category next year.

Joanna Arong hopes to garner more interest in the film, and hopefully, find sales and distribution for the film so that it can travel and reach a wider audience.

The Slamdance Film Festival is a showcase for raw and innovative filmmaking that lives and bleeds by its mantra: By Filmmakers, For Filmmakers.

Joanna Arong holding her Sparky Award. Photo credits to Lauren Desberg Photography via Joanna Arong Facebook.

When Yolanda hit the Philippines in 2013 families affected by it struggled with their daily lives especially with the electrical supply cut off. Social entrepreneur Illac Diaz and his team came up with an idea to teach families how to create Liter of Light solar lights while international finance guru Greg Secker led his Foundation to build modern homes for the families of typhoon Yolanda.

Tacloban-based social enterprise, Taclob, partnered with YesPinoy, non-government organization founded by actor Dingdong Dantes to produce Hooded Cloak Backpacks with emergency kits and educational materials for students in public schools that are in typhoon-prone areas.

SEND CONGRATULATIONS in the comments below to Joanna Arong for the successful premiere of her film on Yolanda, the Grand Jury Prize winner at the 2020 Slamdance Festival!

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Blesilda Dela Cruz
Blesilda Dela Cruz is a undergraduate student taking up AB Communication at De La Salle University – Dasmariñas. An Efficient, Hard-working, Committed, and Goal-oriented person towards the goal and development of the company. A reliable team member who knows how to collaborate well. Has a passion in story-telling and acting.