Our team was virtually in Japan at the beginning of the month to grant a special prize as part of the online edition of Tokyo Docs. Mathieu Béjot presented the Sunny Side of the Doc Award to the Philippine documentary project BREAKING THE NEWS, directed by Chiara Anne Garcia Zambrano and produced by Carlo Joel Burgos Gutierrez/ Baby Ruth Villarama (Voyage Film Studios).
The production follows the journey of journalists in their daily work, after ABS-CBN, the Philippines’ largest TV network, had been shut down by President Duterte. As owners bargain to save it, a journalist fears what the price may be.
Congratulations to BREAKING THE NEWS creative team who also received the Best Pitch Award, IDFA and AIDC prizes in addition to passes for Sunny Side of the Doc 2021 and an access to the Global Pitch!
“BREAKING THE NEWS is a compelling story about freedom of the press which needs to be told. It follows the struggle for life of the news room of ABS-CBN, the largest television network in the Philippines. Sunny Side of the Doc believes that #StorytellingMatters, not silencing the media. We trust that this project will resonate globally and that our platform can help its producers find international partners” ,explains Mathieu Béjot, Director of Strategy and Development.
ABOUT THE DIRECTOR
Chiara Zambrano is a renowned Filipino journalist who has spent years covering hostile environments. She has filmed China’s Navy chase fishermen out of South China Sea and watched ISIS attack a city, always trying to capture the humanity within.
Her documentary “’Di Ka Pasisiil” won the Gold World Medal at the New York Festivals and the Gold Dolphin at the Cannes TV & Media Awards. “Spratlys” was an NYF finalist. She is one of The Outstanding Young Men & Women (TOYM) of the Philippines and one of The Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service (TOWNS).
Chiara has an MA in Journalism from Ateneo de Manila University, and an MA in Documentary at Royal Holloway, University of London under the Chevening Scholarships.
ABS-CBN, the Philippines’ largest TV network, has been shut down by President Duterte.
Layoffs by the thousands followed. Its once-influential newsroom was reduced to posting content online with the remaining journalists unsure if they can be critical again.
Ging Reyes, the News Chief, wonders with her broken team. CEO Carlo Katigbak fights to save the business. Journalists decides for their future amidst the network closure during a pandemic.
Filming all of it unfold is the journalist Chiara Zambrano, who sees her own future being rewritten as the network tries to decide which fight it wishes to take up: the fight for democracy, or the fight for their livelihood.