A young Filipino filmmaker won an international award during the 2019 International Emmys in New York City for his 1-minute video about a displaced Muslim student survivor of the Marawi siege in the Philippines in 2017.
Breech Asher Harani, 28, was among this year's JCS International Young Creatives Award for his video "Next to Me."
"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," Harani told ABS-CBN News.
“Next to Me” is based on a true story about a displaced Muslim student survivor trying to fit in, in a new non-Muslim school, after her family evacuated from their war-torn home in Marawi.
Harani’s short film showed how a student stood up for peace by showing respect to those who happen to look a little different from them.
"It’s very important nowadays to educate our young children to be tolerant with other students with different traditions, different religions," the young Filipino said.
The JCS International Young Creatives competition was designed to discover and recognize young talents from around the world while creating a global conversation around peace.
The filmmaker said he is thankful for the wider reach this international platform has given him and his advocacy for peace and inclusion.
"It’s very important especially in the age of social media, where children will be watching 1-minute videos in their phones. I think it’s important that they see contents like this so that their minds would be molded into doing good," he said.
The competition is free for anyone to enter and is open to non-American citizens (dual citizens are eligible) aged 18 to 29.
The 2020 competition will open in June.