Our stories have a lot more to offer than how we have been painted for decades:

ANPUD releases 11 short films that can change your perspective



Please direct your queries to:

Bikas Gurung at bikas@anpud.org

Please use the hashtags #ANPUDShortFilms & #ChangePerspectives

“Our stories have a lot more to offer than how we have been painted for decades”

ANPUD releases 11 short films that can change your perspective
– #ANPUDShortFilms #Change Perspectives

Bangkok (14 January 2019) – The Asian Network of People who Use Drugs (ANPUD) has released 11 short films that are developed around issues of people who use drugs, particularly in the countries in South and Southeast Asian regions. The short films were submitted by filmmakers who have been part of the event “ANPUD Short Films Competition 2018”. The competition was launched in July 2018 in celebration of the 10th anniversary of ANPUD.

One of the viewers of ANPUD’s YouTube channel commented on a short film from the Philippines saying,

“While watching, the only way to not get my heart shattered into million pieces is to pretend I don’t have one…. pretending to be heartless, as heartless as President Duterte!!!”.

The short films depict the environmental (or contextual) realities in which drug using communities have been compelled to suffer from many forms of human rights abuses. These realities have been told in many platforms and are only one small aspect of the lives of people who use drugs. Each short film that ANPUD has released will tell or reveal truths about various aspects of their lives that have either been generally ignored or painted as evil and inhuman with moral/political inks.

Below are all the 11 short films among which winners will be selected by an independent Jury composed of filmmaker, community activist, funding partners and technical agencies. Please watch all the movies and do not forget to share them to your friends.

1

ASK JIRASAK: 12 THINGS YABA USERS SHOULD KNOW

A short film from Thailand – By Jirasak Sripramong

Amphetamine Type Stimulants (ATS), particularly Crystal Methamphetamine (a.k.a Ice) and Yaba are very popular drugs in Asia. The rapid rise in ATS use has panicked governments in the region. They have resorted to war on drugs approaches while they have no clue that this drug isn’t bad, at least not anywhere near to the extent they have been painting it for the public.

“ASK JIRASAK” is an attempt to reduce the panic through sharing of 25 years of lived experiences with Yaba. He gives 12 valuable harm reduction tips to anyone who is planning or have been using Yaba or other ATS. The core idea behind this short film is that, “People are going to use drugs regardless of any deterring factors  and ATS is widely available to everyone. If they are going to use it then, at least Jirasak’s experience will reduce harms and even save lives.”

2

A BOXING COUNTRY

A short film from Philippines – By Arjanmar Rebeta

A professional boxer, after going through compulsory drug detention (treatment), pursues to fight and regain his title in honor of his country finds himself in the Blue Box – the box of prejudice created by his fellowmen influenced by war on drugs.

3

A JAIL IN A JAILED NATION

A short film from Philippines – By People who use drugs of the Philippines

Between July 2016 and October 2018, the Philippines National Police (PNP) has reported arrests of more than 164,000 people who use or sell drugs. In the same period over 27,000 killings have been reported which has inadvertently created ignorance to the lives of thousands who are alive and jailed without any due process. Therefore, the filmmaker sets on his mission to learn inside stories of the Cebu City Jail and reveals everything he found out.

4

INTO THE LIGHT

A short film from Nepal – By Krishna Kumar Shrestha

In the early 2000s, a small group of people had to step up and do something about the fact that their friends were dying almost every day due to wide spread of HIV. After almost 20 years, members of that small group have also aged while they recall the nightmare and the struggle they did to overcome it. They were all drug users and what they did was the first community-led initiative in Nepal which at present has turned into one of the largest organizations led by drug users and goes by the name “Community Support Group”.

5

KEMIKAL ROMANCE

A short film from Philippines – By Eli Hiller & Faustine Luell T. Angeles Jr.

In Manila, Philippines, there is a community of gay men that meet up in secret at private condominiums and hotels to participate in “Chemsex”. The short film features true stories of 3 young men who were victims of a high level of social discrimination, the growing HIV epidemic and the brutal war on drugs that has been ongoing ever since the Philippines President Duterte joined his office in June 2016.

6

TO THE EVEREST & BEYOND

A short film from Nepal – By Bishnu Prasad Gautam

Gopal is one of many people who use drugs in Pokhara in Nepal who has embraced harm reduction as his way of life. Drug use and HIV related stigma and discrimination had cost him almost everything in his life. He had a dream of reducing stigma and discrimination towards people who use drugs. In order to turn his dream into a reality, he must conquer the highest peak of the world – Mount Everest.

7

ARE YOU CAPABLE OF RESPECTING DRUG USERS’ RIGHTS?

A short film from Nepal – By Binod Gurung

Few members of the drug using community of Nepal recall some of the unfortunate and unpleasant episodes of their lives when their basic human rights were violated. As they share their stories, they also give messages that are important and thought-provoking.

8

VIOLATION OF RIGHTS  OF PEOPLE WHO USE DRUGS IN MANIPUR, INDIA

A short film from India – By Dhojo Wahengbam

In November 2018, the state government declared the so-called “war on drugs” in Manipur – a north-east state of India. Such approach has put at risk – decades of progress made in the state with respect to harm reduction such as peer-driven Needle Syringe Program, Opioid Substitution Treatment, prison programs and the latest effort to pioneer peer-driven overdose (Naloxone distribution).

In the film, few community members have come forward to share their personal stories as well as that of their friends. This short film will cast light on some of the most infuriating truths about gross (inhumane) human rights abuses perpetrated by the locals – none other than civil societies and/or police.

9

HARM REDUCTION SAVES LIVES

A short film from Nepal – By Pusker Thapa Magar

This short film narrates the current situation and the importance of harm reduction services to save lives of people who use and inject drugs. It simplifies harm reduction and builds a case for the need to improve these life-saving services.

10

MY EXISTENCE

A short film from Nepal – By Rajendra Adhikari

Inspired by the life of a drug user, the short film tells a story of darkness and hope. A young person decides to use drugs to ease his emotional pain. While he does find a peace of mind after using drugs, he also finds that every single force within his family or out in the society and overall nation is against the one thing that made him happy. The level of violence and impact on his health and well-being  are heart-breaking.

11

IF ONLY THEY WERE NOT “CRIMINALIZED”…

A short film from Nepal – By Bicky Khadgi

This short film is inspired by true events that occurred in the life of a person who uses drugs. Akriti who finds herself in a situation that had cost her the lives of both of her parents begins to understand the real reasons behind the loss of her parents. Unlike her parents, she is very young and might be representative of the upcoming generation of drug using communities who are more informed and aware about decisions that has impact on their lives.

3 replies
  1. Binod GURUNG
    Binod GURUNG says:

    This is really a beginning of ANPUD’s dawn where it shall shed a day-light on the dark lives of PUDs of Asia through initiatives like this one!! Hats-off to the entire team who made it happen!!

    Reply
  2. Prashant Sharma
    Prashant Sharma says:

    All the short flims were very heart wrenching, inspiring, bold irresistible.
    Short flims from all three nation can mould the way we think how worse it has made in War on people who use drugs.
    Great initiative by ANPUD and its associates and this flims are very inportant for everyone who is advocacting for health and rights of the PUD.

    Thanks

    Reply

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