“The immortality of moving picture is a magnificent evidence of human existence. I would rather jump whether it is triumphant or a disastrous attempt into immortality, than doing nothing at all.”
Internationally acclaimed filmmaker, Carlos Palanca Award winner and University of the East College of Fine Arts, Architecture and Design (UE CFAD) professor Richard Soriano Legaspi was selected as one of UNESCO-Aschberg Laureate Artists of 2013!
The UNESCO-Aschberg Bursaries Program was integrated in UNESCO’s strategy in 1994 to promote cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue. The scholarship program offers residencies to young artists worldwide. UNESCO-Aschberg advocates and promotes creativity, highlights cultural exchanges and the need for artists to enrich their experience through contact with other cultures. These residencies are catalysts for the development of artistic expression in all cultures of the world.
Legaspi submitted his application to one of UNESCO’s partner Institutions and Residencies, the UNIDEE (University of Ideas) Cittadellarte-Fondazione Pistoletto in Biella, Italy and after months of extensive deliberation by the UNIDEE panels, the institution awarded Prof. Legaspi the highest scholarship of UNESCO given to an artist who will consider himself as “activator” in creating projects for the responsible transformation of society—the UNESCO-Aschberg UNIDEE in Residence.
UNIDEE in Residence runs for four months from June 12 to October 12, 2013. The invited artists will get to explore the relationship between art and society; they will also examine methodologies of creative interventions to activate important projects for a socially responsible change in society. Every year, 14 to 16 artists from Italy and overseas are chosen and invited to live in at Cittadellarte in Biella, a town and commune in the northern Italian region of Piemonte.
According to Linda Mercadino, the program director of UNIDEE in Residence, the UNESCO grant includes the full cost of candidate’s residency at Cittadellarte, including lodging, meals, participation in workshops, presentations, lectures, educational trips and round trip tickets from Manila to Italy. At the end of the four months in Biella, there will be a public presentation entitled UNIDEE in Progress, displaying the development of the projects and the result of the researches. The residents will have the possibility to work collectively for the preparation and immediate realization of an experimental event and share their conceptual and operational capacity.
The scholarship is co-financed by UNESCO-Aschberg and the Cittadellarte-Fondazione Pistoletto and founded by Michelangelo Pistoletto in 1999. The artistic disciplines for which the bursaries are awarded are Creative Writing, Music, and Visual Arts. These three fields cover artistic specializations that drive the creative industries, in particular the recording industries, the organization of concerts, the audiovisual sector, graphic design and publishing.
Legaspi is a graduate of Fine Arts, major in advertising of UE Caloocan, where he also teaches. He is a fellow of the Asian Film Academy in Busan, South Korea, where he studied filmmaking under renowned directors Mohsen Makhmalbaf and Pen-Ek Ratanaruang.
His first full-length film ‘Paano Ko Sasabihin?’ starring Enchong Dee and Erich Gonzales won the Special Jury Prize, Audience Award and Best in Editing at the 2009 Cinema One Originals and was a finalist at the Babel Film Festival in Italy. He is also the director and writer of award-winning films like ‘Manenaya,’ which was the Jury Prize winner at the Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival and the opening film at the prestigious Asiatica Film Mediale in Rome in 2012; ‘Ambulancia,’ which earned the Miglior Montaggio Award at the San Gio Film Festival, and was a finalist at Dubai International Film Festival (IFF); ‘Kinulayang Kiti,’ a winner at the Gawad CCP Alternative Film and Video Festival and finalist at the Auburn IFF in Australia; and ‘Hunger Pangs,’ which was in competition at the Naousa IFF in Greece and part of the Official Selection of World Film Festival Bangkok 2012.
Prof. Legaspi is currently in the post-production stage of his second National Commission for Culture and the Arts-funded film, ‘Si Pipo at ang Pusang si Kamuning,’ starring Maliksi Morales and Channel Latorre, and he is also writing a new script entitled ‘Aliping Lupa.’
The last UNESCO Filipino laureate in the field of Visual Arts was Lyra Abueg Garcellano, artist in residence at the Cemeti Art Foundation, Indonesia in 2002, while Ellen Ramos is the first Filipino filmmaker laureate at the Cologne Academy of Media Arts in Germany in 1997.