Video contest launched to help showcase CHamoru culture

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Commission on Decolonization executive director Melvin Won Pat Borja (PNC file photo)

The Guam Commission on Decolonization and the Department of CHamoru Affairs have announced a video contest to help celebrate the CHamoru culture.

The two agencies decided to host a video contest to celebrate and highlight CHamoru identity and cultural sovereignty as well as to highlight Guam’s political status or lack thereof.

When asked for further information, Commission on Decolonization executive director Melvin Won Pat Borja said: “What we intended to do was to incorporate not just the cultural, historical, issues of the CHamoru people but also the political status issues, as well as our decolonization issues that are very closely tied to our sense of identity and our sense of place. And to be consistent with the Commission CHamoru’s perspective that we shouldn’t only celebrate CHamoru identity during CHamoru month, we’re not only CHamoru once a year.”

The video contest also seeks to showcase CHamoru creatives in fields such as music, media, video, and content creation.

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“We came up with the idea of a film contest as a way to not only promote locally produced content but to also kind of empower and mobilize new names, new faces, new creators into the conversation. And so what we did was we developed the parameters for this film competition. And we kind of thought it would be great if we could make it, take this thematic approach so that the content that is created for the contest can be utilized to promote these issues, promote this dialogue, to advance the conversation,” Borja said.

To participate in the video contest, individuals are invited to submit videos that center around one of the following themes:

● Celebrating CHamoru identity & cultural sovereignty
○ ex) engaging in cultural practices, speaking CHamoru
● Showcasing our ability to govern ourselves
○ ex) living sustainably, highlighting the inequities of our unresolved political status

Videos must also be uploaded in at least 1080p resolution. Videos that meet all set criteria will be entered to win one (1) of three (3) cash prizes: 1st Place – $1,250; 2nd Place – $750; and 3rd Place – $500.

Videos will be reviewed, judged, and selected as winners by a panel of individuals from the Guam Indigenous Heritage Alliance (GIHA).

Individuals should submit their video and/or a link to their video to decol@guam.gov no later than 11:59 pm on Monday, June 14th, 2021. Participants are reminded to avoid using copyrighted material, and that by submitting a video, they grant COD, DCA, & GIHA, the rights to the video.

Although participation in the contest and the awarding of prizes is limited to residents of Guam, all individuals are encouraged to submit relevant videos to be showcased on COD & DCA’s social media accounts.

Winners will be announced via social media on Monday, June 28th, 2021.

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Born and raised on the island of Saipan, Don moved to Guam in the Spring of 2016 to pursue higher education at the University of Guam. It was at UOG that Don discovered his passion for keeping his peers politically informed. Prior to joining PNC Don gained professional and life experience through a variety of odd jobs ranging from an administrative assistant to a bouncer to a luxury retail salesman. In his free time, you can find him flying his drone or doing landscape and portrait photography. Don joined the PNC News Team not only to broaden his writing skill but also to challenge himself to get in front of the camera, ultimately furthering his passion to promote an informed and politically engaged Mariånas. Don's beat is Court, Crime, and Regional and is also PNC's Lead Reporter.