Community, Events, Stories

Annual Spring Film Festival to Go Virtual this 2021

The Spring Film Festival event, which takes place yearly at Shangri-la Plaza, is going virtual this year.

Also renamed as Spring Festival (SF) this year, the event will feature activities that promote the Chinese culture, a shift from its traditional main focus of Chinese movies. The festival is currently in its 15th year and is organized by the Ateneo Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies and Ateneo Celadon, the Ateneo de Manila University’s premier Chinese-Filipino student organization. 

“For this year, we won’t be focusing only on the films mismo. We’ll be focusing more on the traditional Chinese culture in general,” said Joyce Co, one of SF’s project managers. 

Image from the 14th Spring Film Festival in January 2020

Going virtual

During Spring Film Festival season in Shangri-la, people from all walks of life — and from different cultures — delighted in the Gala Night dragon and lion dances in the presence of important personalities in the Chinese-Filipino community. Though this year will mark a shift from that, activities will still be aplenty virtually. 

“We will also be having five live events. The first one is the Gala Night, which will be on February 3,” said Erin Herrera, another one of SF’s project managers. “The second event is the Chinese men’s haircut talk, which will be on February 4. And then the next is the foot binding talk, which will be on February 5. Then next will be the landscape painting workshop, which will be on February 6 … The last live event will be [the] musical concert, which will be on February 7.” 

Former Ateneo presidents, Frs. Bienvenido Nebres (leftmost) and Jose Ramon Villarin (second from right), S.J., grace the 14th Spring Film Festival in January 2020

Aside from events, SF also held submissions for a digital poster contest. The contest offered people the opportunity to make a digital poster for Spring Festival. This is in the spirit of the yearly Spring Film Festival tradition of displaying Chinese artworks in the Shangri-la Plaza’s Grand Atrium. According to Co, participants even get the chance of winning cash prizes. 

“The theme of the poster will be the traditional Chinese performances … They can make or draw performances like Chinese opera, Chinese folk dance, [and] Chinese martial arts,” Co added.

Image from the 14th Spring Film Festival in January 2020

The importance of the Chinese-Filipino culture

The event is a showcase of not just the Chinese culture, but the Chinese-Filipino culture, a unique blend of two distinct worlds. 

Speaking on its importance, Co said that “it’s our roots din kasi. [We] are Chinese-Filipino people, so we should love our culture and share it to others.” 

“Instead of focusing it on just Chinese films, we also catered to the whole traditional Chinese arts … and that’s also what our core team said in the applications. [To the question] ‘what do they want to get out of the Spring Film Festival’, they said [that] ‘they wanted to learn more about traditional Chinese arts,” said Herrera. 

Herrera added that people “should look forward to this event because we rebranded it like it’s something different, and they’ll really learn a lot more about traditional Chinese arts.”

For more information on the different SF events, visit



The author of this article: 

An accomplished young Chinese Filipino writer and media personality, Aaron S. Medina is associated with the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the Ateneo de Manila University Chinese Studies Program, the Philippine Association for Chinese Studies, and CHiNOY TV. He has a passion for truth, justice, and Pokémon, too! Follow him on Facebook:

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