‘The Atom Araullo Specials’ sole PH finalist at 4th Asia Contents Awards – Manila Bulletin

GMA Public Affairs’ “The Atom Araullo Specials” is set to represent the Philippines at the 4th Asia Contents Awards (ACA) after being nominated for Best Asian Documentary for the episode “Munting Bisig (Young Arms)”.

The list of official nominees was announced by the Asian Contents & Film Market 2022 (ACFM) on September 27.

The only finalist from the Philippines, Atom Araullo’s documentary program will compete against other shows produced by Netflix, Asian Boss (YouTube) and TV Asahi Production (YouTube).

“Munting Bisig (Young Arms)” first aired on GMA Network last year. The documentary looked at the plight of child laborers amid the global pandemic. Atom followed the lives of children who put their lives on the line to help their families survive even though they were exposed to the COVID-19 virus.

Atom met “Pancho”, 15, the youngest compressor diver in their barangay in Paracale, Camarines Norte. Pancho braves diving into 40 feet of mud to scoop up dirt in hopes of finding gold.

In the Cordillera, which is said to have the lowest cases of child labor in the country, Atom discovered why the numbers in the province are so low. Yeseleen, one of only two child labor profilers in the entire province, was accompanied by Atom to the Kalinga mountains to find other children engaged in forced labour.

During this time in Pasay, Atom also met Joshua – the breadwinner of his family when he was 12 years old. Joshua became part of the ‘lockdown generation’ as he found himself ‘stranded’ in Metro Manila while his ailing father remained in Cavite. In Manila, he rode his bike to sell snacks to his neighbors so he could bring in some income for his family.

The Asia Contents Awards recognize outstanding TV, OTT and online content from Asia. The awards show features 12 award categories, including Best Content, Best Asian Animation, Best Actor, Newcomer, and Best Writer. This year’s ceremony will also include the new award categories of Best Asian Documentary, Best Supporting Actor and Best Creator.

“The Atom Araullo Specials” joins hit Korean series “Extraordinary Attorney Woo” and “Squid Game,” which are nominated for the Best Content and Technical Achievement Award categories, respectively.

The 4th Asia Contents Awards will be held on-site for the first time in three years this October 8 at the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) theater at the Busan Cinema Center in Busan, South Korea.

Earlier this year, the same episode gave the Philippines a global gold medal at the prestigious New York TV & Film Festivals Awards 2022, beating out other countries in the Documentary: Social Issues category.

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