The Department of Communication and Media Studies and its official student organization, the Communication Arts Students’ Association (CASA), of the Faculty of Arts and Letters hosted the 2020 edition of “decentralized Asian Transnational Challenges” (d’CATCH) from February 3 to 7, 2020, along with its official organization.
At the opening ceremony held at the Thomas Aquinas Research Center (TARC) auditorium, Asst. Prof. Jose Arsenio J. Salandanan, Chair of the Department of Communication and Media Studies, admitted that mounting the annual event has its challenges, particularly this time when it is being held at the height of the Novel Coronavirus scare. Despite this, “what lightens the load is our shared vision and valor to make each year better than the one before. For this, I thank the faculty advisers and their students for making each gathering intellectually stimulating, culturally enriching and socially engaging,” Salandanan enthused.
In his conference overview, faculty member and d’CATCH 2020 Coordinator Mr. Tito Quiling, Jr., briefed the delegates on what will transpire in the next four days. He emphasized the departure from the traditional omnibus structure in linking the documentary projects in what would look like a mini magazine program to a seamlessly integrated video. Quiling encouraged all participants to consult and update him on the progress of their video production.
Days 2, 3, and 4 were designated as workshop sessions. Day 2, the pre-production phase, provided the opportunity for each participating country to present the videos they have produced. Workshop participants and faculty members gave comments and suggestions on how best to integrate these videos to form one final video on the theme assigned to them. A brainstorming session followed to look for the common ground or threading elements for their composite videos.
Day 3 was the production phase where the different groups shot additional footages and/or situationers (sitners) to unify their videos, which must last for a maximum of 15 minutes including OBB and CBB, with English subtitles for interviews conducted using the native language.
Day 4 saw the post-production phase, where participants held a pre-screening of their final output. A designated member introduced the content of the video to solicit comments and suggestions from faculty members.
Day 5 saw a a twin-bill event: the screening of the final video output in the morning and the farewell dinner in the evening. To comply with the directives from the Office of the Secretary General vis-à-vis the preventive measure in the light of the Corona-Virus scare, simultaneous screenings both in the TARC auditorium and room 201 of the Graduate school were held so as not to have 50 people in one venue. This was done with the help of the Communication Bureaus. Faculty members and students were given a chance not only to view and critique the re-mixed videos but commend well-executed video documentaries.
The event ended with Asst. Prof. Faye Abugan who delivered her closing message and thanked all the faculty members and workshop participants for making the 17th d’CATCH yet another memorable event. Immediately after, Asst. Prof. Salandanan announced that the next host will be University Pembangunan Nasional Veteran Yogyakarta with the theme WOW! Prof Senja Yustitia accepted the hosting offer and ended her brief speech with the phrase, “see you in Indonesia in 2021.”
d’ CATCH is an annual academic gathering of Communication students from Asian countries namely, Thailand, Japan, Indonesia, China and the Philippines which advances practical international research and video co-production among university students. It started in 2003 as a collaborative project between Japan Kanda University of International Studies and the University of Santo Tomas. Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand and Communication University of China Nanjing joined the group in 2005 and 2009, respectively. In 2013, yet, another country Indonesia University of Pembangunan Nasional Veteran Yogyakarta (UPN) became the latest addition to its roster of participating universities.
The 17th edition marks the fifth time the University of Santo Tomas hosted the event. UST was host to d’CATCH in 2005, 2008, 2011 and 2016. Although two countries cannot make it to d’ CATCH 2020 in Manila, Philippines, Malaysia University of Malaya participated and hopes to be part of the consortium.