By Balitang America Staff

Feb. 4, 2013

Balitang America’s documentary, “The Filipino Champions of SOMA” was nominated as a finalist in the prestigious New York Festivals, in the “Community Portraits” category.

ABS-CBN International, which produced the documentary, is the only Filipino media company based in the U.S. to reach the finals of this festival, competing with the likes of CNN.

The “Filipino Champions of SOMA” talks about rich history of Filipinos in the South of Market (SOMA) in San Francisco, an area where they thrive…an area where they also struggle to survive.

Three inspiring Filipinos in SOMA — Rudy Corpuz, MC Canlas and Rudy Asercion — are profiled in the film.

Corpuz is an ex-convict who turned his life around by founding the United Playaz, a non-profit anti-violence group that keeps kids away from the dangers of the streets.

Canlas, a community strategist of the Filipino American Development Foundation, founded the Ethnotour, a walking tour of SOMA that allows young Filipino-Americans to discover their roots.

Asercion is the executive director of the Westbay Pilipino Multi-Service Center, a non-profit organization in SOMA that helps low-income immigrant families and their children. One of its main goals is to also help the Filipino World War II veterans fight for their benefits from the U.S. government.

“The Filipino Champions of SOMA” was produced, written and hosted by Balitang America Senior Reporter Henni Espinosa, under the direction of John-D Lazatin, North America Media Events and Production Group & Global Customer Engagement Head, Nadia Trinidad, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau Chief and Vivian Zalvidea Araullo, Head of News Production.

Other crew members for the documentary include: Jeremiah Ysip and Joseph Perry, main videographers, Jon Santos, editor, and Mike Carrion and Bryan Reynoso, graphic designers.

The New York Festivals’ winners for gold, silver and bronze medals will be announced at a ceremony in Las Vegas on April 9.

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