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) last September 27.
The only finalist from the Philippines, Atom Araullo’s documentary program will go 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 into the plight of children working amid the global pandemic. Atom followed the lives of children who put their lives at stake to help their families survive even if they were exposed to the COVID-19 virus.
Atom met 15-year-old “Pancho,” the youngest compressor diver in their barangay in Paracale, Camarines Norte. Pancho braves diving into 40 feet of mud to collect soil hoping to find gold.
In Cordillera, which reportedly has 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 in the mountains of Kalinga to find other kids engaged in hard labor.
Meanwhile in Pasay, Atom also met Joshua — the breadwinner of his family at the age of 12. Joshua became part of the “lockdown generation” as he found himself ‘stranded’ in Metro Manila while his ailing father was left behind in Cavite. In Manila, he rode his bike to sell snacks to his neighbors so that he could bring home earnings to his family.
The Asia Contents Awards recognize outstanding TV, OTT, and online content from Asia. The awards ceremony presents 12 award categories, including Best Content, Best Asian Animation, Best Actor, New Comer, and Best Writer. This year’s ceremony will also include newly established award categories Best Asian Documentary, Best Supporting, and Best Creator.
“The Atom Araullo Specials” joins the hit Korean series “Extraordinary Attorney Woo” and “Squid Game,” which are nominated for 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 Oct. 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 Gold World Medal at the prestigious 2022 New York Festivals TV & Film Awards, besting other countries in the Documentary: Social Issues category.