Bunso (The Youngest) is a documentary by Filipino filmmakers Ditsi Carolino and Nana Buxani. It is about three boys – Tony, 13, Diosel and Bunso, 11 – struggling to survive in a crowded Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center in Cebu, alongside adult rapists and murderers. The two street-smart boys paint a picture of the world of children caught between extreme poverty and the law.
Ditsi Carolino received the Best Director award for the documentary film Bunso (The Youngest) at the OneWorld 2005 documentary films festival held in Prague, Czech Republic.
Bunso is about three boys named Tony (13), Diosel (11), and Bunso (11) who are detained in a city jail. There, they share dingy spaces with adult criminals convicted of rape, murder and drug dealing.
OneWorld is an international human rights film festival. The Grand Jury honored Ditsi Carolino along with Pirjo Honkasalo for the film Three Rooms of Melancholia, an entry from Finland.
In a statement by the Grand Jury, Carolino was noted for achieving "empathy and closeness to her characters who are children held in atrocious conditions in a jail."
"Filmed from not above or below their level, the film intermingles humor and despair as the children are allowed to speak for themselves as equals."
"It's a miracle that we won," Carolino wrote in an e-mail to UNICEF. The film competed against other works with bigger production budgets. "What is also amazing is the very strong responses from the audience. People would stay after a screening and ask how they can help."
Directed by Carolino and photographed by Nana Buxani, Bunso was shown in December 2004 on a limited screening. In November 2004, it had its offshore world premiere at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam in the Netherlands where it was shown as part of the non-competition Reflecting Images section.
Carolino and Buxani teamed up for the third time following their critically acclaimed documentary films, Minsan Lang Sila Bata (They Are Children Only Once) in 1996 and Riles (Railroad) in 2002.
Supported by the Consuelo Foundation and UNICEF, Bunso is an advocacy tool that child rights advocates are using to generate support for the passage of the Juvenile Justice Bill.
Bunso is making the rounds of international film festival. It had sold-out screenings at the HotDocs Canadian International Film Festival in Toronto in April and at the DokFest International Documentary Film Festival in Munich, Germany in May.