Learning to convey powerful messages in one minute
YEREVAN, 14 April 2008
As part of an effort to promote and protect every child’s right to know more, say more and do more about the world they live in, UNICEF and the “Manana” Youth Centre are working with young people in Armenia to help them express themselves through short films. Twenty one-minute films were produced last week by children during a 5-day OneMinuteJr workshop organized jointly by the two organizations.
Twenty children aged 12-17 from Yerevan and other regions of Armenia worked individually and as a team to make films under the “Children in the 21st Century” theme. Films produced by young directors, script-writers, cameramen and editors all express concerns of today’s Armenian children and vary in ideas from the devastating impact of child poverty to how modern technologies influence children’s lives.
A twelve-year old participant of the workshop, Gor, came up with an idea of making a film about a child who is being looked after by a robot. “With all the technology around us, may be in some years from now it will be so powerful that the parents will have robots to look after their children. I want to send out a warning with my film, because that is not the way children should be looked after. Children need parent’s love and care,” Gor explains.
The five-day workshop produced not only short films, but has also changed a lot children’s perception about the world surrounding them. “After these five days we started to look at our surroundings in a different way, became more attentive to details and people around us,” said one of the child participants.
“These films sometimes say more about the issues and concerns of children, and convey it more convincingly, than would be possible through a formal study alone. They are the real voices of children that send a powerful message to adults on problems and challenges that children are facing throughout the world,” UNICEF Representative in Armenia, Sheldon Yett, said.
All twenty films produced by Armenian children will be entered in the OneMinuteJr film festival that will that will take place in Amsterdam in July 2008.
Oneminutesjr was set up in 2002 as a partnership between European Cultural Foundation, The Sandberg Insitute, and UNICEF to create the opportunity for all young citizens to speak out and make their voices heard by a broad and diverse audience and to provide a space for informal learning, innovation and creativity.
UNICEF established its presence in Armenia in 1994. UNICEF is mandated by the United Nations General Assembly to advocate for the protection of children’s rights, to help meet their basic needs and to expand their opportunities to meet their full potential.
Note to broadcasters: All one-minute films produced are available free of charge for broadcasting and can be obtained either through UNICEF Armenia or the “Manana” Youth Centre.
For further information, please contact:
UNICEF Armenia Office