OneMinutesJr workshop in Mrkonjić Grad: How Vesna’s rabbit became a movie star
by Almir Panjeta
Mrkonjić Grad, BiH, April 2012 - Vesna Jaguzović took her pet rabbit to her classroom at the Primary School “Petar Kočić” in Mrkonjić Grad and gave him the leading role in her movie “Friendship”. Vesna is producting this movie together with her friends at a OneMinutesJr workshop. This activity is part of the third phase of the joint EU and UNICEF project Enhancing the Social Protection and Inclusion System (SPIS), which is implemented by the Association Genesis Project from Banja Luka in ten municipalities.
The OneMinutesJr is a network initiated by the Sandberg Institute and UNICEF. The workshop's outcome involves one-minute movies made by young people aged between 12 and 20 through which they share their opinions, views, ideas or concerns.
In 2011, the first of these workshop under the SPIS project was held in Derventa. One out of the films produced there ended up among the nominee of the 2011 global OneMinutesJr competition. In addition, the five day workshop in Derventa trained members of the Genesis Project as OneMinutesJr facilitators who can help children make more than 50 short movies in workshops to be conducted in the ten SPIS municipalities.
“Children make the movies entirely on their own; they provide ideas for their movies and choose how they want to get their ides across. We only provide technical support, teach them the basics of movie shooting and editing, but the bulk of work is done by them and they do it remarkably well”, Draško Stojčić from the Genesis Project says with satisfaction. The children are not hesitant to show how much they appreciate the opportunity to work with a real camera and a possibility to realise their own ideas in a way which has not been available before.
Vesna, the girl who brought her rabbit to school, tells us that her short movie deals with friendship by showing that a human and a rabbit can also be friends.
“At the first sight he is just a plain bunny with long ears, short tail and soft fur. But believe me, his being my friend makes him special”. Vesna says both in the interview with us and in her movie about friendship between her and her bunny. The movie “Only Son” authored by Vladan Boroja and Minja Čulić is also about friendship.
“It is about two inseparable friends who have known each other since their early childhood and their friendship that cannot be challenged in any way”, Vladan tells us. While Minja worked on this movie “explicitly according to Vladan’s screenplay”, he also authored one of the movies which concerns pupils who are favoured by their teachers and are therefore disregarded by their friends. He chose an interesting method of storytelling through animation with ping-pong balls.
“The original idea was slightly different, but it turned out well ultimately. I am upset over students who are favoured by teachers, I know several of them and that’s something I wanted to address”, Minja tells us while we are watching his unfinished movie. A movie authored by Dajana Kopuz deals with the subject of growing up and changes.
“My track shoes tell the story about me. Everything starts with a pair of old track shoes, and then a new pair of track shoes appear and they continue to tell the story”, Dajana tells us. Her girl friend Ivana Popadić made a short movie in which her school mate plays the Head of Mrkonjić Grad who speaks about all the things her township needs to make it a better place for children.
“There are always people who seek to use violence to put themselves above the others, while they are neither better nor more valuable that the others in any way. In my movie I show the bully as a tiny figure, with all of us all around him”, Jovana tells us about her movie.
The workshop in Mrkonjić Grad is one of the workshops in the ten municipalities in which the implementation of the third phase of the SPIS project is underway. In addition to Derventa, where the first OneMinutesJr workshop was conducted, boys and girls will work with the trainers from the Genesis Project on new movies through which they will tell their stories and make their statements in Čelinac, Gacko, Gornji Vakuf,/Uskoplje, Kupres, Posušje, Prnjavor, Tešanj, Velika Kladuša and Brčko District.
The Project “Enhancing the Social Protection and Inclusion System for Children in BiH” is a joint project of EU and UNICEF. The European Union has been financing this project since 2008 with an amount of Euro 4,1 million from the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) funds. The Project is intended to help in the development of a system which will secure adequate social welfare policies and social protection and inclusion of children and their parents.