Sea, Sun and 25 one minute films
The sea, sun, beach and friends around...what else do you need for a good film?
Members of the Young People’s Media Network in Georgia could not find a better place in August for their one-minute video workshop.
Young people under the guidance of professional scriptwriters and cameramen had to prepare storyboards and do actual filming and editing. The five-day workshop was organized by Internews with the financial support of UNICEF.
Environmental pollution, friendship, drugs, smoking, life in general at the seaside, were the main topics of the films, chosen by children themselves. Of course, the sea, the sun and pleasant surroundings inspired the young people to make interesting films with a lot of humour. But some of the films were serious...
“How can people throw broken bottles around...garbage is everywhere, I could not think of any other topic when I saw how polluted our seaside is,” said Nino Meshvelashvili, 17, from the Tbilisi Youth House, author of the film “Boomerang”.
“I have learned a lot. I had some experience before but now I feel much more confident. I had a lot of fun here,” said Levan Shatirishvili, 16, from the Media and TV Art College. His film “The Mirror”, about drug abuse, won the main prize. The film is about a young boy who is a drug addict. He looks in the mirror and thinks that his hair is getting grey and his face is covered with wrinkles… while actually he is looking at his grandpa’s portrait on the wall. The film is made with humour but also carries a strong message.
The shooting of all the films took place on the same premises, the “Oasis” Sanatorium, that left the participants with rather limited possibilities - the same beach, the same houses, the same people. Nevertheless, all the films were quite different both in terms of content as well as visuals. The themes differed from film to film and all of them were interesting and many very amusing. The young people were happy and they gained important skills in storyboard development as well as filmmaking. And what was most important, they enjoyed the sea and had fun together.
At the end of the workshop a formal closing ceremony was held. UNICEF and Internews flags were lowered to the national anthem. The tourists on holiday in the sanatorium were invited to watch the films and make their assessment. The guests were given a sheet of paper on which to evaluate the films and adjudicate the best ones. The tourists selected five winners with one getting best prize.
But all the participants were given certificates of participation.
“I could not believe it. My film was selected as one of the best. And this was my first experience in filmmaking. I will never forget this day,” said Gvantsa Grigolia, 16, from the Children’s and Youth Parliament.
“I want to become a film critic. I am learning to make films myself and it helps me to better understand the world of cinematography,” said the youngest participant, George Mukhadze, who is just 13 and is a member of the film studio at the Tbilisi Youth Palace. His favourite film director is Pasolini. The film George made during the workshop is called “Birth” and it is quite different from the rest of the videos, very much in Pasolini’s style.
All the films will be aired on the first channel of Georgian Public TV on the Our Express programme, made by kids as well. And the selected films will be sent to the international one.minute video festival held annually in November in Amsterdam.
The workshop in Chakvi is now over and the kids have said goodbye to each other.. till the next workshop.
The Young People's Media Network in Georgia is operational since November 2002 and unites 14 children's studios engaged in different kinds of media (TV, radio, printed media).
The network helps young people to share their experiences with their peers from other countries of the region and opens the door to various international festivals and other fora in youth media. The network is very important in assisting young people to build their media literacy skills.
A OneMinutesJr workshop was held in Tbilisi in July 2003, bringing together children from Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. A second event was staged in Bishkek in 2004 involving participants from across the former Soviet republics.
These activities have also led to the creation of Kids’ Crossroads, a three-year initiative spearheaded by the media development organization, Internews, and implemented across the three South Caucasian republics. Funded by USAID and UNICEF, Kids’ Crossroads aims to involve children from across the region in joint co-productions. The project also envisages trainings for young people in TV production. The TV programme Our Express, which is produced by young people within the project, is broadcast once in two weeks on the first channel of Georgian Public TV.
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