OneMinutesJr workshop on HIV/AIDS in Ukraine - Day 2
The second day of the OneMinutesJr workshop starts with a short recap of the stories developed yesterday and some fine-tuning of the story-lines. We then soon start the filming, but first we have to find the right locations and organize some "props" for the shooting.
The workshop topic is HIV/AIDS and many of the teenage participants are HIV-positive or have HIV-positive friends or family members. The stories they have come up with are very authentic and this is what we had expected from the workshop. It was absolutely necessary to give those who are affected a voice and not to have people who are not affected by HIV/AIDS "create" stories that they cannot really relate to.
The first film we do today is Dima's film. The 17-year-old boy wants to show how it feels to live with HIV. There is a group of friends on a wall and all of a sudden one by one turns away from the boy in the middle. After a while, the boy falls backwards off the wall. Later, in the editing, a black screen will follow. And then, unexpectedly, the story gets a positive spin when you see the friends catching the boy.
Vladik (13) uses a similar wall, but not to have people jump off it. The sun almost sets when he sits on a piece of wood in front of the wall. Some other participants have gathered around the camera and change the camera position every now and then to make sure they only capture the shadows on the wall. Vladik has told us about the bullying he goes through almost every day because he is HIV-positive. It is psychological violence and also physical violence. Vladik does not want to show his face in the film, therefore we only film the shadows on the wall.
Another film in the agenda today is Jana's film. The young girl is also HIV-positive and is on medication like many of the other participants. She has often wondered about whether or not it is worth it, whether or not life is worth living with HIV/AIDS. We see her with her pills, throwing the pills away, ready to give up. But then the story goes into a positive direction and Jana remembers all the things she likes, all the people she likes, all the things she still wants to do. And life is worth it, and the medication does not matter anymore.
The filming continues into the evening hours and by the end of the day, almost half of the films have been shot and we are looking forward to the next day, more stories and more interesting locations. Tomorrow we are off to the center of Kyiv, because some of the stories are set in the heart of the Ukrainian capital.
Kyiv, Ukraine - June 8, 2010 - Chris Schuepp