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Teenager from Moldova wins International Video Festival

© - 2005
OneMinutesJr Awards 2005 - Winners Ionela Costachi (left) from Moldova & Andreas Ohman from Sweden (center)

Chişinău, November 15, 2005: Ionela Costachi (15) from Moldova has won the Tommy Award of the International One-Minutes Video Festival, in the Inside-Out junior category.

According to the site, “Ionela Costachi from Moldova won because of her video's simplicity and strong social message. She was able to bring across the important consequences of migration in an honest and sincere way”.  Akram Zaatari, a renowned video artist from Lebanon, jury member for the Junior category, selected her video “because of its pureness”.

Ionela’s video presents, using a 360 degree camera rotation, an empty room in a traditional Moldovan house, echoing with voices of its former inhabitants – laughter, discussions, sounds of joy, etc. When the camera stops, the emptiness of the room becomes striking.

The Festival, which took place on 13 November at the Paradiso Concert Hall in Amsterdam, is in its sixth year. The One Minutes Junior Category was introduced three years ago by the European Cultural Foundation, UNICEF and the Sandburg Insitute. 

Moldova was the country with the largest number of representatives among the finalists this year, with three of the 14 junior nominees. The other finalists from Moldova were Constantin Cheptea (16) from Straseni and Olga Chimirciuc (17) from Chisinau. The competition attracted a total of 1,000 entries, from more than 60 different countries.

The Tommy award is a bronze gorilla standing on a pedestal and holding a golden video camera in its raised hand - a symbol of curiosity – complemented by a real digital video camera donated by JVC, the event’s sponsor.

The OneMinutes Jr Workshop

The videos were produced during the OneMinutes Jr workshop organized in Chisinau last summer by UNICEF and the European Cultural Foundation. The UNICEF Office in Moldova also supported the local participants’ travel to Amsterdam, where they took part in the awarding ceremony.

More than 90 children from Moldova have already produced short videos as a result of their participation in different workshops supported by UNICEF – both regional, organized in cooperation with European Cultural Foundation, and local, organized in cooperation with OWH Studio.

The 2005 regional One MinutesJr video workshop organized in Chisinau in May 2005  brought together 12-20 year olds from five countries – Moldova, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. The workshop focused on the topic of migration as many children in these countries are left without parental care due to migration. For most of them, this is a major problem that brings into their lives moments of drama. It has a psychologically traumatic effect on them and exposes them to many other risks. The workshop participants were given a chance to voice their views and hopes and thus show to the adults around them a more complete picture of the impact this problem has on their immediate environment.

For more information: 

Violeta Cojocaru, Communication Officer, UNICEF Moldova. Tel: (+373 22) 22 00 34; email:



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