New Turkish TV show gives teenage videographers a platform

© UNICEF/2007/Schuepp
A OneMinutesJr. Video workshop participant shooting on the streets of Istanbul, Turkey.

By Chris Schuepp

ISTANBUL, Turkey, 12 April 2007 – A five-day OneMinutesJr. video workshop hosted last week by Turkish National Television (TRT) will enable youths aged 12 to 20 to produce personal video stories about their dreams, passions and expectations – but also about their fears and sometimes very real problems at home or at school.

A TRT teen-oriented programme – ‘1dakika 1dünya’ (1 minute 1 world) – already features short films from the OneMinutesJr. youth video project, which is supported by UNICEF, the European Cultural Foundation and the One Minutes Foundation. The show went on the air last September 2006, but so far it has only been able to present youth-produced one-minute films from other European countries.

However, this will soon change with the creation of new videos from 20 young people who are busy writing and producing their own films after attending the recent workshop.

A chance to express themselves

The students travelled to Istanbul from the capital, Ankara, as well as from smaller cities in the Asian part of the country, such as Mersin and Balikesir. Five of the workshop participants had an even longer trip – from Germany and the Netherlands, where they live.

The variety of youths from different parts of Turkey and abroad will generate a unique mix of videos demonstrating the richness of the Turkish culture and the creativity of the young generation.

“The OneMinutesJr. are very successful on our programme, but we thought that it was time to have some Turkish videos as well, not just international ones,” said the head youth of programming at TRT, Sevilay Koray. “We want to give the young people here a chance to produce films, to express themselves, because we know they sometimes have the feeling that they are not being listened to.”

© UNICEF/2007/Schuepp
OneMinutesJr. videographer Cagdas explains his story-board to the trainers at the TRT-supported workshop in Istanbul.

On the first day of the workshop, the teenagers wrote down their ideas and started developing storyboards that they used on the second and third days, when they roamed around Istanbul with cameras in hand to film their stories. The films were to be edited by the end of the workshop and ready to be included in the next edition of ‘1dakika 1dünya’.

Reaching more Turkish teens

The workshop was not a one-off event; TRT is already planning further training workshops and will work together with UNICEF Turkey to develop a strategy of reaching more teenagers – especially those from remote areas who don't have access to media, including the Internet.

The 20 participants at the recent workshop in Istanbul sent their applications online after being contacted through the TRT children’s club or after seeing the call for applications on the ‘1dakika 1dünya’ website. More than 150 children applied and now it’s up to the efforts of the selected 20 to make the case for the continuation of the project.

In light of their work last week in Istanbul, there is no doubt that they will be successful.