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Vanuatu workshop - Day 4

© UNICEF / Chris Schuepp / 2011
Young actors in Samuel's film against violence on TV.

by Chris Schuepp

PORT VILA, Vanuatu, 14 July 2011 - Day 4 of the OneMinutesJr workshop in Port Vila, the capital of Vanuatu, and the heat is on. We have a bit more than 24 hours left until the final presentation and there are still a handful of films that need to be shot.

In the morning we drive out to Pango village where Samuel (17) and Joan (18) want to produce their videos. Samuel gets help from his friends Jester, Edwin and Edison who have become a real "production crew" over the course of the last few days. They help each other filming, arranging the scenes for the films and working with and as actors. Today they have set up a local living room for the shooting and there are three little boys who will act. Samuel is worried about the children in Vanuatu because he thinks there is too much violence on TV. The little boys are sitting on a sofa and a war movie is on TV. Of course, the boys copy the behavior and start using their hands as guns. This only stops when the "film father" comes home and turns off the TV.

Joan's story is even more worrying, especially since it is a true story. Using the film language, Joan (18) paints the picture of a young girl sexually abused by her uncle, a topic that is not often talked about in the Pacific region, but that surely plays a role here. The girl in the film is shown in different locations, always crying, confused, apathetic. In the end, she starts running and finds herself in a police station. The voice over says: "I don't like what my uncle did to me. Please help me! Is there any place where I can get help?"

© UNICEF / Chris Schuepp / 2011
Creating the atmosphere for a very serious OneMinutesJr film.

In the afternoon, we produce more voice-overs for the films we have already shot. This means that the participants have to write their texts in the local language, Bislama, and then read them out into the camera so we can use the audio tracks to voice-over the videos. Rose (18) does not want to write anything down. "I think I can do it without writing it, just like that!" Usually, this does not really work since the teenagers are not used to making short and catchy comments that fit exactly into our one-minute time frame. But Rose surprised us all. It only takes one attempt to get it right, perfect timing, perfect emotions in the speech, perfect content.

And another surprise is just around the corner. Delrie (16) needs music for her film and says: "I play the guitar and I will bring it tomorrow. I'll write a song and the lyrics and so I can perform it tomorrow and we use it for my film." So we are set now for the final stages of the workshop and are looking forward to tomorrow afternoon when we will see all films for the first time on the big screen.





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