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Youth filmmakers win 2012 OneMinutesJr awards

By Karen Cirillo and Chris Schuepp

Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 24 November 2012 - Nine young filmmakers from Armenia, Kiribati, Montenegro, Romania and the United States traveled to Amsterdam, The Netherlands to participate in the annual OneMinutesJr. Awards and Masterclass. They represented nine of the fifteen one minute videos nominated for the 2012 Awards.  

The OneMinutesJr. is an arts-based youth video initiative, produced by UNICEF and the One Minutes Foundation, that hosts video workshops for youth around the world and maintains a network of almost 3000 youth-made films and filmmakers. Each year, it hosts an awards competition for videos from workshops and individual youth filmmakers, offering awards in each of three categories: (Self)Portrait, Inside-Out and One Minutes of Freedom.

Video: Maida (17) from Montenegro about her experience with the OneMinutesJr project.

The fifteen nominated films (five in each category) screened to a full audience at the Tuschinsky movie theater, as part of the International Documentary Festival Amsterdam (IDFA). The official awards ceremony was held the following evening at Nowhere, a youth culture center.  

The Inside Out award went to “Ballast” by Artur Baksyan (15, Armenia). “Of course I’m very happy, “ Artur said after receiving his award. “It means a lot to me.” His film shows the burden of the bad things he does and how he can hope to change behaviors.  “It is based on a true story and I wanted to say that true friends should always help their friends that are doing something wrong. That is the most important thing.”  

The (Self)Portrait award went to “Change” by Priya Dubey (19, India). The film expresses Priya’s wish for boys and girls to be equal in India, both in the work they have to do at home and in their educational opportunities.  

The One Minute of Freedom award went to “Games” by Bary Felix Heriniaina (13, Madagscar). His film shows children in Madagascar playing games and the risks they sometimes face.

“I’m always interested at the choices for the nominees and winners because different films mean different things to different people, said Chris Schuepp, OneMinutesJr. coordinator for UNICEF. “It’s not easy to choose a winner.”

Judges for the awards were Anne Nigten, founder and director of The Patching Zone, Leontien Lems, head of the Education Department team at the Netherlands Institute of Sound and Vision and Bobbie Fay Brandsen, from the DOCU youth program at IDFA.

The Youth Jury Award was a tie between The Wall (Kusbhoo Rawat, 18, India) and Family Issues (Muslim Cavaldi, 12, Azerbaijan).  The Youth Jury was made up of former OneMinutesJr. workshop participants Laila Noor Chaity (16, Bangladesh), Jorge Manuel Lagunas (19, Mexico), Nazarov Aziz (19, Tajikistan) and Üwen Ergün (16, Germany) and Lucas Heilmann (16, The Netherlands).

Youtube playlist: All the nominated films from the CEE/CIS region

All winners receive a statue award and an HD Flipcam. Priya, Bary, Kushboo and Muslim were not in attendance but will each be sent their camera and statue.

The nine youth in attendance were joined by five Dutch youth filmmakers for a Masterclass, held in conjunction with IDFA. Three video artists led the workshop, tasking the youth filmmakers to each make a one minute video on the theme “FAQ.” Participants were asked to write down a “frequently asked question,” which they then exchanged and used as inspiration for their videos. The Masterclass videos were screened at the final Awards Ceremony.

The invited youth had a wonderful time filming and exploring Amsterdam. Many of them were out of their countries for the first time. “It was an experience,” said Dawnell Davis, a nominee from the United States. “It was cool to meet people from different countries.”



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