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OneMinutesJr workshops on Juvenile Justice in Ukraine - Day 3

by Chris Schuepp

Melitopol, UKRAINE, 18 March 2013 - Day 3 of the OneMinutesJr workshop and since we filmed half of the movies yesterday, today it is time for the second half of the 15 films we are producing with the girls in the Melitopol Detention Facility here in Eastern Ukraine.

Security is tight. When we enter the penitentiary in the morning, we have to hand over our passports and mobile phones, but we have a special permit to bring in the cameras for the workshop. However, there are of course still limits to what we can film and there are also always guards around us. 

This reminds us that we are indeed in a youth penitentiary, although the workshop atmosphere has become really relaxed and the participating girls have already been expecting us this morning, waiting for another exciting day of filming.

It is difficult that we cannot show any faces in the filming, but you grow with the challenge and it really requires a lot of creativity to find ways of getting around the "usual shots". Today's stories again focus on family issues that lead to the girls getting in conflict with the law. And yet again, the young participants all regret what they did and keep trying to maintain contact with their parents and siblings.

Here is a part of the voice-over text of one of the films produced today: "It's been five months now since I last heard from my mother. I don't know whether she still wants me at all or not. I wrote her four letters. I didn't get an answer. Mom, I love you. And I want you to love me as well."

One of today's film projects is off-limits for the trainers. The setting of Tanya's film is the penitentiary bakery and we have no permission to go in. So we do a camera rehearsal with Tanya and her colleague who will operate the camera. The plan is to shoot Tanya baking bread and to produce a video application letter. 

The movie will simply show Tanya's dedication and her intention of finding a job and taking care of herself when she leaves the Detention Facility in 2014. There are going to be some special effects in editing and together with the well-produced material Tanya and her colleague bring back from the bakery, it will be easy to put things together in the editing process.

At the end of the day, all 15 films have been shot, captured and rough edits are being made at three laptops simultaneously. The workshop participants discuss possible titles, we translate the voice-overs from Ukrainian and/or Russian into English for the subtitles and everybody is busy learning something here and something there. 

A bit more fine-tuning tonight and tomorrow morning and we are ready for the final presentation of the 15 films here in the Melitopol Detention Facility for Girls before we head on to Kharkiv to start the second workshop in the Juvenile Justice series in Ukraine in a boys' penitentiary.



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