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11 year-old girl from Kabardino-Balkaria wins international film award

© UNICEF / Chris Schuepp / 2008
Zarina and Georgy at the StrangerFestival in Amsterdam.

Zarina Pashtova (11) from Nalchik in Kabardino-Balkaria, Russian Federation, is the winner of this year's OneMinutesJr Award.

She won in the category "Inside Out" and picked up the award at the StrangerFestival in Amsterdam on July 5. Zarina produced the 60-second film at a UNICEF-supported workshop at the North Caucasus Summer Camp a year ago. Together with children and teenagers from Chechnya, Dagestan, North Ossetia and Ingushetia, the then 10 year-old took part in a 5-day training that produced 20 films on the topic of "peace & tolerance". In July 2007, UNICEF organized a number of Summer Camps in different republics of the North Caucasus. The OneMinutesJr workshop trainers were present at the camps in North Ossetia and Ingushetia.

Zarina's film does not have a title, but it sure has a message. The 11 year-old from Nalchik just finished the 5th grade and is very shy and introverted. Nevertheless, she produced a strong OneMinuteJr video that speaks about her wishes and dreams. In the film, she is sitting all by herself in the foreground, blowing up a balloon. In the background, she suddenly appears in different scenes playing with other children. But the second the balloon blows up, all the scenes from the background disappear.

© UNICEF / Chris Schuepp / 2008
Zarina's award-winning film on display at the festival in the Netherlands.

The girl from Kabardino.Balkaria was accompanied to Amsterdam by her mother and the UNICEF coordinator for the "peace & tolerance" project. The fourth member of the team making the trip from the North Caucasus to Amsterdam was Georgy Ambalov, a 14 year-old boy from Vladikavkaz, North Ossetia. Georgy, who produced a film called "Balance", was nominated for another award at the StrangerFestival. While he did not win his category, he was still overwhelmed by the trip itself and the workshops he attended at the festival.

"Balance", also produced at the 2007 OneMinutesJr workshop in North Ossetia, shows two children standing on a see-saw getting ready for a fist fight. They never start the fight but find their balance instead...

Both children will now go back to the North Caucasus and straight to this year's Summer Camp on "peace & tolerance" in Dagestan. They will definitely have a lot of stories to tell - and Zarina can document the whole trip home and the meetings at the Summer Camp with the brandnew digital film camera she won in Amsterdam.

Chris Schuepp - Amsterdam, Netherlands - July 5, 2008





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