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Rwanda, 23 June 2010: Student films premier during FIFA World Cup 2010

© UNICEF video
Rwandan students take part in an intensive five-day workshop film workshop, during which they write, direct and act in their own one-minute productions.
By Shantha Bloemen

GISENYI, Rwanda, 23 June 2010 – Aspiring filmmakers in a remote village in Rwanda now have an exciting opportunity to share their vision of the world.

 VIDEO: Watch now

At a five-day training workshop, 10 young people from Rwanda’s western Rubavu district learned to make short films known as ‘One-minute juniors.’ UNICEF, in collaboration with the Rwandan Ministry of Youth, facilitated the workshop as part of the ‘World Cup in My Village’ education project. It was timed in tandem with the FIFA World Cup 2010, the first-ever global football event to be held on African soil.

Student film-makers

Students taking part in the film workshop were encouraged to delve into their own lives to develop personal stories. The scripts were discussed, finalized and story-boarded. Next, students learned how to use the camera to capture their vision.

© UNICEF video
As part of the UNICEF-supported 'World Cup in My Village' programme, films made by students are shown on large inflatable screens during the viewing of a FIFA World Cup 2010 match.
“I’m very happy to be telling my story to so many people,” said workshop participant Patrick Benda, adding that film is helping his message “get across better.”

Patrick’s story, ‘My Life, My Strength,’ is about physical fitness. “I used to watch movies at the cinema and on television, such as Jackie Chan films, but now I can make my own – for that I’m very happy,” said Patrick.

Another student film, made by Uwizeye Bienfait, is named “The Jerry Can” after the containers that children around the world use to carry water – sometimes for long distances. The film has a strong message about children’s rights. “I wanted to tell how it’s important for children to have education and health care, but also not to work too hard,” said Uwizeye.

Creative approaches

Other stories range from Umwiringiyumukiza Elisee’s upbeat ‘Practice DJ’ to a sombre piece called ‘Forgive and Forget’ by Kamariza Grace, which chronicles her desire to help her mother, a gardener.

The film workshop encourages the use of creative techniques. During the making of their films, students filmed cyclists from the back of trucks, dug the camera tripod into the sand to capture a unique angle and even jogged along with a camera pointing down at their feet.

On the final day of the workshop, students completed the process by drawing posters for their movies.

A powerful premier

The finished one-minute films then debuted to a packed stadium of football enthusiasts at Gisenyi Stadium in Rwanda during the screening of a FIFA World Cup 2010 match.

Students laughed and cheered as their films appeared on the outdoor screen, with the Mount Nyiragongo volcano just visible across the border in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Their hard work and heart-felt messages echoed across the field – children’s voices resonating far and wide.

The workshop for young filmmakers was coordinated by Hong-An Truong, a professional music and video artist based at UNICEF headquarters in New York.



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