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Youth filmmakers to present their work at international awards ceremony

Matej Tokić, 14, created his film 'Farewell!' at a 2012 Bosnia and Herzegovina workshop on social inclusion. He is nominated for the 2013 OneMinutesJr. Awards in the Inside-Out category.


By Karen Cirillo

The nominees are in for the 2013 OneMinutesJr. Awards, and the youth who made the nominated films are headed to Amsterdam to present their work – and share their world with others.

NEW YORK, United States of America, 2 October 2013 – Around the world, young people have been making one-minute videos in UNICEF-hosted OneMinutesJr. workshops. Eager to express themselves, youth participants share their viewpoints on subjects such as disabilities, juvenile justice, violence, their future and their lives. Now, 15 of these filmmakers are nominees for the 2013 OneMinutesJr. Awards and have been invited to Amsterdam, the Netherlands, to present their videos at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA).

And the nominees are

Fifteen out of 315 eligible videos were selected to compete in the annual OneMinutesJr. Awards, hosted by UNICEF and the One Minutes Foundation. Videos from workshops held in the past 12 months were eligible, as well as individual entries. All videos were made by youth filmmakers under the age of 20.

© UNICEF NYHQ/2012/Cirillo
Chhun Sopheaktra, 14, participated in the 2012 Cambodia OneMinutesJr. workshop. His film 'Liquid Changes Life' is a nominee in the One Minute of Freedom category.

There are five nominated films for each of three categories: (Self)-Portrait, Inside-Out and One Minute of Freedom. The finalists were selected by Leonard Retel Helmrich (filmmaker), Hong-An Truong (artist and art professor) and Marije Veenstra (educational producer, IDFA). The nominated filmmakers come from Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, Georgia, Libya, Mexico, Pakistan, Ukraine and Viet Nam – and will represent those countries in Amsterdam.

The films nominated for (Self)-Portrait are ‘Cuando Bailo, Me Siento Grande (When I Dance, I Feel Big)’ by Valeria Cárdenas Santillan, ‘Around Lahore in 60 Seconds’ by Hamza Iftikhar, ‘Life in My Hands’ by Lida, ‘Our Home’ by Džejlan Sefić and ‘My Way’ by Ivana Šušnjar. The films nominated for Inside-Out are ‘What Do you Hear’ by Diệp Gia Bảo, ‘Hold Me’ by Nastja, ‘Looking Ahead’ by Andrei Gasnash, ‘Farewell!’ by Matej Tokić and ‘There are No Monsters Under the Bed’ by Nana Garsevanishvili. The films nominated for One Minute of Freedom are ‘Breaking Away’ by Nguyễn Quang Minh, ‘My Challenge’ by Ghada Yousri Benyaala, ‘Liquid Changes Life’ by Chhun Sopheaktra, ‘Ran out of Time’ by Oksana and ‘Mudslide’ by Rubik Harunyan.

Cultural event, cultural exchange

The 2013 awards events will be held 28–30 November, in conjunction with IDFA, one of the world’s leading documentary film festivals. The festival will screen the nominated films as part of their DOC U program. All of the nominees will participate in a OneMinutesJr. Masterclass, at which professional filmmakers will work with them to make an additional one-minute film.

There will also be a screening as part of IDFA’s education programme, where the nominees will present their experiences and share their backgrounds with Dutch youth. This additional screening will present a unique opportunity for cultural exchange, considering the diverse and unique backgrounds of the nominees.

For instance, Valeria Cárdenas Santillan (11, Mexico), Nguyễn Quang Minh and Diệp Gia Bảo (both 19, Viet Nam) are children with disabilities. Their films celebrate the ability to do things not considered possible in their circumstances.

Oksana (18), Nastja (18) and Lida (17) made their films during a workshop held at the Melitopol Detention Facility for Girls in Ukraine. The workshop theme – juvenile justice –allowed them to visualize the pain and struggles associated with their life choices.

© UNICEF NYHQ/2013/Cirillo
Valeria Cárdenas Santillan, 11, works with filmmaker Juan Castro Gessner during the 2013 Mexico workshop. Her video 'When I Dance, I Feel Big' is nominated in the (Self)-Portrait category.

Džejlan Sefić (14), Ivana Šušnjar and Matej Tokić (14) (Bosnia and Herzegovina) made videos stressing the importance of social inclusion. The three youth were part of workshops within the Strengthening the Social Protection and Inclusion System Programme (SPIS), designed to enhance the social protection policy and inclusion of children and their families. (Read more about the workshops here.)

Andrei Gasnash (15) lives in a home for former street children in Odessa, Ukraine. His film focuses on moving forward with his life. He is also one of the main characters of a UNICEF Netherlands project, ‘meanwhile in Odessa’.

Nana Garsevanishvili (16, Georgia), Rubik Harunyan (10, Armenia), Chhun Sopheaktra (14, Cambodia) and Ghada Yousri Benyaala (17, Libya) all made films that focus on challenges in either their lives or society, while Hamza Iftikhar (17, Pakistan) chose to celebrate the city he loves, Lahore.

The Awards experience in Amsterdam will be an adventure for all of these youth, considering most of them have not travelled outside their country. Not only will they get to see the world, but also share their world with others.

You can read more about the awards at www.theoneminutesjr.org.



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