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If we don’t tell our own stories, no one else will

Youth & Film Programs 2011 – 2013

FILM CLUBS

We have film clubs in Kampala, Gulu, Mbale and Moroto. Next year 2013, we are moving to establish another Film Club in Mbarara District in Western Uganda. Our Film Club is a league of youth aged between 13 to 19 years.

We meet each club once in two months to watch a new film, debate the subject matter in relation to the daily lives of the young people and the situation in their communities, and then scrutinize the aesthetics of the film.

The screening is overseen by a facilitator who engages the young audiences in critically analysing and debating the content of the film – its form and style.

FILM FESTIVALS

Thrice every year, we invite youth in Kampala and surrounding areas to join us for the three annual film festivals, i.e.

The Maisha African Film Festival in August, Bayimba Festival of the Arts in September and the Amakula Film Festival in November. During these festivals, our youth enjoy exciting shows of different youth oriented films.

The film festivals are open to all youth including non-club members.

FILM LABS FOR YOUTH

Every year, we organise two annual Film Labs for Youth, each lasting 5 days – one in Kampala and the other in Gulu Northern Uganda. Our five days labs allow the young participants to create and produce their own stories using the language of film. In these 5 days the youth review pre-written short scripts (written by them), shoot, edit and screen their film to their peers in their community.

The selection is made via an application process which involves submission of scripts by each participant. Up to 20 participants are selected for each lab and a total of four short films are produced by the end of both labs. In year one, we worked closely with Station Next, a Danish Film Organization to develop a curriculum that was adapted and modified to the Ugandan context and to oversee the training of the Ugandan mentors from the professional film industry.

This included a visit by Maisha Film Lab to Station Next and Danish Film Institute in Denmark, and Station Next (3 employees) coming to Uganda for the 2 labs in December 2011. The result of this collaboration saw both Kampala and Gulu members of the Youth Film Clubs make a total of four films.

MASTER CLASS

Every year, we organise one annual Master Class within. The Master Class is primarily a workshop which brings together professionals in Uganda’s film industry together with experts from the Danish Film Industry. The class includes a presentation of Danish experience in the field of (primarily) production of films for children and youth. Another focus is the distribution and film education for the young audiences.

The Master Class and Seminar in 2011 was on the theme “How to tell stories for the youth.” It was aimed at addressing appropriate media content for young people Considering that over 52% of Ugandans are under the age of 25 and to date, the film and Television industry in Uganda caters very little to this population bracket. There’s still a big gap in youth appropriate films and Television Programs, as most children in Uganda are being exposed to a lot of adult content.

Specific objective of the Seminar and Master Class were to:

  • Gain and share experiences within the professional film industry about producing films for and about youth
  • Expose the targeted audience to the current potential of youth targeted films and the lack of youth targeted films in Uganda.

The Master Class was given by RumleHammerichwho is a Director and Teacher at the National Film School of Denmark. Mr.Hammerich presented his view upon good story telling and offered glimpses into his method of directing films for youth: how to structure a story, how to cast and direct young people, the importance of optimizing genre qualities when working in film and television. He also shared his personal opinions and experiences with the Master Class audience and showed clips from his film and television productions.

This year 2012, the Master Class will focus mainly on Writing Quality Scripts for Youth Films. The event will run from Friday 2nd November to Saturday 3rd November 2012 at Makerere University Main Hall – SENIOR COMMON ROOM. In this Master Class, Professor Rumle Hammerich, who is teaching at the national film schools in Denmark and Norway, will lead the Lab, but also involve all the participants along the way. The first day Rumle will lecture about dramaturgy and how to create a good structure in a script. He will introduce the 8 sequence structure for feature films and the 5 ½ sequence structure for short films. He will also approach the subject of character-development, themes and plots. A feature film will be screened and analyzed by the end of the first day. We will ask participants to send in proposals. We will then select 3 of the synopses as cases to be analysed and improved during the workshop, while involving the participants in the process. On the second day we will go through 3 synopses. The storyline must be (only) one page long, and the story must – in one way or the other – address a youth issue and a youth character/young characters.

 

DOX:LAB

DOX:LAB is a project by Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival (CPH: DOX). Twelve (12) directors from Denmark/Scandinavia are working together with 12 directors from developing countries – which results in 12 creative documentary films per year. We want to support, within the frame of Youth & Film, that 1 film a year (in the 3 year period) is produced within this context and ensure that the films be created from a youth point of view (by professionals). In 2009/2010 Ugandan Film Director Carol Kamya (IVAD Productions) worked together with Danish Director Boris Bertram.

Donald Mugisha (Uganda) and Kasper Bisgaard (Denmark)both attended the DOX:LAB workshop in November 2010, where they developed their initial idea for a documentary film. CPH:DOX has produced a film co-directed by Donald Mugisha. The film entitled “The Kampala Story” had its premiere in Aarhus, Denmark on August 30th 2011and was screened at CPH:DOX International Film Festival in Copenhagen in November 2011. The Kampala story is a documentary drama about how 21st Century technology is having a huge influence on the daily lives of the ordinary people in Africa. The main character is a 14 years old girl, Apio who lives with her mother in rural Uganda and run their house hold on money wired through money service from the father who works at a communication company in Kampala. One day the money transfers stop and Apio decides to travel alone to Kampala to find her father.

The second project will be undertaken by Frederick Kigozi (Uganda) and Mira Jargil (Denmark). They too attended the DOX:LAB workshop in November 2011, from where they developed their initial idea for a documentary film. Writing the manuscripts will start in January 2012 and the complete film will be screened at CPH:DOX International Film Festival in Copenhagen in November 2012.