Agile Filmmaking with Young People in India
Thanks to Rebecca Wilson for contributing the following post:
Rebecca Wilson and DARE member Theo Bryer ran a two-week drama and filmmaking project with young people in Bengaluru in July 2017. The project was supported by the UCL Global Engagement Fund.
Our approach to filmmaking requires participants to focus on part of a story, a turning point, an interaction or theme and to reinterpret it in their own way. By incorporating drama workshops we combined storytelling and contemporary themes that lent themselves to a very immediate filmmaking process.
In collaboration with Stepwell a rural education centre, https://www.stepwellproject.com/ we worked with young people from Parikrma Humanity Foundation School (for children from slum communities and orphanages), Delhi Public School (which has an intake of 6,500 students) and the local Baale Mane girls’ home http://www.baalemane.org/.
We were particularly interested in finding out how approaches to filmmaking using iPads worked in these very different contexts. We were given a very warm reception in all our partner organisations and their positive collaboration and support meant that in these very different contexts all the young people that we worked with succeeded in making films. Sharing ideas with the incredible teachers, educationalists and young people that we met was a highlight of this trip.
‘Valuables’ a melodrama at Parikrma Humanity Foundation School. Students made films based on the stimulus of the arrival of a letter.
‘Perceptions’ (36 seconds long) a documentary about skirt length at Delhi Public School. Students made documentaries based on the model of the AJ+ news items (by Al Jazeera) that are designed for social media.
‘The Mummy 2’ a horror film at Baale Mane girls’ home, the older girls made melodramas and the younger girls, horror films.
We were struck by the way in which the visual and cultural aspects of filmmaking facilitated this creative endeavour, so that even the youngest children were able to understand what was expected of them. The touch-screen technology proved as accessible in India as in our projects in the UK although not all the children have ready access to this kind of technology. All the young people were motivated by the opportunity to share what they had made with their peers and teachers and this awareness of a final audience helped them to shape their work in creative and interesting ways. At Baale Mane, staff and students went to incredible lengths to overcome issues with the technology so that everyone at the girls’ home could watch the films they had made together, on a large screen. We were amazed by the young people’s enthusiasm and engagement and would love to return.