Sunday, 12 July 2009

Bhutan : Making movies young

12 July, 2009 - The videos are shaky and images zoom in and out of focus from time to time but the message is clear.

Youth and Video Games, Buried in Garbage, Teenagers in Love, People and Television and Life of a Taxi Driver were some of the themes of the eight short films made by members of the youth media club that were screened on July 9, coinciding with the Children and Youth Festival in Thimphu.

It was the outcome of a 10-day film training camp, where club members learnt how to use the medium as a means to tell stories that concerned them. Participants, working in teams, came up with their own themes and used flip cameras and computers to gather and edit material. Most of the films ran for ten minutes or less.

According to the Bhutan centre for media and democracy (BCMD), the main objective of making these short films is to foster discussion and debate on issues concerning the community. BCMD believes it will garner discussions on issues related to preserving culture, promotion of democracy and understanding of media as more than just entertainment.

The club is also an initiative of BCMD and the film training camp was carried out as a pilot effort at the Motithang higher secondary school in Thimphu. “We’re also discussing the possibilities of starting a similar club with the Thimphu royal college,” said Pek Dorji of the BCMD at the screening of the short films. “With the media clubs, we’re hoping to experiment with three different age groups.”

Most participants said they found the training camp to be knowledgeable and fun.

“The past two weeks were really enjoyable...the amount of encouragement and support we received has inspired me to continue with film making,” said art student Kesang Yuden, 16, of Motithang HSS.

“Since I want to take up journalism, I joined the club believing it would be geared towards print media, but I found out that it was all about film making,” said Pema Dema, 16, from the same school. “But it was so much fun. I enjoyed working in a team and talking to youth about issues that concerned me.”

Participants also said that they found film making very challenging. “Meeting deadlines and editing was difficult, because we had to familiarise ourselves with new computer software and programmes,” said Kesang.

The club is funded by BCMD and Bhutan Foundation in collaboration with the education ministry.

By Pema Choezom

Tag : bhutan,bhutan tourism,paro,bhutan king,druk air,thimphu

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