Two boys using a video camera

Image: Adolfo Izquierdo 

Developing skills through filmmaking

Our Cámara Chica project has provided children and young people in Cuba with opportunities to discover and develop creative and technical skills through film-making. By taking part in film-making workshops they have gained experience of writing, acting, directing and editing their own short films. In the process they have acquired a range of technical, production and ‘life’ skills, including storytelling, team working, self-expression, communication and confidence.

The project has been delivered in partnership with the British young film maker organisation First Light (now Into Film) and the Cuban Film School, in six community centres across Cuba. As a parallel activity, Cuban film graduates and filmmakers, as arts community leaders, have learnt the teaching skills they need to confidently deliver film-making sessions with children and young people. ‘Camara Chica’ has created an appetite for filmmaking in its young participants. ʺI have liked Camara Chica very much for all the things we can do. I know I have a future in this’. Ivelis Blanco Diaz, age 10.

‘Camara Chica’ has also helped develop the careers of 12 students from the FAMCA film school in Havana. The students supported the community centre leaders and learned how to work with children in a filmmaking context. “The most important thing for me was working with the children, it was a real challenge because I had never done it before. Now my communication with children is much improved, and I feel prepared to go on teaching them and learning from them” - Maria Isabel Nieblas Trocones, film student, age 21.

Sustainability is a core objective. So far all 6 centres have been active in driving forward their local filmmaking activity, with more planned for the future. “We will continue filming, it is very good to develop a project such as this one, because it enables the children's creativity to be focused and it gives them the necessary knowledge and materials to realise those dreams” Majilé Amores, community leader, Santa Clara centre.

Read a blog post written by Will Massa, Senior Programme Manager, British Council Film, reflecting on the Camara Chica experience in Cuba.

 

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