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Participatory Filmmaking and Photography Workshop

Updated: Aug 9, 2019

This postcard represents some glorious moments of Participatory Film-making and Photography Workshop, held in Sylhet, Bangladesh in February, 2019.



The main objective of this workshop is to provide film-making and photography training to the research team members, IDEA staff, and SUST students from the film and photography societies (SUPA & CHOKH) so that they can gain theoretical as well as practical knowledge and as to enhance their capacity in relevant fields. Project co-directors Prof. Dr. Mark Johnson and Dr, Suzzane Clisby travelled all the way from London to grace the inauguration of the serieås of workshops. To pursue this objective, local and international trainers were invited: Mir Shariful Karim Srabon, Drubo Das and Jashim Salam were the Bangladesh based trainers. While Dr Vivian Wenli Lin came from Japan and Pooja Pant came from Nepal. All the trainers ran several simultaneous theoretical and practical sessions.



The training workshop series started after the introduction of participants and trainers and then project leadership team Prof. Dr. Mark Johnson and Dr, Suzzane Clisby shed important light on different aspects of GlobalGrace project. As trainer, Jashim Salam provided training to documentary/participatory photography, while Mir Shariful Karim Srabon and Dhrubo Das were engaged in training our young film-makers. As a participant, I had joined film-making training group. In film-making workshop, I have learnt about various technical aspects (such as image quality, image ratio, sound quality, lighting, music and VFX effects) and basic principles (such as title, credit, length, language, audience, copyright, release) of mobile-based film-making. In addition, I have gained knowledge about the rules and procedures of documentary film-making and the editing process of a film.



According to our plan (work package 2), the participants of the workshops particularly the ECR (WP 2), SUPA & CHOKH students will provide training to our research participants i.e. female construction workers on photography and film-making through a series of workshops. These trainers are expected to train the participants on the basis of their newly acquired experiences. Both national and international trainers discussed multidimensional challenges and also the strategies to meet the challenges. Both filmmaking and photography trainers took their participants to field and they gave invaluable suggestions to the participants (GGstaff, CHOKH, SUPA) to deal with different issues on the field. To me, the most interesting session of first two-days workshop (15-16, February, 2019) was to make short- films. To do this, participants were divided into small groups and each group had produced a 3-4 minutes long film. It was very interesting because group members themselves had played the role of actor/actress, scriptwriter and director.



In last two-day’s workshop (17-18 February, 2019), Dr. Vivian Wenli Lin and Pooja Pant had taken over the role as trainers and both CHOKH And SUPA students participated in these workshops alongside the GG team. In their theoretical session, Vivian and Puja presented a holistic picture of participatory film-making process such as how to develop an idea, how to structure a story, how to develop interactive and non-hierarchical relation with film participants, how to prepare the overall shooting process (shooting schedule, location set up, props, actors, camera person, crew and director), how to shoot a video, how to manage sound, recording of sound, editing the video clips and finally how to prepare a film for screening.



To me, the most interesting session was –the mind tree of lives. In this session, Pooja had drawn a picture of a tree and had connected the tree with people’s lifecycle such as root as past life, body as present life and leaves as future plan and then, she asked all the participants to relate the tree with their own life and structure a story. To me, it is a very useful strategy to make people comfortable to tell their own stories. After this session, participants were asked to make a one minute video. As a member of group III, I had participated in the group and our group made a one minute split-screen video on female construction workers. At the final session of the workshop, students of SUPA and CHOKH became very happy and surprised as GlobalGRACE co-directors had announced a Photography and Film-making competition for them.



The 4-day intensive workshop was extremely beneficial for me as I have gathered a lot of information and knowledge regarding film-making through the workshops. The good thing was that the participants could share their experiences and can direct their queries to the trainers. The trainers were very happy to answer all their questions and give important suggestions so that they can do better in their field of choice!