2002 - 2003
UNESCO’s Programme for Creative Content
Projects Implemented in 2002 - 2003
UNESCO’s Programme for Creative Content
Summary of Projects Implemented in 2002 – 2003
Asian television documentary workshop organized with ABU and Korean Broadcasting System
Organization of training courses for the educational TV staff in El Salvador
Training courses organized for the Macedonian News Agency
Scriptwriting workshop for TV fiction in Sri Lanka in collaboration with ScriptNet
Oral Testimony – Life History Radio Programme Training and Production in Gambia, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ghana and Nigeria, in cooperation with Panos Institute West Africa
Support for an African Item Exchange for Children’s Television Programmes in collaboration with Prix Jeunesse, URTNA, SABA and UNICEF
Organization of a World Forum on Local Cultural Expression and Communication, in collaboration with CLT and FED
Training seminar on Children’s Programming in Albania organized with Prix Jeunesse for Eastern European producers and programmers
Development of video training tutorials for independent filmmakers in cooperation with the Public Service Broadcasting Trust in India (PSBT)
Co-production of Cambodian film S21: The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine , in cooperation with French INA and Arte
Supported film and television schools of India, Burkina Faso, Romania, Israel and Mexico for the production of short fiction films on intercultural dialogue
Production of Le dilemme d’Eya (Togo, 2003)
Production of 56-minute documentary A Story of People in War and Peace (Armenia, 2003)
Production of Great Spectacles! (Nigeria, 2002)
Production of La Lutte contre les pauvres (Mali, 2002)
Production of Afro@digital (Congo, 2000), a documentary on the digital revolution in Africa
Showcasing of African documentaries on conflicts in Central Africa and the Great Lakes region during the International Conference on Intercultural Dialogue and Culture of Peace
Travel case sent to Samoa for broadcasting on Women’s Day
Travel case with 100 productions offered to Radio Television Afghanistan
Organization of Open Frame 2003 in India, an international forum on public service broadcasting and cultural diversity
Submission of two documentary films from Togo and Congo to the Festival Medias Nord-Sud
Submission of two documentary films from Congo and Cambodia to URTI’s Grand Prize Festival, silver medal awarded
Setting-up of a UNESCO’s Audiovisual E-Platform, containing high quality productions from Africa, Asia and Latin America
Training and Production Activities
Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) / UNESCO
Workshop for Asian TV Content Makers
A TV Documentary Workshop, organized by UNESCO and the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) and hosted by the Korean Broadcasting System (KBS), took place in Suwon and Seoul, Republic of Korea, from 10 to 14 June 2003. It was attended by 30 producers from 14 different Asian countries: Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Egypt, Hong Kong, Iran, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.
Organized around the theme of TV portraits or personality profiles, the event comprised three distinct parts:
• a workshop consisting of screening of and debates on television programmes produced by the participants and proposed to ABU for exchange;
• a Special Training Session showcasing outstanding TV portrait models (or personality profiles) from all over the world, with emphasis on unusual international content providers; and
• an on-demand service, with additional challenging programmes coming from all regions of the world (with a focus on Africa, Asia and Latin America) for the viewing and professional enrichment of participants.
The main objective of this activity was to:
• improve the exchange of television content among participating Asian countries;
• provide a training opportunity to the participants through the analysis of their own works, as well as the work of other professionals from around the globe.
UNESCO supported the Television Cultural Educativa of El Salvador by providing a team of two highly recognized filmmakers, who held an intensive training program for the channel’s production staff, including its directors, cameramen and scriptwriters.
The project focused on scriptwriting for cultural programmes, providing new ideas, new formats and innovative approaches to different social and cultural subjects, which present new challenges to the Salvadorian public. The training programme also covered indoor and outdoor camera work and the treatment of images and sounds. The trainers also offered advice on the use of sound recording equipment, proper application of music and sound effects, as well as an overview of digital sound treatment.
The practical phase of the training included actual exercise of scriptwriting, filming, editing, post-production, evaluation and improvement of the participants’ work. Young professionals and female directors were given the highest priority in this programme.
Training Courses Organized For Macedonian Information Agency
UNESCO organized several cycles of training courses for the current and future correspondents of the Macedonian Information Agency (MIA).
The project included training focused on the introduction of basic journalism practices for MIA’s future and current correspondents, who also work for the local media. There was a special focus on the journalist’s role in times of crises, especially in conflict situations like that of Macedonia in 2001.
The main goal of this project was to improve professionalism of the MIA correspondents, including avoidance of manipulation. Different issues were also covered such as journalistic practices, non-partisan information coverage, objectivity, ethics and professional conduct particularly during social crisis, conflict and war and promoting social participation of local communities.
Some one hundred MIA professionals benefited from these training courses.
Training and Production Activities
FILMING THE PEACE PROCESS IN SRI LANKA:
Tamil and Singhalese Scripts Ready for Production
Responding to the lack of dramatised work about the war and peace process in Sri Lanka, UNESCO is supporting the production of locally written, directed and produced short films in this country. The objective is to strengthen creativity and to help so far undiscovered Tamil film-makers to get access to the mainstream TV and film industry.
UNESCO’s support is provided within the framework of larger development project “Reel Peace” that is being implemented by ScriptNet, a UK based training charity and production company, in collaboration with the Sri Lankan Media Training Institute and the University of Jaffna, with the support by the British Council and UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Reel Peace’s aim is to foster an integrated Tamil and Singhalese media through the training of directors, producers and scriptwriters, increasing the technical capacity of the Sri Lankan TV and film industry.
Four short films are expected to be produced before the end of 2003. UNESCO and ScriptNet will then show-case the Sri Lankan talent to an international audience .
Training and Production Activities
Gambia-Sierra Leone-Liberia-Ghana-Nigeria: Oral Testimony – Life History Radio Programme Training and Production in cooperation with Panos Institute West Africa
UNESCO collaborated with the Panos Institute West Africa (PIWA) for an Oral Testimony training and production project, resulting in 12 radio documentaries produced and broadcasted through some 300 community radio stations in eight Western African countries. The PIWA works with media and civil society organizations to strengthen a culture of peace and democracy.
Oral testimonies are radio documentaries that treat several topics depicting different ethnic and religious groups and how they interface, integrate and reconcile in a changing environment. The methodology of oral testimony is based on a specific interview method using testimonies of the local populations.
This training and production project focused on the life of youngsters in a complex and multicultural surrounding. Through these radio programmes, the views of the youngsters themselves, often ignored by traditional urban media, are expressed. The ultimate objective of this initiative was to increase intercultural awareness and sensitising young generations on humanity’s need for tolerance, dialogue and peace.
This project was supported within the framework of UNESCO’s international venture “Intensifying the Dialogue among Communities, Cultures and Civilizations”.
African Item Exchange for Children’s Television Programmes in Botswana
UNESCO contributed to the organization of the African Item Exchange for Children’s Television Programmes together with Prix Jeunesse and in collaboration with the Union of National Radio and Television Organizations of Africa (URTNA), SABA and UNICEF.
The African Item Exchange brought children’s television programme producers from a selection of African countries to spearhead the production of authentic and high quality television programmes for their respective audiences. Problems faced by children’s television producers and programmes in Africa are the limited budgets made available by African TV stations to produce children’s programmes; the import of a high number of children’s programmes; difficulties in getting the desired airtime; undermined importance of children’s programming ; and the lack of equipment and human resources. The organization of workshops such as the African Item Exchange is an attempt to provide a low-cost mechanism for programme item exchange and production; increasing levels of local content made available to African children.
The event took place in Gabarone, Botswana in October 2003. UNESCO facilitated the participation of African producers from their different television stations in this ICT-enhanced training and exchange experience.
World Forum on Local Cultural Expression and Communication
Dominican Republic, 3-6 November 2003
UNESCO organized an international forum on local cultural expression and communication in Dominican Republic on 3-6 November 2003, in collaboration with CLT and FED. The forum tackled issues such as safeguarding endangered cultures through communication; producing local content as an expression of cultural diversity; and promoting communication policies with an emphasis on cultural diversity and local content.
The forum gathered prominent scholars and practitioners to discuss the following issues:
Research and other initiatives, as well as best practices for safeguarding and promoting marginalized indigenous cultures
Production of a common set of guidelines for ethical research or project
Concrete proposals for UNESCO activities for the safeguarding of marginalized indigenous cultures
The roles and strategies of communication for cultural expression and intercultural dialogue
Globalization and the expression of local cultures: the current trends and terms of local content production and dissemination in Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America
Promotion of the expression of cultural diversity through the identification and mobilisation of successful local content networks and models
Training Seminar on Children’s Programming For Eastern European Producers
Albania, October 2003
UNESCO collaborated with Stiftung Prix Jeunesse International in the organization of a training seminar on children’s programming for the Eastern European region.
Key television producers of children’s programming in the region, including professionals working for public service broadcasters and independent producers, will participate in a high-level training course aimed at upgrading the professional skills of producers of children’s programming.
The training course was hands-on and based on actual screenings of successful, educational and culturally diverse children’s programmes. At the same time, a hands-on training course on scriptwriting was also held.
Training and Production Activities
Video Production Basics for Independent Filmmakers
UNESCO and the Public Service Broadcasting Trust (PSBT) of India produced a series of instructional “how to” videos that introduces potential and practicing filmmakers to the elements of independent documentary film production, particularly its processes and techniques.
The objective of this training and production project was to facilitate the democratisation of content by providing basic and easily comprehensible self-training materials that are inexpensively distributed to potential content creators and to provide basic, conceptual and technical understanding of the uses and techniques of audio-visual film production with a focus on the independent documentary.
The six instructional video tutorials, accompanied by training manuals, teach video production basics for independent filmmakers and for those working in community media, public service and public access broadcasting.
UNESCO-Supported Film on Genocide in Cambodia
Silver Medalist, Monte Carlo TV Festival
Selected Feature Film, Cannes Film Festival 2003
S-21: The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine, directed by Cambodian filmmaker Rithy Panh and produced by the French Institut National de l’Audiovisuel (INA) and Arte was awarded the silver medal by the Jury of the 22nd URTI International Grand Prix for Documentaries in the framework of the 43rd Monte Carlo Television Festival and was selected and featured in the Cannes Film Festival in 2003.
The breath-taking film, supported within the framework of UNESCO’s Programme for Creative Content, builds up from the individual memories of victims and killers from the Khmer Rouge period providing an unprecedented contribution to the building of the collective memory of Cambodian society. It is a stunning illustration of how cinema and television can help a society search for answers and ultimately better understand history and humankind, as filmmaker Ritty Panh brought survivors and former killers from a torture and extermination camp in Phnom Penh face to face to discuss and compare their eye-witness accounts.
The film has two major objectives: to be an authoritative film about the Pol Pot regime, and to be a deep reflection on more general issues arising from the experience of genocide, such as survival, guilt and denial. It is as a filmmaker that Rithy Panh films memory and not as a public prosecutor, investigator, victim or researcher; avoiding stereotypes, statistics, vague questions of civilization and facile conclusions.
REEL INTERCULTURAL DIALOGUE
UNESCO Production of Five Short Fiction Films
Made by Students from India, Mexico, Israel, Romania and Burkina Faso
Short fiction films from selected television and film schools of Mexico, Israel, India, Romania and Burkina Faso were produced by UNESCO for the international project Intensifying the dialogue between communities, cultures and civilizations.
The project, launched early this year, is a series of independent, fiction films without dialogues that deliver the young filmmakers’ vision of humanity in peace and harmony dedicated to the international community . The films were created with the intention of increasing intercultural understanding and sensitising young people to tolerance, dialogue and peace. Such messages were delivered in very different and interesting ways depending on the diverse cultural backgrounds of the selected countries.
One of the aims of this project was to provide an opportunity to cinema and television schools to use their most talented students to produce local content for young people reflecting local perspectives on global issues. Indeed, the young filmmakers have not disappointed the international community: the quality of their films are very commendable, the content of their films grab the viewer’s attention and question our society’s ways and beliefs of handling conflict, inspiring a fresh perspective on non-violent, alternative means on conflict resolution.
UNESCO and the Centre International de Liaison des Ecoles de Cinéma et de Télévision (CILECT) disseminated the final productions to national and international media as well as to various educational institutions worldwide. These short films are also available in an interactive UNESCO-linked website.
The Dilemma of Eya (Togo, 2003)
The Dilemma of Eya (Le dilemme d’Eya), a 26’ fiction film directed by Adjiké Assouma from Togo and produced by UNESCO, was awarded two special jury prizes (UEMOA and Plan International) at the Pan African Festival of Cinema and Television (FESPACO), whose 18th edition took place in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, from 22 February to 1 March 2003.
Moreover, the film was selected for screening at the International Public Service Television Conference (INPUT) held in Aarhus, Denmark from 11 to 16 May 2003.
Le dilemme d’Eya tells a story about a girl who is forced to follow traditional voodoo practices at the cost of her education, her family and her life. The film aims at sensitising the public about the consequences of preventing women from being educated and having their own identity, while denouncing the living conditions of young street-porters working at the margins of society.
The film was produced within the framework of UNESCO’s Programme for Creative Content, which aims at encouraging the production and dissemination of creative content in developing countries. Its recognition at the international level proves once more that local content is not only appreciated by local audiences but also by a “global” public.
A Story of People in War and Peace
UNESCO supported the production of a 56-minute documentary from Armenia, entitled A Story of People in War and Peace. This film takes its audience back to the time of the Karabagh War (1989-1994), interviewing soldiers, nurses and ordinary people who survived the war.
This documentary is not about the view of war as seen in news clips but a journey of one’s self through each event of wartime. The filmmaker strongly believes that only through such uninterrupted contact could the audience engage in a kind of dialogue with the victims of the war. Moreover, this film is not in the form of investigative journalism but more of a collective memory exercise, as it is based on the archival footage collected during the war and the new footage of the same people sharing their reflections on the war ten years after.
Traditional Music of Nigeria : A Documentary
Grands Spectacles!, a documentary about the traditional music of different ethnic groups of Nigeria, was a production supported by UNESCO. The documentary featured the different types of ethnic music in the country, such as L’Apala, Le Sakara, Le Waka and L’Agidibo.
Each of the music genre tells a story about their respective ethnic groups. Music is used as a common language to tell stories or to recite proverbs. Ancient notions are revived through the playing of music, while it also serves as a channel to preserve moral values within communities. Some ethnic music narrates historical tales that is passed on from one generation to the next.
The documentary exhibits the importance of the role of music in preserving the rich traditional culture and history of the Nigerian peoples.
La Lutte contre les Pauvres (Mali, 2002)
La Lutte contre les Pauvres (the fight against the poor), a 26’ fiction film directed by Boubacar Sidibe from Mali and co-produced by UNESCO together with Brico Films and Sarama Films, was awarded a special prize at the Pan African Festival of Cinema and Television (FESPACO), whose 18th edition took place in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, from 22 February to 1 March 2003. The fiction film was also shown twice on the national television station ORTM.
The film, like the title suggests, is about how certain actions that are believed to fight poverty are actually detrimental to the poor themselves. Different topics are brought up through the course of the film such as fear of discrimination and xenophobia, and the struggle to break free from social marginalization.
Afro@digital: A Documentary on the Digital Revolution in Africa
Afro@digital, a 52-minute documentary directed by Balufu Bakupa-Kanyinda of the Democratic Republic of Congo and produced by UNESCO, looks at the promise ICTs hold for Africa.
Statistics show that Africa is well behind the rest of the world in terms of information technologies. But the numbers fail to show the original ways Africans are using the little that is available. Afro@digital fills this gap.
In Afro@digital, a marabout explains that he no longer replies by letter to questions put to him by Africans living abroad. Rather he uses his mobile phone, which he carries with him at all times. Another eloquent illustration of the digital revolution in Africa is the rise of Internet cafés. In Bamako, the capital of Mali, the number of Internet cafés increased from one to 100 within the space of a year. However, the Internet café phenomenon reveals that more research is needed on the impact of ICT in the African continent to get a true picture of the situation.
Despite the difficulties involved in developing ICT in Africa, filmmaker Balufu Bakupa-Kanyinda is optimistic. Afro@digital demonstrates how Africa is making progress with information and communication technology.
Distribution / Dissemination / Showcasing Activities
The International Conference on Intercultural Dialogue and Peace
In Central Africa and the Great Lakes Region:
A FILMMAKERS’ FORUM
UNESCO organized the International Conference on Intercultural Dialogue and Peace in Central Africa and the Great Lakes Region that took event in Libreville, Gabon in November 2003. The primary objective of this conference was the prevention and resolution of conflicts through intercultural dialogue and peace.
Within this conference UNESCO organized a filmmakers’ forum and public screenings that showcased four documentaries about the conflicts in the region: Ikiza, Unité et Guerre Civile au Burundi (Burundi, 1994); Dissidence (Angola, 1998); Rwanda, pour memoire (Rwanda, 2003) and Une République devenue folle: Rwanda 1894-1994 (Rwanda, 1996). These documentaries provided an analysis of the conflicts and the opportunity for the filmmaker to play a role in addressing issues of international concern.
The following subjects were discussed in the conference:
Television as a tool for intercultural dialogue
The use of audiovisual means to form a collective memory
The role played by the media before and after conflict
The image of neighbouring peoples as prescribed in the documentaries
The production and dissemination of local content in the region as a way to better understand people of other cultures and communities
The artist and director as vehicles of expression and analysis of various societal issues
UNESCO Provides « CreaTV travel case »
to TV Samoa on Women’s Day 2002
UNESCO provided a selection of high-quality productions from China (Tong LI’s A Man with HIV), Pakistan (Farjad Nabi’s Now is More Like A Man), Uruguay (Daniela Speranza’s Mala Racha) and Zimbabwe (Prudence Uriri’s Soul in Torment) to TV Samoa for a special broadcast in the week that started on the International Women’s Day (8 March 2002). The productions, both fiction and documentary; were made by women or dealt with the construction of masculinity and femininity in contemporary societies. TV Samoa completed the special broadcast with productions locally made or coming from neighbouring islands.
CreaTV travel cases are regularly compiled by UNESCO in order to provide concrete examples of creative and public service-oriented television coming from countries that are unusual content providers (Africa, Asia and Latin America). It may include any television format such as fiction (sitcoms, drama, telefilms, soaps, etc.), documentary or magazines and may be used for training seminars and workshops, cultural events, public sensitisation activities and when rights are negotiated, special broadcasting sessions. Borrowers of CreaTV travel cases must be non-profit organizations or institutions with a clear public mandate.
The objective of this Samoan operation was to encourage the exchange of television content among countries, which are unusual content providers but which have much to offer in content at national, regional and international levels. This series of programmes made it possible for the public in Samoa to appreciate the creativity and talent of thought-provoking television producers from far away regions, which while portraying other cultures, stimulate reflection on universal issues.
UNESCO Launched Collection of Quality Programming
For Radio-Television Afghanistan
UNESCO's global CreaTV television initiative made 102 quality television programmes available to Radio-Television Afghanistan.
Speaking during the donation ceremony, UNESCO's Representative in Afghanistan, Martin Hadlow, said that the television package included documentaries, children's series, fiction, animation and educational programmes. "CreaTV is UNESCO's creative television project that seeks to encourage local television production" he said. "At the same time, it tries to introduce the work of producers in developing countries to a wider global audience".
The 102 programmes supplied to Radio-Television Afghanistan included documentaries from Niger, Jamaica, Fiji, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, fiction from Nepal, Mexico and Uruguay and children's series from Denmark and Germany.
UNESCO purchased the rights to the television programmes for two years and made the video-tapes available free of charge to Radio-Television Afghanistan.
Training and Dissemination/Showcasing Activities
Organization of the Open Frame 2003
An International Forum on Public Service Broadcasting and Cultural Diversity
New Delhi, India, 21-27 August 2003
The Open Frame 2003 was organized by UNESCO and the Pubic Service Broadcasting Trust (PSBT) of India, in partnership with the Prasar Bharti in New Delhi from August 21-27, 2003.
The event was an international forum that showcased 50 unique, public service oriented television productions from Africa, Latin America, Middle East and Asia, reflecting the diversity of audio-visual production around the world and the marvellous potential of television when put at the service of the citizens. Television professionals from 15 countries participated in discussions concerning public service broadcasting issues, such as the relationship of television to history, education, development, women, conflict and justice. A workshop on scriptwriting for local professionals was sponsored by the British Council.
PSBT is an NGO determined to create a ‘democratic broadcast culture’ in India and to engage the international filmmaking community in a dialogue, creating a dynamic atmosphere that would encourage greater expression of local talent and an intercultural exchange of ideas and thoughts.
Given the success of this year’s forum, PSBT intends to make it an annual event in India, offering an alternative to the commercially driven Bollywood market. The forum had a significant impact on several governmental and non-governmental institutions as well as the general Delhi public. Distribution companies, specializing in quality non-fiction entertainment for the region and overseas, already offered to purchase some of the programmes showcased in India.
Some of the showcased films in the Open Frame 2003 are available in UNESCO’s Multicultural Audiovisual E- Catalogue: An Online Audiovisual Platform for Independent Authors.
UNESCO submission of documentary films to The North-South Media Festival and the International Television Grand Prix
UNESCO submitted the documentaries The Dilemma of Eya (Togo, 2003) and Afrodigital (Congo, 2002) to the 19th North-South Media Festival in Geneva. The North-South Media Festival is a yearly television film festival that allows better circulation of documentary films between the North-South divide and among cultural disparities, giving importance to the questions of development, freedom and expression of human rights.
Rithy Panh’s S21: The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine garnered the silver medal in the URTI’s International Grand Prix for Documentaries. L’Université Radiophonique et Télévisuelle Internationale (URTI) awards each year documentary television programs that stand out as an original and high-quality productions, and which have made the greatest contribution to the handling of the cultural or the social matters. Above all, it has placed the emphasis on the work of directors over the world. Afrodigital was also featured in the same event.
However, the most outstanding exposure came through the prestigious Cannes Film Festival, which made the S21: The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine part of its official selection in 2003.
UNESCO’s Audiovisual E-Platform :
A Multicultural Online Catalogue for Independent Producers and Broadcasters
UNESCO’s Audiovisual E-Platform is a multicultural, online catalogue for independent producers and broadcasters, with more than 100 very challenging, unusually creative and highly innovative productions from Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe.
The platform consists of recently directed documentaries, short fiction films and television magazines that are original in form and content, beyond the conventional forms of television language as well as genuine expression of culture.
Through this highly secured, professional-restricted, online platform, authors and producers are able to manage and promote their work at local, regional and international levels. At the same time, UNESCO can stimulate the distribution of the platform’s materials at the international level with broadcasters, producers, educational institutions and other partners.
The Audiovisual E-Platform was created to empower and enhance effectiveness of promoting and distributing local content by utilizing the internet as a medium for communication and delivery.