Friday, January 6, 2012

Filmmaking Workshop at Kolkata Sanved

By Rose McCausland of Living Lens, UK and Elspeth Duncan, Filmmaker, Trinidad 
We have been in India and working with Kolkata Sanved’s video team for a week and every day has been filled with new experiences and unexpected delights.  We’re leading a workshop for a group of nine girls from marginalized communities in Kolkata, together exploring the visual language of video. Just one part of the Kolkata Sanved and Living Lens partnership, Transforming Steps, this training gives these girls unique livelihood opportunities through film and video editing.  

During the first two days of the workshop we didn’t reach for the video cameras but instead discovered how each of us sees and hears the world around us. Focusing on our unique lens on the world, we started to see things we hadn’t noticed before including things about ourselves, each other and the city around us.  
When we picked up the video cameras the girls were eager to play, learn and deepen their visual vocabulary.  Their enthusiasm was matched by their ability to absorb concepts and new skills quickly.

At the start of the project many of the girls hadn’t met before, and now a week in, we are a close knit team.  We meet each day in the courtyard at the office of Kolkata Sanved and each day we share physical warm ups, creative activities, technical exercises, personal stories, jokes and playful relaxation.  It’s an intimate space of friendship that we'll miss when the workshop is over.
Today each of them shared their concepts for the final project of the workshops: their one minute films.  All of their hard work and listening has paid off – their ideas are original and creative.  We’re looking forward to jumping in and starting filming tomorrow.  
I feel sure that the audiences who see the girls’ work when it’s screened at Sadler’s Wells and other venues will be touched by the sensitivity, wisdom and playfulness that has moved both of us this week. 

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