WFC in: South Africa | UK | Palestine | Brazil | Russia
WFC in South Africa
WFC’s first training programme was in Free State, north of Johannesburg, at a school for the children of agricultural workers. Alice and her co-tutor, Marc Kotzee taught the whole school – eighty-six students – to make short films using cell phones. From there, WFC Patron, Gerry Fox, commissioned Alice to run a programme in Cape Town, which is where she met WFC South Africa Founder Member, Simcelile “Simi” Kalimashe. Simi was born in Khayelitsha (Cape Town’s equivalent to Soweto) and dreamt of learning how to make a film. With Simi onside, WFC took root in the Cape Town townships and five years later, in 2014, the team was commissioned to produce a series for national broadcaster, eTV – South Africa’s equivalent to Channel Four
WFC Filmmaker, Loyiso Ngqwebo, had this to say about the programme:
The World Film Collective experience showed me that everything can be done and everybody can do it if you put your mind to it. And that we the youth can make it possible to change lives in our community through telling stories
Free State programme in partnership with creative arts charity Dramatic Need Cape Town programme with New Africa Theatre Association – fictional shorts
Cape Town programme II – documentary shorts. Programme taught by veteran documentary filmmaker, Jo Menell (Dir. Mandela, 1996) Short films selected for the highly competitive Pocket Film Festival in Paris Alice trains film and drama professionals to become WFC Tutors First workshop with Amy Biehl Foundation Trust, a youth engagement programme providing after-school activities for young residents of Cape Town’s most dangerous township communities
Cape Town programme III – Sports and News Journalism to coincide with the 2010 FIFA World Cup
Thirty-five young people produce over 80 short reports on events surrounding the World Cup from inside their township communities
Reports featured on BBC Online programme, Extra Time Local community TV channel, Cape Town TV Nokia’s N series blog MobilizedTV Smartmobs.com Distributed internationally via WFC’s mobile site worldfilmcollective.mobi Through social networks YouTube, Facebook and Twitter Total: 40,000 views
WFC consolidates the relationship with Simi. After giving him fifty Rands (UK equivalent £5) to buy data, Simi drove the grass-roots presence that was key to the World Cup project success
Follow up eight participants selected to form production team. Co-create video platform on popular youth mobile phone social networking site, Mxit (25 million users across South Africa at the time) Populate Mxit video platform with 90 x 1min films over six months 6-part series for Cape Town TV
WFC’s work recognised by Cape Film Commission (CFC) CFC sponsors training programme 12-part series produced: Uyfun’undazi? (Do You Want To Know Me?)
Uyfun’undazi? takes a common township statistic and gives it a human face by profiling an individual living in those circumstances. Stories include: Nondoda, an artist with no arms and no legs making a living through his inspiring and original painting; Maynadi, a 16 year-old beauty queen bringing up herself and her brother after they were orphaned by AIDS. Glamour Magazine South Africa approaches WFC to feature Mayandi in their April 2012 edition – the first time a township resident has been profiled in Glamour Magazine
WFC partners with the HIV awareness charity Grassroot Soccer. Three-month training programme using film to spread HIV prevention messages. Series for Cape Town TV leading up to World AIDS Day WFC brings NOKIA onboard to sponsor the films Valentine’s Day campaign via bespoke Mxit video platform: ‘Love Your Partner, Get Tested’
Break-through year for World Film Collective SA: WFC commissioned to produce 26 short films for national broadcaster, eTV. Each short film profiles a different trend in the townships. WFC SA commissioned to cover Bertha Foundation conference in Cape Town. Three WFC filmmakers given bursaries to study Business, with a view to setting up their own production company
WFC in the UK
WFC have run training programmes in the UK since 2008: in London, Leeds and Cumbria. In London we have run five programmes, including a project in 2011 in partnership with The Prince’s Trust, which looked at the causes of the 2011 youth riots. The result was a campaign calling on youth to share stories around police stop and search as it was felt this was a major factor in the outbreak of the riots. In Leeds we worked with Asian communities outside Bradford in a small town called Keighley. Then as now, it felt important to give young British-Asians the opportunity to express themselves as a way of understanding how they experience Britain today. In Cumbria, our partner ran our six-month training curriculum. We are now looking for another UK partner to run the curriculum again, with a view to potentially offering it as an effective rehabilitation tool for young offenders. We have found our training programme gets young people back on track and it would be good to run more programmes with British youth who want to turn their lives around.
With almost half a million young people in the UK classified as ‘Sustained NEET’, not currently in education, employment or training and unlikely to be anytime soon, capacity building in Britain is as important as anywhere else in the world. In East London, WFC worked with kids at risk of exclusion from school with 80% going onto study Media. In Leeds, WFC worked with Asian communities in Keighley, the home of 7/7 bomber, giving these youth their own voice. In Cumbria, WFC licensed their curriculum and recruited tutors for a six-month filmmaking programme. Following the 2011 Youth Riots, WFC partnered with The Prince’s Trust on projects focusing on the causes of the riots and in particular police stop and search, building a youth campaign around the brand name What We’ve Done. Young people from this project have since launched World Film Collective UK, a production team for hire.
WFC begins working with young people at risk of exclusion from school in Newham Borough, East London. Programme continues for two and a half years
The late Felix Dennis, publisher-turned-poet, sponsors WFC’s third training programme in Newham in Video Art. Young filmmakers select poems from his anthology and produce video backdrops for his 2010 poetry tour
WFC turns its attention to Greater Leeds, working with young people of Asian extraction in the town of Keighley
Filmmakers produce three short films: The Keighley Asian Women and Children’s Centre; shopping habits of the local population; crime in Keighley
WFC responds to Youth Riots with a training programme focusing on the causes of the riots in partnership with The Prince’s Trust
Filmmakers develop concepts for web series to spark a youth-led debate
They create brand, What We’ve Done and website www.whatwevedone.co.uk
Part II of What We’ve Done focuses on police stop and search
Filmmakers build a campaign, asking young people to send video testimonies of being stopped and searched
Alice works with film industry professionals to develop comprehensive 6-month curriculum that takes a young person from Sustained NEET into education or work.
Tendeka Matatu (Prod. White Wedding, Jersusalema) mentors WFC filmmakers
Filmmakers produce Girls and Gangs, testimonies from girls with experience of gang life in East London
WFC in Palestine
Since beginning working in Palestine in 2008, WFC has run six successful programmes across the West Bank offering 90 training opportunities to young people from Balata Refugee Camp, Nablus, Aida Refugee Camp, Bethlehem, Bint Al-Azwar School, Ramallah and Qattan Foundation Cultural Centre in rural Nelin.
WFC Palestine began when Alice met Nidal Atrash in 2006. Together, they figured out the technical backend of making films on a cell phones, which was pretty obscure at the time. Nidal’s expertise in the tech side of filmmaking, combined with his knowledge of software, meant he could work out how to get video files from cell phones into free editing software that came with every version of Microsoft Windows. Nidal would spend hours sitting on his verandah in Bethlehem smoking hubbily bubbily and getting what they needed. Nidal then co-tutored the first programme in Aida Refugee Camp in Bethlehem with Alice. He and his best friend, WFC Project Co-ordinator, Nida’ Rishmawi, went on to run six training programmes across the West Bank including one in partnership with The British Council
WFC trains young people in Aida refugee camp, Bethlehem – fictional films. In partnership with Al Rowwad Cultural Centre
Aida Camp Part II – documentary shorts. Three films: impact of economic downturn on the market in Bethlehem; activities in the local park; Dabkeh, a traditional Palestinian dance
WFC partners with Hoping Foundation to run a programme in Balata Refugee Camp, Nablus – documentary shorts
Alice trains 6 professional filmmakers and drama practitioners to deliver WFC programmes under Nidal’s leadership
WFC training programme – documentary shorts – Bint Al- Azwar School, Ramallah
Follow up programme Balata Camp, Nablus – fictional shorts
Rare and fascinating insight into relationships within the camp, student’s final film, The Punishment, portrays dynamics in families where fathers are deceased, often as a result of the conflict, and young sons take control of the family. Although rudimentary, The Punishment shows not only the impact of fatherless homes in a society immersed in conflict, it also demonstrates the will of the young women to express their discontent at being ruled by their older brothers.
British Council UK-Palestine Film Festival – WFC invited to present films to audiences across West Bank
WFC in Brazil
WFC began training programmes in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro in 2008, working with WFC Founder Member, Vanessa Goes. Made famous by Fernando Meirelles’ seminal film City Of God, the favelas of Rio remain some of the most dangerous and impoverished areas in the world. Since 2008, WFC has run four training programmes with young people, two in City of God favela itself. During a recent follow up visit to the centre in City of God, Vanessa was really pleased to discover that the students had continued making films on their cell phones, using WFC manuals in order to do so.
Born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Vanessa Goes was teaching drama to kids from favelas when she became part of WFC. As a Founder Member, Vanessa helped shape WFC and, since 2008, she has overseen projects in Morro dos Prazeres favela and City of God (Cidade de Deus). Also in 2009, Vanessa worked alongside Alice training tutors from Cinema Nosso film school to deliver WFC programmes. In 2014, WFC filmmakers from Cidade de Deus reported on the World Cup from the perspective of the favelas. The reports received over 800 views on Youtube and reached 7,743 people through Facebook. They were shared 35 times, which means people liked them so much they posted them on their own Facebook wall
WFC launches first training programme in Rio de Janeiro – fictional shorts – Morro dos Prazeres favela in partnership with Casarão Cultural Centre
Students 10-14 years make their final film on violence against children
WFC returns to Morro dos Prazeres favela – training in documentary shorts. Partnership with celebrated digital inclusion organisation, CDI
Cidade de Deus favela – training programme in documentary shorts, again in partnership with CDI
17 tutors trained to deliver WFC programmes, all film graduates of Cinema Nosso film school, Rio
WFC partners with the UFRJ (Rio’s Federal University) to offer WFC’s Cidade de Deus filmmakers an opportunity to make films with philosophy as their central theme. Film produced for UNESCO’s World Day of Philosophy
WFC in Russia
In Russia, WFC worked closely with Maloyaroslavskii Children’s Home, an orphanage in the Kaluga province. Lead tutor, Lucie Capel, a Russian-speaking drama practitioner and her co-tutor, a filmmaker from Moscow delivered a fictional shorts training programme to orphans 10 and 17 years-old. For some, this was their first experience of using the internet During the two-week programme, the young Russians made films on subjects ranging from love to physical training. They were incredibly interested and excited by the experience, so much so that they asked to take the phones out at break times to shoot their own films. In producing their final film, Fishing, the group decided to tell the story of a boy who was not allowed to go fishing as his father considered him to be too young. The film demonstrates the triumph of the boy who not only catches a big fish but earns the respect of his father The kids created, directed, produced and edited the film from beginning to end. This was the first time these young people have been given the chance to make a film.
The training was generously funded by Russian philanthropist, Marina Goncharenko, through the Goncharenko family foundation, Russian Century.