WFC in Brazil story


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. [read more…]



WFC in Brazil story continues…

In 2008 WFC launched its inaugural training programme in Rio, working in partnership with Casarão Cultural Centre located in Morro dos Prazeres favela in 2008. Student ages ranged from 10-14 years, making them the youngest group WFC has worked with. Energetic and full of ideas, the students chose the make their final film on the subject of violence against children. The fictional short followed the story of a boy who was abused by his mother. The poignancy with which the students understood the pressures on the mother was startlingly mature. The film ends with the young protagonist leaving his mother to go and live with his aunt. It was clear from the boy’s final speech to his mother that this process was deeply empowering for him. Similar stories have come from young people in South Africa, with the shared intention of communicating to parents within their communities the impact of violence against them and to send the message that it is wrong.

In 2009 WFC returned to Casarão Cultural Centre to follow up the programme, running a Documentary Film Making training with an expanded group. Working in partnership with the celebrated digital inclusion NGO, The Committee for the Democratisation of Information (CDI), the young film makers chose to make their final film on the relationship between confidence and success.

Later that year, WFC teamed up again with CDI to deliver a Fiction Film workshop in the Cidade de Deus (City of God) favela. 12 students attended classes three days a week for two months, during which time they learned how to make storyboards, shoot footage using mobile phones and edit their films using free editing software. The training culminated in a very successful public screening of the group’s two final films.

In 2010 WFC worked with the UFRJ (Rio’s Federal University) to offer the young students of City of God favela the opportunity to make cell phone films about philosophy. The young students traveled from the favela to visit Rio’s Federal University and interviewed some of the students studying philosophy. They asked interesting questions and received a range of insightful answers. During the visit, they also spent time in the library and around the university, which seemed to interest them a lot. Their film became part of The World Day of Philosophy created by UNESCO.

WFC’s activities were put on hold while Founder Member, Vanessa Goes, moved to Paris. Vanessa is now back in Rio, and we look forward to running more training programmes in 2012.


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