Five youths, one weekend and two tear-jerking stories – that was the result of an incredible filmmaking workshop we held in January.
We were thrilled, honoured and grateful to have the opportunity to collaborate in this workshop, organised by the United Nations Office on Drugs and crime and facilitated by GMB Films at Spean Chivit.
To be fair, most of the participants had no idea what they had signed up for and a few took a bit of convincing to attend. A couple jumped at the opportunity, without really knowing what was going on but thirsty for something different. The results were outstanding, which is testament to the guidance of the film crew and the perseverance of our youths.
The aim was to give young Cambodians the opportunity to tell their stories or the stories of other young people, who had been impacted by Covid. It was part of a bigger UNODC project to raise awareness about human trafficking and the populations most vulnerable to it.
Our youths were from diverse backgrounds and most were far out of their comfort zone and sceptical about their ability to put a story together. The GMB Films team were wonderful. The workshops were held in Khmer and the team guided them every step of the way, working hard to build their confidence, pushing them beyond their experiences, building their enthusiasm.
They were divided into two groups, each coming up with a story. We are incredibly proud of the work they did to portray two very powerful stories. One was an LGBTIQ+ story, featuring one of the participants, the other told the story of the ongoing challenges of a young girl whose business had dried up and who had moved to different Cambodian cities to try and make ends meet, each time encountering more and bigger challenges.
The GMB Films team were wonderful. The workshops were held in Khmer and the team guided them every step of the way, working hard to build their confidence, pushing them beyond their experiences, building their enthusiasm. It was wonderful to see.
They went from developing story ideas to creating story boards, conducting interviews and getting footage. They were shown how to set up lighting to light their subjects and the need for extra footage that will help tell the story. By the end of the weekend their original trepidation was cast aside and they were buzzing.
This is exactly the kind of thing we would love to be able to provide more of. It ticks so many of our boxes. Capacity building for young people, creative development, community involvement, teamwork, developing a greater understanding of issues and resources, broadening horizons and of course instilling confidence.
Big thanks to Tania from Green Gecko for recommending us for this project and to GMB Films for making it such a wonderful experience.
As a result of this workshop, our participants were invited to attend a UNODC event in Phnom Penh, where their films were shown to a live audience and also online.