Stockholm International Film Festival has developed several non profit projects over the years to raise awareness about children and human rights through film education for children and teenagers around the world. In collaboration with several non profit organizations the festival has reached hundreds of children and a selection of these collaborations are presented on this page.
For the fourth year, Stockholm Film Festival Junior collaborates with Save the Children and creates films across nation borders on the topic of Identity. With film as a tool, young people in Sweden and Palestine investigate what Identity really means. Identity is the theme of the festival this year and it permeates the film project in every way. The films were shown during the Stockholm Film Festival Junior 3-8 April 2017.
For young adults, thoughts about identity are circulating. With a group in Sweden and in Palestine, we have workshops and discussions with young people and from the different continents and let them reflect on the theme of Identity. They have gathered their thoughts and they have created autobiographical documentary films where they openly and honestly reflect on themselves on the basis of their everyday lives.
The Swedish group attend year 9 in Hökarängsskolan. The Palestinian group are between 15-17 years old and live in the West Bank. They live in the everyday life of the occupation and the unese that it implies. The two groups are given the opportunity to have unique insights into each other's everyday life and with the goal of making films together and telling their stories, the touching portraits tell what it is like to be in their shoes.
Film School without Borders: Home
In 2016 Stockholm Film Festival Junior and main partner Save the Children developed a film project with teens in Lebanon. Through a film project they shared experiences and created short films together with teens in Sweden. With film as an instrument, the groups were to investigate the real meaning of the concept “Home”. What happens with the perception of Home in an environment where people have to flee and rebuild their homes elsewhere? What are the essential elements? What do you miss? Where do you begin?
The group discussed these issues through Skype and created short films across national borders. Using the same pedagogical and technical conditions as a starting point, and a common goal to create two short films, they tell their own stories.
The project Film School Without Borders took place in March 2016 and the premiere of the films was on the 13th of April at the cinema Klarabiografen in Stockholm during the 17th edition of Stockholm Film Festival Junior.
The films were shown together with a short documentary on the project. They can all be seen in the link below.
Children’s rights were on the agenda and we used film as a medium to highlight the injustice prevailing in different parts of the world.
See the short film about the project and the short films created on the project page, Film School without Borders.
THE PANSY PROJECT
By planting pansies in places where homophobic actts have subjected people to hate crimes, Paul Harfleet combats homophobia and raises awareness of human rights in societies around the world.
For ten years he has been traveling the world with The Pansy Project. Harfleet visited the Stockholm Film Festival Junior in 2016 in association with the screening of the documentary film “Pansy!”. He planted pansies on nine locations around Stockholm and met people who had been victims of hate crime. The film “Pansy!”, which follows his art project during a tour in France, was shown at the festival. Harfleet was interviewed about his visit to Stockholm, which you can see here.
Film School without Borders: Hopes and dreams
Stockholm Film Festival Junior and Save the Children worked together in a film project connecting young people in Lebanon and in Sweden through filmmaking. Using Skype, the same pedagogical work-plan and technical conditions each group created a short film based on their own everyday life.
The theme of that year’s festival, “Hope”, was discussed in the films but even dreams and human rights.
The group consisted of six Lebanese teenagers (16 to 19 years old) and six Palestinian teenagers living in a refugee camp in Lebanon. The group in Sweden consisted of ten students from a high school in Stockholm.
The short films were screened during the festival and the kids had the chance to meet up in Sweden to further exchange their knowledge and experiences.
- Save the Children is a children's rights organization with which we strongly sympathize. With more than 15 years of experience of filmmaking with children, we see the positive effects when children’s own stories come to life in a film, says Git Scheynius, Festival Director.
- Working together with Stockholm Film Festival Junior, in this film project, has created an opportunity for children in Sweden and children from the participating countries in North Africa and the Middle East to meet and learn from each other, says Thérèse Carlbom, Save the Children.
Power to the Girl Forum leaders of Save the Children
Save the Children, main partner of Stockholm Film Festival Junior, stands behind the non profit initiative Girl Forum which aims to empower young girls' self-esteem. The Girl Forum is organized by volonteers in a number of youth centers in socially deprived areas of Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmö and Borlänge. They organize activities such as movie nights, dancing, different types of workshops - for girls only. The leaders of Girl Forums around the country operate a major child rights effort, worth rewarding them for. With the help of the Stockholm Film Festival Junior, Save the Children organized an event to meet, have fun and blow off steem, educate and highlight the importance of the Girl Forum leaders’ work.
Stockholm Film Festival Junior and Save the Children provided an activity day at a movie theatre in Stockholm where Girl Forum leaders from Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmö and Borlänge met and saw the acclaimed feature film "Girlhood" about a group of young girls in the suburbs of Paris. The film is directed by Céline Sciamma, winner of the bronze horse during the Stockholm International Film Festival 2014. Before and after the feture they discussed, inspired and shared knowledge and experiences with each other.
The leaders got an opportunity to discuss how issues concerning women’s rights could be raised relating it to structural discrimination, racism, power and rights. Topics like friendship, love and dreams were also in the spotlight. Experts and motivators were present to lecture and discuss on the topic of the right to decide over one’s own body.
The event's main objective was to increase awareness of women’s rights in society, strengthen the leaders in their leadership and provide tools for the dissemination of existing, as well as new, knowledge in Save the Children's channels.
FILM TALK ACROSS CONTINENTS
This year Stockholm Film Festival Junior commenced partnership with Save the Children. The first collaboration project was creating a film discussion forum for elementary school students in Sweden and North Africa. Films made at Stockholm Film Festival Junior’s film workshops in Sweden were exchanged with films made at film workshops in Egyptian after school programs.
The students saw and discussed each other’s films and met over Skype in order to exchange experiences and ideas about film making.
FILM WORKSHOPS INSPIRE TEENS IN NAMIBIA
For over 15 years Stockholm Film Festival Junior has organized Mobile Film Workshops, a film workshop project taking place in the schools of Stockholm. The purpose is for the students to make their own films together with film pedgogues and learn the language of film. In 2013 the festival took the step to reach students out side of Stockholm – in Namibia and South Africa.
Stockholm Film Festival Junior visited Namibia and South Africa to spread film education in collaboration with the Swedish Department of Culture. The film workshops took place in areas where schools take great initiatives in preventing the spreading of the HIV/AIDS virus through education. The film workshops became a tool of education on this topic.
- Stockholm Film Festival Junior loves working with kids because they are the future of cinema, says festival director Git Scheynius. The film workshops are a very good tool for understanding cinema. It has been a very inspiring journey taking the format to an international level.
Amongs the film makers is Liami Nghinyangelwa who’s film ”If Only” portrays a young woman’s everyday life in Namibia. The film workshops not only became a way for her to make film for the first time, but also a journey to get to know herself better.
- I didn’t know that I could make films together with others and become a director. I always believed that I was the shy type but now I have overcome that, says Liami.
The film workshops became an eye opening experience for Esther Nangombe who directed ”Long Night”. Today she sees her future as a film director.
FILM WORKSHOPS AGAINST HIV/AIDS IN SOUTH AFRICA
In 2012 Stockholm Film Festival Junior collaborated with the non profit organization Star For Life to make nearly 100 film workshops in South African schools. In South Africa the spread of the HIV and AIDS virus is a result of extreme poverty and inequality as well as poor health conditions. The purpose of the film workshops in the South African schools was to contribute to the self esteem of the students in the ages 13-19 years old in the KwaZulu-Natal province and to encourage them to make their voice heard in the civic society.
The short films created during the workshop were later sent to Sweden to make a trade between he South African students and Swedish students, who also made short films at the Stockholm Film Festival Junior’s film workshops. In that way the project became a platform for communication, locally as well as internationally. Approximately 100 short films were made by the South African students.