How do you set up an international film workshop in Denmark and invite young people from Scandinavia for a week? Lise-Lotte Bjørkholt and Kirsten Østergaard Nielsen from the board and International Group of DaBUF (organisation for Danish Children & Youth Filmclubs) had the intention, but not the experience. With the help of Judith Breuning (Filmfabrikken Møn filmschool), which had set up a similar camp in 2014, they made it happen… and wrote a report.
The first hurdle was to collect the money; we sent applications for funds and managed to collect more than 250.000 DKK (= €33.333), which made us feel safe, according to the first budget. Invites were sent to contacts in Norway, Sweden, Greenland, Denmark, and the Faroe Islands (who sadly enough couldn’t make it). We gathered 21 young people (11-14 years old), who all covered their own travel expenses, which is quite a challenge when coming from Greenland. Together with the accompanying adults, there were altogether about 20 volunteers to help with the practical housing tasks. We did expect some language barriers, but fortunately, the delegation from Greenland spoke Danish, so all participants managed to communicate in “mixed Nordic”, helped by humour, gestures, and some English on the side.
In the first “come together” session, participants were invited to shoot a short movie on iPads, which helped us to mix in three blended groups; each group with their own professional assistant and film instructor (Morten Pihl & August Aabo from Filmfabrikken Møn, and Inuk Jørgensen from Nordiska Filmskolan).
The next day, the youngsters were properly introduced to the technical equipment, and all groups decided on developing original ideas for their film script – and then went for it. The schedule was tight, with only three and a half days for storyboarding, recording, editing and finalising the movies. In between there were presentations about UN Global Goals, a stunt-workshop with training, excursions etc. The beautiful surrounding (including the nearby white cliffs) inspired the groups into outdoor recordings.
In our catering and housing we stayed true to the 17 UN Golden Goals regarding sustainability, and no complaints were heard from participants, although we noticed a strong preference for the typical Danish “pålægs-chokolade” (chocolate spread) specialty.
A hint of horror
The location – a former school, now Teater Møn with plenty of rooms and creative decorations –inspired all groups to add a ‘hint of horror’ to their productions. The three results were:
THE BET: a group of friends makes a bet about spending 24 hours alone in a haunted house. One boy accepts the terms, but can he measure the consequences?
QIVITTOQ: the title relates to a myth in Greenland about a person with magic powers who steps out of society for an isolated life in nature. When a bunch of friends visit a friend in a psychiatric ward, they have all the reasons to recall that myth.
GAME OVER refers to that same myth, but links it with a computer game, in which players become part of the game. With all the risks awaiting them, will they have enough lives to survive?
The cinema in Stege (the biggest city on the island Møn) was the stage for the red carpet premiere. Seeing the final productions on the big screen was a great moment, with everyone being proud and impressed, which was celebrated with a party. And what’s a party without funny film bloopers?
These days have been utterly exciting, for both youngsters and adults. That is why DaBUF is very grateful for the sponsor grants received from Nordic Culture Fond, A.P. Møller Fond, NUBF (Nordic Youth in Sustainable Communities) and for the Scandinavian good spirit guaranteed by all Nordic partners: Norsk Filmforbund (Norway), BUFF (Sweden) and Film.gl (Greenland). In the evaluations it became clear how young people had a great experience in good company, while learning about film. We therefore hope to organise a similar event next year, in Denmark or in other Nordic countries.