We at Pronesis Institute of Audiovisual and Social Change have been training low-income youth to produce socially and environmentally engaged documentaries. These short documentaries (5 in total) will be shown to the community in a local film festival that will also be open to other local films. All of the films talk about social and environmental problems of the second poorest region of the State of São Paulo, Brazil. We hope the festival can be attended by many people, especially youth, and we already have confirmation from the mayor that she will attend.
What locality or neighborhood will your project focus on?
Describe the specific community with whom you will be working.
They are the second poorest region of the State of São Paulo, Brazil, and all are low-income youth in a city that is far away from major urban and industrial communities. It is a rural community in inland Brazil which cares about issues like the environment but also has major social and environmental problems. Although they have this harsh reality of social and economic marginality, the young people we are working with also show a lot of interest in learning new things because so little is available to them there. The are computer literate and familiar with internet, however.
What kinds of news, stories and other content will be created?
Besides the Festival a Blog will be created with all of the films, with descriptions in English and Portuguese. The project will continue after the Festival run by the beneficiary NGO, since the cameras, microphones and laptops are their own to use.
What technologies and digital tools do you plan to use in the trainings?
Describe the connections that you or your organization have already established that will contribute to the success of the project.
A local NGO is the major partner. The new (since January) county mayor has announced support for the film festival, besides her presence.
How many participants do you think will be involved in your project?
We are training 24 young people and they are divided into 5 filmmaking groups. They will also participate in the Festival organizing committee. The Festival will also bring benefits to other counties and youth who can apply with a film.
Describe which technologies, tools, and media you will focus on when training participants.
We at Pronesis Institute believe that filmmaking for social change requires not only technical skills in audiovisual production but also competence in fields as history, politics, human rights, social justice, critical social thought, the environment, diversity. Our professionals as well as our classes bring these connections between the technical and the world and its needs.
Describe the facilities where you will hold the workshops.
The workshops have been happening at the NGO ISCAP offices, where there is a room for classes and another for editing. Films are now in production phase, some going to postproduction. There is ADSL connection.
What is your current relationship with the community with whom you plan to work? What makes you the most appropriate individual or organization to implement this project?
I am the founder of ISCAP, the host organization, and have lived in that community for 4 years. I am very knowledgeable of the problems faced by the community, and have had the role as founder and consultant after leaving the place 3 years ago. The local community has acknowledged that ISCAP is bringing many positive changes to the place, and this project is only one of these positive changes. One of our previous projects was the restoration of the only theatre in the county, now open to the community. This theatre is where the Festival will happen.
What specific challenges do you expect to face when planning and implementing your project?
I think that the biggest challenge will be to get the larger community involved, participating at the event. However, I am sure that with the grant money and the publicity it will allow us to have, that we will have the 300+ seats occupied in the theatre.
How will you measure and evaluate the project’s impact, specifically: your primary participants, the wider regional community, or the global digital community?
With our primary participants we are already evaluating with questionnaires and direct conversations. We also made videos of their evaluations. With the wider community, we will be making a video on the day of the event, as well as having a very short questionnaire. For the global community, we will have videos and a specific blog on the festival with all of the participating films and descriptions of the project itself and of films in English and Portuguese.
If your project were to be selected as a Rising Voices grantee, what would be the general timeline of project activities in 2013?
We would be making public our call to local films on the subject of the ecological, cultural and social aspects of the region to surrounding counties. This will be done from May to July. Then we would have the event in August.
Detail a specific budget of up to $4,000 USD for operating costs.
Publicity (posters, radio, digital flyers, distribution, sound car) prior to the event: 1,500
Travel, food and accommodations for technical team of teachers for the event: 2,000
Expenses with rent of theatre for the day of the event: 500
Besides the microgrant funding, what other resources and support are you seeking for your project to ensure its success?
Rising Voices can also help by bringing attention to the project and film festival and its effects so other communities can develop their own ideas from our experience. We think that films about local issues made by and presented to the community can foster social change in unpredictable ways. Pronesis Institute also hopes to promote other similar projects with low-income communities and produce other local film festivals in 2014 and we hope to work with Rising Voices again.
Pronesis Institute of Audiovisual and Social Change