Uganda: University Film Clubs
The project seeks to raise insight and capacity to articulate freely on issues of distress within communities using online video advocacy. 80% of Ugandans are youth below 30 years. This is an important demographic group to strive and create social change through raising awareness on human rights issues, especially were standard democratic practices are restricted. The film clubs will promote freedom of expression through teaching students how to make engaging short films, micro blogging and utilizing social media sites to present their voice on current human rights issues in Uganda.
What locality or neighborhood will your project focus on?
Describe the specific population with whom you will be working.
The targeted group are urban university students that live in communities were issues of rights violation and misuse of power occurs. They have access to internet and more exposed to democracy issues via their education and hence, the integration of film in expressing such issues is crucial. We have worked in partnership with universities through a pilot project with Manya International Human Rights Film Festival. It is determined that universities are an integral vehicle for change in Uganda and are enthusiastic to find new ways to express their political, social and cultural views. As the target group have online knowledge and skills, the selected participants will acquire further skills that strengthen their capacity to integrate film advocacy into social networking and micro blogging.
Who else will be on your team to help implement the project?
Ali Musoke: https://www.facebook.com/musoke.ali.9?fref=ts
Tenywa Hamid Hakim: https://www.facebook.com/tenywa.hamidhakim?hc_location=stream
Brigid J.T.: https://www.facebook.com/brigid.tipping?fref=ts
What kinds of news, stories and other content will be created?
The participants will be trained on how to make engaging stories that will ignite online discussions and debates on issues both local and national. An example would be: safety on the road (most of our roads lack proper road signs and traffic lights which jeopardizes our safety on road). Another example would be equal educational opportunities for all, given the occasional increase in student fees as well as human rights issues. Participants will be guided by facilitators to identify issues within their communities and how to create engaging short video stories that can be uploaded onto social media sites to create online dialogue and debates. The ideal goal is to enhance capacity of selected participants to produce engaging film materials for online purposes to allow debate.
What technologies and digital tools do you plan to use in the trainings?
Describe the connections that you or your organization have already established or plan to establish that will contribute to the success of the project.
Through managing a film festival across Uganda for the past years, we have established strong networks across the film, arts and media industries. This has included partnership with key film training institutes, NGOs utilizing film as a tool for change, including Raising Voices and Civil Society Private Public Forum. With part of the film screening at universities has raised our profile amongst staff and students and recently I was invited to present a paper on film as a tool for change at the Faculty for Human Rights and Ethics open day at Makerere University . We have established ourselves as a key player in Uganda’s emerging film industry and through or online communications strategy, we have a substantial online following. I have support and input into developing and delivering this.
How many participants do you think will be trained in your project?
At least 60 university students from 3 selected universities will be trained for 3 days. The identified students will be selected from the meetings held during visits to their respective universities. The ideal goal will be to encourage them to form Film clubs within their universities so they can benefit from our program which includes; the annual MHRIFF and participation, a database of at least 500 films collected from our previous festival editions an opportunity they can utilize to plan and organise film screenings and discussion under our support. Through the combination of world cinema screenings on human rights issues and creating engaging and hand on film training students will be inspired to create their own stories. Also through facilitating and encouraging online discussion.
Describe which technologies, tools, and media you will focus on when training participants.
Short film/video development for online discussions, social networking/microblogging techniques will be used. YouTube, facebook, twitter will be the major media focused on. During MHRIFF we have programmed film screenings from diverse parts of the world, film workshops, public dialogue, panel discussions which gives us the skills and knowledge to undertake this project. We have made strategic partnerships with key student representatives and academics and have ascertained a real interest and following in this project proposal. We have organised and interacted with a diverse range of university students from various disciplines during the film screenings and discussions held last year. The introductory of these clubs will enhance core areas of focus.
Describe the facilities where you will hold the workshops.
The workshops will be held in respective universities halls. This will minimize transportation costs. A white screen and projector, flip charts and markers will be provided for film screening and post screening discussions. Also examples of online content will be presented. During the workshops, there will be provision of unlimited internet where participants will be in position to upload content without interference. Digital cameras and editing tools will be provided for participants to understand the various techniques of camera operation and basic editing skills. Participants are expected to come with laptops/smart phones or tablets to use during the three days workshop.
Kampala Average Download Speed: 2.5 Mbps (308 kB/s)
Kampala Average Upload Speed: 2.3 Mbps (290 kB/s)
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?
A pilot project that involved film screenings and discussions was held in three selected universities last year. This was well received among the targeted group. In April this year, a briefing about this intent project and screening was held at one of the target Universities (Makerere University). With this relationship, this gives us an upper hand in implementing the proposed project.
Our plans are to strengthen the University Film Clubs, work alongside and support related activities. We believe they will be an important target too for our festival as they are the immediate future leaders in making. For this proposed approach, the skills imparted to the participants will be shared across the network for a wider dialogue and debate.
What specific challenges do you expect to face when planning and implementing your project?
Internet access is estimated at about 4.5 million Ugandans out of 34.5million people. There are probable challenges of internet access due to connection failures. More participants are expected to turn-up for the trainings because of its relevance. Misinterpretations of our intentions is likely to occur during implementation.
With the above challenges, we plan to have unlimited internet during the training process. Our target size of training will be limited to 20 participants per university. Posters, flyers will be distributed to emphasize this program. T/shirts will be printed in the promotion of this program and its partners. Emphasis will be stressed during the communications and training about the intended project. This will also be announced on our website and other social networks.
How will you measure and evaluate the project’s impact, specifically: your primary participants, the wider regional community, or the global digital community?
•Primary participants: It will be measured on the number of participants trained, video/film content produced and uploaded online, discussions/dialogue generated as a result of this project. Questionnaires provided to the participants and a final evaluation report (both narrative and video)
•Wider regional community: The number discussions generated aimed at addressing community concerns online and response taken in addressing them by responsible leaders as a result of this intervention.
•Global digital community: The content created will be shared online. The project will also depend on the number of people following the discussions and dialogue online. The project will be documented and DVD copies distributed
How many hits/likes on social media sites
If your project were to be selected as a Rising Voices grantee, what would be the general timeline of project activities in 2014?
1- Internal meetings/planning with team members, communication to University and student bodies concerned – June to July
2- Meeting with the University body and students – August
3- Meeting the facilitators for briefing about the workshops – End of August
4- Design/Development/distribution of Press and media materials -August/September/October
5- Workshops in the selected 3 Universities – September towards October
6- Distribution/online uploads and engaged discussions – September/October
7- Evaluation and report submission – October/November
Detail a specific budget of up to $2,500 USD for operating costs.
Travel Costs – 196, Stationary – 23, Communication Costs – 119, Film Workshop Costs – 1,434, Documentation/Evaluation – 257, Press/Media Campaign – 433, Distribution – 36. Total – 2,498
Besides the microgrant funding, what other support can Rising Voices provide for your project to ensure its success?
Rising Voices can help us strengthen introduced channels for distribution of produced contents to a wider network. As well link us to already existing networks that use the same mechanism to promote freedom of speech and expression for community empowerment. Additional capacity building for skills development using this medium will also be necessary for sustainability of this initiative.
Manya Cultural Foundation/Manya Human Rights International Film Festival