In cooperation with an international short film festival, a group of young people create a programme of short films and organize its screening at a cinema. During the workshop, they discuss and select films, create a communication strategy for the screening, and implement its communication campaign.
Organization of the workshop
An open call is announced for participants of this five-day short film programming workshop. Students from different schools come together to create a film programme and organize its public screening at a cinema. They are mentored by a film critic, a film programme curator, and an artistic director of an international short film festival.
The workshop’s mentor prepares a list of 15 short films (total duration: ~ 5 hours) and watches them together with the young film programmers. They are to choose 3-4 film titles to create a consistent and conceptually grounded programme of short films.
Mentors act as facilitators of the discussion and help all the participants engage in it. They do not judge other ideas or propose/impose his/her opinion on the issues discussed. Instead, they express their doubts as questions to the participants to think about. All the decisions among the participants are made by consensus.
Choice of mentors
Three mentors (a film critic, a film programmer of a cinema, and an artistic director of the short film festival) are invited by the workshop’s organizer, based on three main criteria: the ability to offer different and complementary perspectives on film programming; the experience/ability to work with young people; the ability to engage others into a discussion without imposing their own opinion/approach.
The commmunication of the film programme’s screening is based on social networks, email groups, and personal connections of the young film programmers. Moreover, the information about the screening is also spread via traditional media, by using the cinema’s booklets and posters.
Teamwork vs. individual work
The workshop’s activities involve both individual tasks (e.g., writing film synopses and programme descriptions) and teamwork (film selection, presentation of the programme at the cinema, communication of the programme).
Cooperation with a short film festival
The cooperation with a short film festival is essential for the workshop, as it enriches the workshop with practical issues of film programming. Additionally, the festival provides film copies for the workshop’s film selection process, as well as screening rights for the selected films. However, a workshop could be also organized without a partnership with a film festival. In this case, the organizers would have to secure screening rights for public screenings, as well as promotional material (e.g., stills of films) for their communication campaign.