Twenty teenagers from the North of the country turned Kolašin into the “Hollywood of Montenegro” for five days and produced their own short videos on topics such as poverty and social inclusion.
For the fourth consecutive year, the OneMinutesJr project made a stop-over in Montenegro to train young Montenegrins in filmmaking and digital story-telling. The participants this time all came from the Northern parts of the country, from Kolašin, Mojkovac, Rožaje, Berane and Plav. The boys and girls were trained by experienced film-makers in story development, filming and editing and finished the workshop with a presentation of twenty short films at the end of the one-week training.
From the very beginning of the workshop it was clear that the young people from the North of Montenegro who were selected for the workshop in cooperation with the NGO Forum MNE have some interesting stories to tell when it comes to both poverty and social inclusion. The group of young Roma teenagers from Berane shared stories about child labor, exclusion from education and domestic violence.
Felona (15) told us the story of a neighbor girl who has been staying with her older brother because the parents have left the country for work. Her brother treats the girl like a slave, sends her begging and also beats her when he is in a bad mood or even drunk. In this case, the girl’s family situation translates almost directly into physical and psychological violence. Binak (16), also from Berane, tells us that he has to work a lot to make money for the family. The parents are in town, but they are too old and sick to work, so the 16-year old boy has to take odd jobs to make sure the family survives.
Some of the participants from Mojkovac, the next city North from Kolašin, told us about the lack of facilities for teenagers and the need to move to the capital Podgorica for studies after secondary school. On the third day of the workshop we took everybody to Mojkovac to do some filming there for several movies. The “real” locations were what we needed – closed shops, empty buildings, destroyed factories, dirty rivers. While the teenagers would like to stay with their families and friends beyond their studies, they realize like Tijana (16): “There’s nothing here for me.”
Radovan, 15-year old boy with disability from Kolašin showed us his school, an inclusive school where he studies alongside everybody else and where he is integrated with other children. Anti discrimination was also a theme in Andjela’s film, where the 15-year old girl shows all her friends, Christians, Muslims, boys, girls, Roma, Montenegrin – no matter who they are.
All films will participate in the 2012 OneMinutesJr competition at the end of the year. A selection will also be used in the next couple of months by UNICEF Montenegro to visualize the results of the Analysis of the Situation of Children (SITAN). The report in 2012 will focus on child poverty and early data indicates that especially children in the North of the country suffer under the recent economic hardships and are further disadvantaged in their development.