One Minute Video is a format motivating children both for cognitive creation and for demonstration of their active citizenship. The task of disclosing an idea in the brief time is difficult enough even for adults. But our teenagers have managed to put the audience in reflection.
The war in Donbass made the children feeling more grown-up than they should be. Their innerworld is complicated and confused. It demands to be voiced loudly! One Minute Video is like their scream, full of emotions, tears of happiness and hope. Allow us to convey to you our deep gratitude for participating in the project. And we hope for close co-operation in future.
I think they are young creators. They present a creative touch with their films, coming up with beautiful ideas while using simple tools and cadres.
Somar Al Bish
Workshop in a refugee camp. We were invited to make One Minutes with children. We started by brainstorming. The children showed me their drawings: people lying dead on the ground, tanks, airplanes bombing houses, and the sun. Children's drawings always have the sun in them. It's not right for children to be drawing these terrible scenes. My role was to give the children extra support. The workshop ended with a screening of the videos they had made—videos I would say were about homesickness and waiting. The president of Germany attended the final presentation. I am glad I had a chance to be part of it.
José Miguel Biscaya
I had heard of The One Minutes Jr., but it was only when I went to the Awards Ceremony in 2013 that I understood the importance of it. It was clear that these young filmmakers really had something they wanted and needed to say. And when I heard the kids introducing their films on stage, that’s when I realized just how meaningful and how fantastic The One Minutes Jr. are. You could see that this ceremony was going to change their lives. I believe that for children to express themselves, to create, to communicate and to make contact with people from different cultures is the key to a better world.
Julia van Mourik
For The One Minutes and Unicef I’ve done about ten workshops for children. I’ve worked with handicapped children, deaf children, and I did one workshop in a refugee camp. There’s nothing in a refugee camp, or almost nothing—except your imagination. Imagination takes you inward: Who are you? Who could you be? Who do you want to be? You can create a hero. One Minutes let you make a story in pictures that you can’t tell in words. One girl said that at home she had been able to see the moon and stars from her bed. As a refugee she saw nothing. We took paper and made a new moon and stars for her. Then she could make a plan for a One Minute. I like to challenge children to film something that frightens them, to cross barriers. Now I’m home and, with a colleague, helping the children make an online newspaper about their lives. Giving workshops has made me a better person than I was.
I organize workshops with Unicef. I choose the artists who get sent out and talk with them when they come back. The films that come in get put in the archive. I do the post-production. Occasionally, I give a workshop myself. That’s super-important for me. It reminds me why I’m doing this. I’ll never forget one workshop we gave in Beirut for children from different religious backgrounds. The war was just ending. We landed at the airport and were advised to fly back immediately, but we didn’t. The children were around 15 years old. They didn’t want war, they just wanted to go outside, onto the streets. They were critical in their films, but at the same time they had optimism and humour. I felt that I had brought them some hope and comfort.
It’s not hard to make a One Minute, but it’s a lot of work. My film is about integration. Integration has to come from both sides. I made some new friends from working on my film.
One Minute workshop with Moroccan-Dutch teenagers in Amsterdam. One of the toughest kids had written a rap, and for “his” minute he wanted to sing and record it. He wanted a close-up of his face, and for the right look he wanted a gold tooth. Because he had no actual dental problems, he planned to use a fake gold tooth that could slide on over one of his own front teeth. He walked away with the camera and a friend who would record the performance. He didn’t want an audience for his musical number.
Then he came running back, upset, saying: “My film is ruined—and my gold tooth is gone! It fell off in the middle of my rap. It slid to the back of my throat and I swallowed it…I was coughing so hard I thought I was going to choke…” The footage of him coughing and coughing was extraordinary. It would have made a perfect one minute. It was too bad he wouldn’t let his “golden” minute be shown.
When we started this project, we thought we would teach kids how to make films. Turned out that we learned so much more from the kids than they learned from us. They opened their hearts for us, their souls, their minds, their houses, their schools, their playgrounds, recently even their mobile phones. We also learned psychology. And listening. And paying attention. We learned so much more than we thought we would. But having the workshops, giving them the platform, giving them the outreach through websites, festivals and broadcasters also gives them a lot. So it's really been an extremely beneficial project, for everybody involved. More than happy to be part of it!
I worked as a coordinator for The One Minutes. The office was in a bathroom at Sandberg Instituut, Amsterdam. A shelf on two shackles used as a table with a computer, vhs recorder, dv cassette deck, mixer, amplifier, two boxes and cardboard boxes of tapes, entry forms and mice families. The first workshops were organised from this room and the first trainers, David and Vava went to Budapest. They came back with great stories and films. I remember a cheerful animation of a big outside chessboard, on each chess piece a happy smiley face is glued.
As a trainer myself, I gained unforgettable workshop memories. The moment when youngsters begin to feel comfortable in the group, friendships develop, no matter their backgrounds. The shy girl in Cambodia unfolds in a director and calls out: moi, bpee, bpai, Action! (1,2,3, Action!) The little boy in Togo, victim of child trafficking, shouts his frustration and anger in the camera, three young girls in Casablanca put lipstick on their lips and take off their head scarfs to feel free.
I feel very privileged that I had the opportunity to give One Minutes Jr. workshops to give youngsters a chance to express themselves by making their own video.
Here is the film story of a teenager, one of many:
“My dream is to reach the summit of Mount Everest. I have already climbed mountains in a group. Everest is my dream destination. I train every day. My climbing instructor says I should just keep working and not think too much about Everest. I live with my grandmother. My parents died when I was very young. My grandmother brings me to the climbing class. My instructor thinks mountain climbing is too risky for someone with my condition; he says it’s bad for my health. My grandmother says the same. But I convinced them to let me do it anyway, and now they support me. Someday I’ll climb Everest. I train twice as hard as others in my group. The doctors say I’m crazy, but they don’t understand how much it matters to me. I know it’s almost impossible. But I promised my grandmother, and I know that someday I’ll do it.”
This is the story of a 14-year-old boy from Ukraine whose parents passed on the HIV virus to him at birth. He made a film about his dream of climbing Mount Everest. He showed photos of himself on various mountaintops. Every time I start to complain about a difficult situation in my life, I remember his story, and suddenly all my problems seem small and unimportant.
My favourite memory is and always will be Gor, the first winner of The One Minutes Jr. competition. He was 13 and came by himself all the way from Armenia to Amsterdam. He had on a post-Communist sweater and dark brown trousers; he had the beginnings of a moustache and a look of perfect seriousness. He accepted his prize to applause and cheers from a sold-out Paradiso full of young artists from the Sandberg Instituut and the Rietveld Academie. The next day Gor’s picture was in the paper and he had begun to believe that his dream could come true. He is now a filmmaker with several films to his credit and 24 prizes and honourable mentions worldwide. The first one on his list: The One Minutes Jr. Award.
How and where does an idea take hold? The One Minutes existed for a few years already, initiated by students of Sandberg Instituut. Now anyone can record and edit video. Twenty years ago that wasn’t the case. Through workshops, readings, publications and all-around enthusiasm, we propagated the idea of The One Minutes worldwide, always with an emphasis on art.
In 2002 Sophie Leferink of the European Cultural Foundation asked if she could start a junior edition of The One Minutes, and we began working together. Thanks to Sophie, the world of The One Minutes got bigger. For the junior edition some 300 workshops have been given, in Eastern Europe, Africa, South America, Russia and more, with support from the ECF and Unicef.