Find out more about the Camara Chica project.
In June 2021 Into Film, working with the British Council, provided virtual training and workshops from three UK filmmakers to schools and youth organisations in Egypt as part of our ongoing Camara Chica project, which provides filmmaking training and equipment to young people abroad and/or in official development assistance countries. And we are delighted to be able to show you the films our groups made.
To assist on the project, British Council Egypt and Into Film partnered with the Jesuit Film School and recruited local mentors with a variety of filmmaking backgrounds to assist with the running of the project. The Egyptian edition of Camara Chica was called الكاميرا الشقية - Camera Sha'eya - which means "naughty little camera" in Arabic.
Use the links below to jump to the film of your choice, or keep reading to find out more about our filmmaking adventures in Egypt.
Camera Sha'eya took place in Alexandria, Egypt, where the UK team delivered a five-day filmmaking workshop to educators, youth leaders and mentors, who in turn delivered the Camera Chica workshops to young people from local Alexandria schools.
Overall, 52 young people took part in the project, working on shot types, story building, and group theatre activities before completing a series of ever-expanding exercises that started with a three-shot storytelling journey and culminated in their final group project films. A total of six final films were completed, and the results were wonderful.
Throughout their films, the young people spontaneously focused on themes of arts, creativity, performance, and the sometimes difficult nature of family. Others explored themes such as respect for elders, the difficulty of perfection, and consideration for those less fortunate.
The DSLR filmmaking kits were donated to the Jesuit Film School, who will use them to develop the attendees' filmmaking skills, and to introduce filmmaking to other schools and youth groups, both in Alexandria and in other parts of Egypt.
Here is what some of the participating educators had to say afterwards:
Film and filmmaking is based on the group work of the participants, and you could see this - you could see how the young people got closer, how the groups divided responsibility, and how their conversations about ‘stories' got them thinking about people's lives.Participating Educator in Egypt
Below is an excerpt from a letter written by one of the young participants to the UK mentoring team.
"First of all, we would like to thank the British Council for giving us this huge opportunity. It was an amazing experience, we all had fun and enjoyed ourselves in the workshop. We loved the group work, sharing our ideas with each other and combining it in one movie.
It was really nerve-wracking at first because we're all in different schools; but it was amazing how we all got along and got really close. The last day was the most emotional because we know for a fact some of us won't be able to see each other ever again.
To conclude, it was wonderful seeing the behind-the-scenes, and to experience all the hard work, because you never see that in the movies. Thank you so much. We need part 2!!"
Other young people remarked "I wish it had been longer because I loved working on this project all day every day" while another said "I liked this more than any other workshop I have ever attended."
I learned new things for the first time, and I was so happy at how everyone collaborated together. I would like to thank all those who helped and shared in making this workshop.Young Participant in Egypt
You can see all of the completed films below. Most of the films are in Arabic with English subtitles, so remember to hit the CC (closed captions) button in the bottom right-hand-corner of the video to turn them on.
Check out the final films from the Egypt: Camera Sha'eya project below, and please let us know what you think of our young Egyptian filmmakers' work!
One boy wants to follow his dream of becoming a football player, but should he give up this dream to help his brother earn money?
A song sparks a memory of times past, and people who are no longer with us.
A young girl has a chance to follow her dreams, but at what cost?
Acts of kindness mean so much in a world that is often uncaring.
A girl has her big chance... if only her parents cared more about her dreams.
A young boy is the embodiment of perfection in an imperfect world.