The first workshop series we taught was with seventh graders at Ashwini Charitable Trust. “ACT”, as they like to call it, is an NGO aiming to educate and empower underprivileged children in Ulsoor Slums (a neighborhood in central Bangalore). Due to limited equipment resources, the students worked in small groups on their documentary projects, filming on point-and-shoot cameras and editing on computers equipped with Windows Movie Maker software. Although only 12 to 14 years of age, the participants showed great maturity by all selecting documentary topics dealing with environmental issues affecting their neighborhood and city. And although this represented the first time any of the students had been exposed to filmmaking, in a relatively short period of time they learned an unbelievable amount about planning projects, camerawork, interviewing subjects, and editing. Have a look at some of their fine work, of which they, and we as well, are rightfully proud:
This past January we taught three workshop series in Bangalore, India, marking a tremendously successful run for Bent Marble. Across the board, we were extremely impressed with our students’ level of interest, discipline, and creativity… as well as the high quality of their final films.
The next group of students we worked with were a bit older, from the Media Studies Department at the Center for Management Studies at Jain University. (Notably, this marked the first time Bent Marble has offered a complete workshop series at an institute of higher education.) One CMS student, Altaf, was particularly committed throughout the entire filmmaking process. Interestingly, he was also the student with the least prior filmmaking experience… none to be exact. Particularly impressive was how quickly Altaf became comfortable using Adobe Premiere Pro software. Indeed, after just a couple classes he was off and independently editing his film project, that at 13 minutes total running time is perhaps the most ambitious student film to date! While the topic he chose was a bit controversial, issues affecting the legalization of marijuana in India, we are so impressed with this first-time filmmaker’s hard work, and hope you are too:
The final workshop series was offered in the evening to adult participants at Jaaga Startup, a community workspace for creative entrepreneurs that also offers related educational programs, like our own. Though this group represented our oldest cohort yet, most participants were also filmmaking novices (with the exception of one in his seventies who actually had fifty years of experience in the Indian filmmaking industry)! Two Jaaga Startup students in particular, Jai and Amit, produced documentary works that were exceptionally creative and personal (two hallmark traits of “Clackumentaries” that Bent Marble strongly promotes). Indeed, each of them discovered their unique filmmaking “voice” in beautiful fashion. And they skillfully edited their projects, involving fairly complex multimedia elements, using Adobe Premiere Pro, which they, like Altaf, learned from scratch in our workshops. Please have a look now at their wonderful works:
(Click here to visit Bent Marble on YouTube)
So there you have it, a fine filmic summary of what Bent Marble workshop particpants accomplished in India. We are so proud of the achievements of all these “A” students. And their successes, in turn, make us feel successful, and give us great motivation as we now take our creative documentary workshops to the continent of Africa!
Thanks for traveling with us… and as always, let’s keep this marble rolling!