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Livity Africa is a South African youth media agency that develops multi-platform content for young people, all produced by young people aged 18 to 25. In addition to creating their own content, this organization is also highly committed to educating the next generation of media makers. Indeed, individuals accepted into Livity’s internship programs are mentored by a team of industry professionals, taught valuable digital media and marketing skills, given a solid sense of the working world, and assisted in securing jobs in the media industry. Specific areas in which they receive training include journalism, design, video, photography, marketing, and PR.
This past month I had the opportunity to facilitate one of Bent Marble’s documentary workshop series with an extremely bright group of interns at Livity’s offices in Braamfontein, Johannesburg. In addition to their already hectic schedule of trainings and projects, they now also had the opportunity to learn key documentary filmmaking skills, as well as to make their own short films.
Now while in the “agency world”, media makers are often inclined to use the best filmmaking equipment money can buy (or rent), and to create messages that suit their client’s objectives, in our workshops, as always, we placed emphasis on using whatever filmmaking tools are readily available (however humble they may be), and telling real-life stories from a personal perspective.
I interviewed a couple of these talented interns at the end of the workshops, and it was fascinating to hear what they had to say about the advantages of these very practices. One of them, Fatima, spoke candidly on the issue of using simple tools to shoot and edit a documentary:
Another intern, Lwazi, commented eloquently on the benefits of sharing stories rooted in your own world of experience:
And here’s a sampling of the finished films made by participants in our workshop series at Livity Africa:
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Well remarkably, as of this point we have been on the road offering our free documentary workshops for a full year! And we look forward now to returning home to the US for a bit of R&R, and to reflect on the challenges and successes of the past 12 months. We are also greatly excited to power up for the year ahead, in which we plan to take our programs and services to the next level. But more on that after a power nap 😉