European societies are facing increasing tensions spurred by the ongoing refugee crisis, continuing wars, and increasing global migration. Hundreds of thousands of people have arrived to Europe in search of safety and a possibility to start new lives. But in order to successfully integrate to the new communities, many fears and prejudices must be faced and overcome. Our Verzio DocLab workshop this year is focusing on the processes of integration, looking into ways people from different cultures, backgrounds, and religions can live together. Powerful stories of perseverance, solidarity, and multiple challenges are to be told by the participants. Stories from their communities, focusing on people who had to strike new roots and reflecting on their journeys or experiences about their new home. An international team of filmmakers, editors, and human rights experts offer guidance and mentorship in structuring, editing, and post-production.
The 3-5 minute films are imagined as personal statements calling for understanding and action. There is no restriction on form, the stories however should be well researched, and based on lived experience. The resulting works (or extracts from work in progress) will be screened on Saturday, November 12 at Blinken OSA Archivum and will be available on Verzio YouTube channel.
We aim at raising awareness and calling for a change in attitudes towards refugees and migrants.
Moniek Wester Keegstra is an independent documentary (web)filmmaker, editor, interview trainer and filmcoach. She worked with NGOs Doctors Without Borders, Oxfam Novib and Amnesty International. Her Gaza, Gabbers, Graffity co-produced by Amnesty International was nominated for the Prix d’Europe. Moniek was involved as filmmaker and creator of the online platform 26,000 Faces with short film portraits about asylum seekers in the Netherlands. She is co-creator of the online Lifeboat Project.
Zsuzsanna Gellér-Varga studied filmmaking at UC Berkeley (USA) as a Fulbright scholar. Her Screw Your Courage (2000) won awards at several US film festivals and was broadcast on public TV. She worked for the New York Times Television as a video-journalist and later directed documentaries Once They Were Neighbours, (2005), Synagogue For Sale (2007), and Mr. Mom (2009), which were screened internationally and broadcast on public TV. Currently she is D.L.A. candidate at the University of Theater and Film Arts in Budapest and teaching documentary ethics at the DocNomads program.
Ursula Ambach is filmmaker and editor. She studied communications design at the Univesity of Applied Sciences in Würzburg and the Bond University Film Department in Australia. She has a diploma in directing/project development at the ZeLIG school for documentary in Bolzano, Italy. As an editor and author she works for the public broadcaster Bayerischer Rundfunk in Munich and in the ARD/BR foreign studios in Rome, Vatikan, Athens and Tel Aviv. She teaches dramaturgy and editing in Göttingen, Würzburg and Munich.
Jeremy Braverman is Media and Visual Education Specialist at CEU. He provides direct support for media and visual literacy through instruction on state-of-the-art equipment, practical training in communicating through moving images, and promotion of high technical standards for media production. Prior to joining CEU, Jeremy spent 15 years teaching filmmaking, most recently as Associate Professor and Department Chair at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA.