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Final preparations are underway for the 17th CHRA Summer School

Focus on Delivering Social Change to Children and Young People

With less than two weeks to go, the team at Picture People are undertaking the last-minute preparations for the launch of the 17th edition of the Cinema, Human Rights and Advocacy Summer School in Venice, Italy.

Jointly developed with the Global Campus on Human Rights and taught by renowned international lecturers and experts, the Summer School to be held August 29 to September 7, will focus on ‘delivering social change to children and young people’ in the broader framework of human rights protection and promotion.

The 10-day programme, which has just been finalised, has an exciting lineup of lectures, practical workshops, tutorials, film screenings and film discussions. During and beyond teaching activities, students will be able to expand their professional network and connect with inspiring people through peer learning, faculty mentoring and interaction with film industry experts present at the 79th Venice International Film Festival.

While lecturers at the Summer School will again include Christopher Hird, a leading figure in the UK independent documentary community, Raja Althaibani, a human rights advocate at WITNESS and Egbert Wits, an expert in international development at EngageMedia, this year, Mamadou Dia, an award-winning Senegalese film writer and director whose first feature film Nafi’s Father (2019) has won numerous international film awards, will also be running workshops at the Summer School. Mamadou will lecture on ‘Human Rights representation in the African Cinema’.

Nick Danziger, co-founder of Picture People, comments that, “for the first time, we are offering every student the opportunity to have a one-on-one session with our industry experts to critique and discuss their current video or advocacy project so they can take their projects to the next level. This exercise is one of the key highlights of the programme.

Many of the 27 students (from 20 different countries including Turkey, Armenia, and Sierra Leone), who will be in attendance have received their visas and will bring a diverse perspective to the programme thanks to their wide range of professions including attorneys, screenwriters, journalists, child protection workers, film directors, academics, photographers and PHD students.

Elena Morresi, a British journalist who will be flying to Venice shortly to attend the programme mentions that “making new connections and exchanging ideas is what I’m looking forward to the most from the CHRA Summer School so I can become a more well-rounded ethical journalist".

Workshops planned throughout the intense programme will cover topics such as ‘Introduction to Human Rights with a focus on Children Rights’, ‘Human Rights Representation in Films’, ‘Video in Human Rights Documentation and Advocacy’, as well as ‘Trauma-informed interviewing Techniques’ and ‘Children and Trauma’, a new focus area for the Summer School this year. These topics aim to help students with their project development, enhance their understanding of techniques and ethical dimensions, as well as encourage critical thinking and knowledge of potential platforms for funding and distribution.

With the Venice International Film Festival (as well as the Art Biennale) taking place at the same time, students will also get the chance to privately meet with film directors and producers present at the film festival. While there is no word yet who might be in attendance for these private meetings, in the past students have met with Ken Loach, Mike Leigh, Penny Woolcock and Philippe Aratingi, to name just a few.

The Summer School is aimed at young professionals from diverse backgrounds and experiences, wishing to broaden their understanding on the connections between human rights, films, digital media and video advocacy, and learn how to use film as a tool for social change.

Picture People is an educational charity that works with over 50 international and local partners in 20 countries around the world to train and support filmmakers, activities and storytellers in visual media and emerging technologies, so they have the right tools to expose social injustice and human rights, affect social change and engage communities.

To learn more about the Summer School, follow Picture People on social media.

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