A group of aspiring Armenian and Azerbaijani video journalists completed a one-year film-production study programme run by Conciliation Resources’ local partners in Azerbaijan and Armenia in 2013 / 2014.
Dialogue Through Film Academy offered participants the chance to learn all the basic skills needed to make a film – from researching and pitching an idea, to planning a shoot, script-writing and film-editing. The teams were chosen through a competitive process.
The two groups attended a series of monthly seminars as well as master-classes with well-known film-makers from Moscow, Yerevan and Baku – some who came in person and some who took part via Skype. After each session the participants were given a series of practical tasks to work on at home in preparation for the next study session.
The two teams also met up twice in Tbilisi during the course of the project. These were challenging events, but played an important role in our peacebuilding efforts and in the personal transformation of some participants when being confronted with someone from ‘the other side’. At the end of the year the participants were challenged to come up with an idea for a short film of their own which they would produce, film and edit. The results reflect the breadth of the film genres that the teams studied. They range from public-service style short films, to more reflective documentaries.
Out of the final five produced movies, here are two examples:
- Bombshelter Generation: young women who spent their childhoods in basement shelters during a period of the Nagorny Karabakh conflict, reflect on how the experience has shaped their lives.
- Left Right: an injured Azeri war veteran has a nightmare.
These films have been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union. The contents are the sole responsibility of the European Partnership for the Peaceful Settlement of the Conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh (EPNK) and its members; they should under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the EU.