SCHOOLS AND DOCUMENTARIES
“Promoting Democratic Values and Human Rights through Film”
DokuFest launched the Schools and Documentaries project in 2008 to enable student’s access to documentary films and methodical manuals that tackle actual themes related to human rights. This approach allowed us to explore the potential of audiovisual materials in efficient communication with high school students.
Initially, project organized regular documentary film screenings with emphasis on Human Rights theme. These screenings were attended by over 3,000 students, and each screening was followed by discussions and lengthy debates on topics that tackled in the film.
Following successful implementation in Prizren, the project was extended to public high schools in municipalities of Dragash, Mamusha and Suhareka. The impact of the program led to production of a Methodical Manual on Using Film in Classroom. The production of the manual was strongly supported by Municipal Directorates of Education in municipalities where project was presented.
The production of the Methodical Manual paired with the capacity building of teachers, led to establishment of Cinema Clubs in several high schools of Kosovo. The geographical coverage included schools in locations populated with minority groups, thus DokuFest translated the Manuals to Serbian and Turkish languages, allowing students and teachers of other ethnic groups utilization of the Methodical Manual.
In addition to providing Manuals and access to film archive, these schools received necessary equipment to support the film screenings. Established film clubs organize two screenings per month that are followed by lengthy discussions and related activities linked to the topic of the film. These are further elaborated in our individual Film Guides – designed to serve the teachers as a resource to organize discussions and activities.
Through the establishment of cinema clubs in several high schools in Kosovo, we have observed that audiovisual materials enabled students to concretize abstract topics of human rights, develop interpersonal, intercultural and societal relations, understanding and respect for differences among citizens, tolerance and respect for others. The established cinema clubs in the schools have greatly contributed to deepening democracy education through documentary films, reflected clearly in increased active citizenship and participation in initiatives for social and cultural integration.
Currently Film Clubs are established in selected high schools of the following municipalities: Prizren, Suhareka, Dragash, Mamusha, Prishtina, Recane, Gjakova.
As of 2012, attending students took a proactive steps by requesting to partake in educational programs for skill development in production of documentary films on Human Rights topic and challenges they face here in Kosovo. A sub-program of “Schools and Documentaries” was established under the brand “Future is Here” that fosters creative documentary filmmaking through practical exercises in storytelling, while familiarizing high school students with the concept of active citizenship, human rights and democratic values.
Over the years we have established a documentary production center that through trainings and provision of equipment serves as a resource for young and aspiring filmmakers and activists. This program also guided and encouraged young people to take action and be active agents for social change through storytelling and filmmaking.
Student films after the premiere at DokuFest embark on international festival journey, initially at regional festivals and later to other international festivals. In 2016 and 2017 films produced by the fourth generation of students travelled to more than 15 reputable film festivals including “Free Zone” in Belgrade, “Pravo Ljudski” in Sarajevo, “Youth Film Festival” in Zurich, “Scout Film Festival” in Vermont USA, “American Documentary Film Festival” Palm Springs USA.
Films can be viewed under Film link on this webpage or directly on DokuFest’s Vimeo Channels.
This program has been funded by NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR DEMOCRACY