02 – 10 August 2019
Edition XVIII

02 – 10 August 2019
Edition XVIII

Film and Factual Media ATRC


During the 16th edition of DokuFest, 15 selected youth from the municipalities of Gjilan, Kaçanik and Viti joined the three day camp for young film enthusiasts and activist to encourage creativity through intensive workshop. master classes and practical exercise in production of human-interest video documentaries for online consumption.

Giving the voice to ordinary people with extraordinary stories workshop by Melody Gilbert

15 youth from the programs regions were be selected to attend lectures taught by Melody Gilbert, an independent filmmaker from Minnesota who in recent years has been focusing on filming in the Balkans and teaching documentary classes in American University in Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria. The first day session was followed by a practical workshop “Before Filming: Know Your Equipment” by DokuFest’s short film programmer Samir Karahoda.

Know your equipment workshop by Samir Karahoda

That same day, between two workshops the students were visited by United States Ambassador to Kosovo Greg Delawie and the director of USAID Kosovo James Hope to DokuFest. The Ambassador and Director led a discussion with 12 students at the Hamam as part of DokuFest’s partnership with USAID Kosovo & Advocacy Training and Resource Center – ATRC to implement our Film and Factual Media project. Ambassador Delawie talked with the students about the workshop and their ideas for short stories, and asked them to share how they see the problems they are facing as youth in Eastern Kosovo.

Discussion session of the United States Ambassador to Kosovo Greg Delawie and the director of USAID Kosovo James Hope with participants

The second day of the workshop was dedicated for a workshop with one of the emerging editors in the Balkan region, Jelena Maksimović who worked with the students on “Do’s and Don’ts” when approaching the character in the story. Ms. Maksimović shared her personal experiences from the production of her latest documentary on violent youth. The second part of the day was dedicated for practical exercises on how to use the recording devices.

How to approach your character workshop by Jelena Maksimović

Our long time friend and collaborator, John Osborne, the Associate Programming Officer at the American Documentary Film Festival in California, was also part of the three-day camp by teaching young film enthusiasts about building a narrative in film storytelling. Mr. Osborne engaged the participants in skill building for interviews and taught practicalities on interview techniques.

Building a narrative workshop by John Osborne

The participants attended the Master Class on politics of image-making delivered by Paul Williams and also attended screenings of the 6 films in the 2017 program regarding the conflict in Syria and Iraq. Included in these films was the most recent production of renowned filmmaker from Massachusetts Sebastian Junger (Co-director of Restrepo & Korengal) Hell on Earth: The Fall of Syria and the Rise of ISIS. The students also saw City of Ghosts a film by renowned American filmmaker Mathew Heinemen (his previous film Cartel Land was nominated for the Oscar for Best Documentary) that focuses on Raqqa and the horrors of violent extremism.

Paul Williams Master Class


photos: Tughan Anit, Somer Spat, Amer Miftari