Training aimed at strengthening the technical and professional skills of young Dominican, Haitian and Cuban video makers

Sparring Partners overall objective was to fight poverty and cultural impoverishment through the empowerment of artists and their productions in Haiti, Dominican Republic and Cuba. The idea has been to strengthen technical and professional skills of young artists through a comprehensive training programme, support artistic production in the 3 countries and increase access and exchange of cultural products at national, regional and international level.

The project has been implemented by GVC Onlus (Gruppo di Volontariato Civile, Italy) in partnership with Productions Fanal (Haiti), Fundación Jóvenes Sin Fronteras (Dominican Republic) and AHS (Asociación Hermanos Saíz, Cuba).

During the action more than 350 young artists received training through participative workshops in marketing and communication, financing opportunities and new promotion techniques. 79 artists participated in the international call, 21 video projects were financed, produced and disseminated. 9 successful short videos were produced during the workshops. 37 events were organized by partner organizations in the three countries. Videos have been in official selection in 109 occasions, won 6 awards and two of them were declared by the press the best documentaries of Dominican Republic.  275 applications were submitted to International Festival in Europe, North and South America and Africa.

The project has been implemented in three countries with several differences in terms of technical capacities. One of the major success in terms of impact has been the capacity to complement these differences in order to obtain homogenous and comparable results. “This was the big challenge of the project since the design phase: to support the creation of an environment favourable to the sharing of experiences and mutual knowledge, as well as some kind of “supranational cultural unity” between the Great Antilles countries”, explains Nazzareno Mileto, the project manager.

In each country the partners worked on the development and valorisation of the specific strength of the local context, in a logic of mutual reinforcement with the other countries.

The Cuban expertise, which counts on a mature and fully developed cinema sector also at academic level, granted the transversal technical assistance and the realisation of the training by Cuban expert mobilised by the partner AHS in collaboration with the cinema Cuban school, ICAIC.

The cultural richness and dynamic environment of Haiti helped the emerging of the artistic expression and growth that is fully reflected in the quality and set up of several documentaries from Cuba and Dominican Republic.

The Dominican Republic, with its structured environment in terms of institutional and economic framework, helped the analysis of the concrete potential of Haiti and Cuba.

A very good indicator of the project's success was to see, even four months after the closing of the project, that some of the documentaries where still being programmed in festivals and theatres.

At institutional level in all the three countries big efforts are ongoing in order to promote the economic potential of audiovisual sector. The project outputs represent an example of successful independent production from young talents that keep advocating the institutional environment.

For almost all the participants at the various training or sub-granting activities, this project represented the first opportunity to exchange ideas and to exhibit their works in an international context. Throughout the period of the implementation of the project at least 27 directors travelled abroad to present their works.

The project had a visible impact on the careers of the participant. More than 50% of the young professionals involved in the workshops were able to find additional funds thank to the training received. “For example, Leo Perez, young artist that participated in a workshop and were awarded of the grant for the film ‘Como Antes’, has been able to crowdfund the film and turn it in a feature length documentary”, explained Mileto.

Thanks to the constant coaching and follow-up delivered by the project partners, the project beneficiaries have enhanced their opportunities to access to professional market and international companies. For example, Johanné Gómez T. director of Caribbean Fantasy, is now Field Producer in an international production called Hispaniola; Ruth Esther Canó, whothat participated in the two first workshops, is now working as an assistant director with a national house production company; following the training received, Milton Sanchez has been hired by National Geography to work on native indigenous Taino’s topic.

Others young filmmakers has started their own film companies, like Susibel Espaillat with “Soleil Luna Star Films, SRL”, Johanné Gómez T with “Mackandal, SRL”, Leo Pérez with “Vicio Films, SRL” who also got a scholarship with Fundación Carolina and graduated from a photography master in Spain; many others have started working in films and are now specialised in documentary making.

Another important impact of the project has been the use of the documentaries as pedagogical instrument. Various videos, in fact, deal with relevant cross-cutting issues. They have been used to raise awareness among local and international population through public events.

In several occasions the videos were pivotal to start debates around issues such as for the presentations of Si bon dyé vlé (the plight of undocumented Haitian immigrants) and Goayza (Tainos indigenous people).

Videos have been used for educational purposes. For instance, in synergy with the University of INTEC (Santo Domingo) videos were shown to young students fostering debates. Similarly, productions have been used within other EU projects to raise awareness among students and local population on environmental, migration and social issues affecting the local communities of Restauracion and Tilory in the border areas between Dominican Republic and Haiti.

In one case, a video (Chantravay - environmental, migration, social issues) has become part of the training programme for young American doctors volunteering for FIMRC (Fundación Internacional para el Alivio Médico de la Niñez - ) in the local hospital of Restauracion (Dominican Republic).


 For more "best practices" of the ACPCultures+ Programme, visit THIS PAGE 

December 1, 2017
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