DFI's Film Studio for Children to Damascus

Next month, Syrian school children will get the opportunity to gain insight into the creative process of filmmaking, when the Danish Film Institute's mobile interactive film studio for children is visiting Damascus.

For the past seven years, DFI's Film Studio for Children has offered film classes at the Filmhouse in Copenhagen. In 2008, the concept was expanded with a mobile studio, which has traveled around Denmark and visited London.

A close cooperation between the Danish Film Institute, the Danish Institute in Damascus, and the Syrian organization Massar has now made it possible for DFI's Film Studio for Children to visit Damascus.

Film classes to Syrian children

DFI's Film Studio for Children will be set up in the Arabic Cultural Center Kafarsouseh in Damascus 1-24 November. During that period, more than 600 Syrian school children will have the opportunity to produce their very own film.

The children, who are up to 12 years old, are selected from a number of schools in Damascus. Two staff members from DFI Film Studio for Children are currently instructing a group of local young people to lead the children through the process from writing the script to showing the film.

Experience in media technology

Normally, it takes the students two hours to make their film, but in Damascus there will be scheduled more time, because the Syrian children do not have the same knowledge of computer media as children in Denmark or Britain, where the internet access is more widespread.

In the studio, the children will be shooting their film in a real car with background projection in the rear window. They will direct, act, film, edit and add music and sound effects. When the production is complete, it will be screened and the students will be able to bring home their own film on DVD.

The interest for the event is vast, and the Syrian organization Massar has been a committed partner all the way through. Massar is currently building a discovery center in central Damascus, Massar Discovery Center, and the Syrian organization has chosen to work with the Danish Film Institute because they wish to give children an insight into the new media technology that is expected to be a considerable part of the activities at the future Discovery Center.