What is Cámara Chica?
Cámara Chica is a filmmaking project which empowers young people around the globe to tell visual stories about their lives and communities. It uses digital storytelling to nurture skills and creativity, and offers a lasting legacy by providing filmmaking kit, support materials and a workshop model designed to continue activity beyond an initial British Council programme.
Cámara Chica is delivered in collaboration with our UK partner, Into Film, which puts film at the heart of children and young people's education, together with a range of in-country partner organisations.
Cámara Chica began life in Cuba in 2013, before travelling to Venezuela in 2016. By 2019, it had been developed into a new partnership model with a new edition - renamed Cámara Sika - taking place in Nepal. As the pandemic hit, the programme went online and then became hybrid in Egypt and Rwanda in 2021. Sri Lanka followed in 2022, and a recent edition - Chhota Cámara - took place in Pakistan in 2023.
What does it involve?
The programme introduces local educators in each country - teachers, community centre or film club leaders - to filmmaking basics, giving them the know-how and confidence to use filmmaking techniques and equipment when working with young people. These teams of educators then pilot a workshop with young people, helping their young creatives produce their own short films. All training is led by experienced UK filmmakers and supported by local mentors from the media and arts sectors. A written resource provides additional guidance, activity sheets, and assignments.
Cámara Chica in Cuba
Our original programme ran in 2013, working with six different community centres across Cuba to train community leaders, film students, and 66 young participants. 11 films were made and six sets of filmmaking equipment were provided to support future filmmaking projects - and Cámara Chica Cuba is still running today with a hugely expanded network of film clubs spread across the country, generating a body of films reflecting young visions and stories. In March 2019, a visit by HRH The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall to the Projecto Muraleando in Havana, was filmed by a team of young people trained through Cámara Chica.
Cámara Sika in Nepal
Cámara Chica - rebranded to Cámara Sika - headed to Nepal in November 2019, working with 13 different schools across the country. The project provided high-quality training to 13 educators and 145 young people aged between 10 and 17, and everyone who took part learned something new and is now using the skills they learned to use filmmaking to help explore their own lives.
Educators picked up the basics of filmmaking and developed techniques to lead production activities with young people. By the end of their training, the majority were confident they had the knowledge and skills to teach digital filmmaking.
Over the course of their workshops, young people successfully completed 14 short films on themes and stories of their own choosing, guided by their teachers and with the support of UK filmmakers and local mentors.
Cámara Chica in Egypt
Following multiple COVID related delays Camara Chica headed to Alexandria in summer 2021, for the first time blending remote mentoring from the UK with face-to-face support. Key film partner was the Jesuit Cultural Centre providing film expertise, local mentors and multiple spaces for filming and training. Young people and educators were recruited via local youth groups. 35 young people (numbers limited by COVID) worked together on a portfolio of short films reflecting their interests and ideas. Alumni from Cámara Chica filmed Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall during the royal visit to Egypt in November 2021 - and the Cámara Chica kit has since been used for further filmmaking projects in Alexandria.
Cámara Chica in Rwanda
Cámara Chica headed for Kigali in September 2021, engaging 90 young people through homeless charity Love for Hope. Film partners Shauku ya Africa and Cluster Films provided venues, expertise and mentors, supported by three UK filmmakers delivering training online. The workshops created 6 short films and the project alumni worked with Delight Rwanda to film the Queen’s Baton Relay programme in Rwanda making a short documentary about the experience.
Cámara Chica in Sri Lanka
The programme headed to Colombo in Spring 2022, engaging schoolchildren during a post-exam academic break. The key film partner was Anomma Rajakaruna, filmmaker and director of multiple Sri Lankan film festivals. An all-female team of UK mentors worked remotely.
Chhota Cámara in Pakistan
Cámara Chica Pakistan - rebranded Chhota Cámara - took place in Lahore, in partnership with Olomopolo Media. A focus on young girls led to a lively workshop culminating in a red-carpet screening of the completed films titled 'Badee Baat' (which roughly translates as ‘small camera, big deal’).
- Find out more about Into Film
- A global programme using Film with young people
Want to find out more?
Cámara Chica, in partnership with Into Film and different local organisations in each country, is on-going. For further information please contact the Film Team at email@example.com.
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