December 21, 2004

REPORTS: PRIX JEUNESSE Suitcase Travels to Georgia for First Time

PRIX JEUNESSE Suitcase Travels to Georgia for First Time

ItÂ?s unlikely that sex education in film has often been discussed in Georgian state televisionÂ?s dismal DirectorsÂ? Conference Room. But on October 29, thirty people Â? childrenÂ?s TV producers and students of literature and drama - talked emotionally about Â?Girls,Â? asking whether Georgia is ready to watch adolescent males openly giving their ideas about girls and sex. Some thought the Dutch film would find great interest among Georgian teens; others didnÂ?t believe the society was ready to tolerate such openness. In any case, Â?GirlsÂ? won first prize for the category Non-Fiction 11-15 in the Georgian PRIX JEUNESSE Suitcase, sponsored by the Goethe-Institute.

TV1 is going through major changes, from state to public broadcaster. Policies and practices left from Communist times had become absurd, as Georgians can receive a number of private television stations as well as foreign TV via satellite.

Georgian childrenÂ?s producers have had to be inventive. Currently, they have no production budget, a single office with an editing desk, and a small studio with equipment dating from the 1970s. Nevertheless, by partnering with a dance school, they were able to broadcast a weekly music show.

The producers hope for a better future in a public channel. They want to offer more diverse programmes, such as documentaries and fiction. Thus, participants watched the PRIX JEUNESSE shows with great interest in programme ideas and production tips. Favorite films were Knofje (Netherlands), Pythagora Switch (Japan), Bezees/Cherries (Slovenia), Serious Desert (UK), Dunya and Desie (Netherlands) and Girls.

The films were complemented by Â?how toÂ? workshops on writing fiction scripts, producing documentaries, shooting with children, and developing concepts for different age groups.

After three days, the Georgians were eager to try out new ideas. They were ambitious and ready to improvise, prepared to make the most of small resources. If Georgian public television will invest a bit of money in its childrenÂ?s programmes, PRIX JEUNESSE may indeed look forward to interesting programmes from Georgia.
Irene Wellershoff
Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen, Mainz

Chris Schuepp
Young People's Media Network - Coordinator
c/o ECMC (European Centre for Media Competence)
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