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  • Issayas Tesfamariam

A Brief Report on the Intensive One- Month Summer Filmmaking Workshop in Asmara, Eritrea

I just returned from an intensive one-month summer filmmaking workshop in Asmara, Eritrea. This is the third workshop since it officially began in 2016. This year's filmmaking workshop happened during a "history making event" in the Horn of Africa.

This year, Ambassajir Berhe, Sara T. Meretab and myself led the workshop. I led the pre-production aspect of the workshop. Ambassajir led the production and post production. Sara also led the post production section.

Throughout the one-month intensive course, various Eritrean experts gave lectures to the students. Dr. Tsegai Medin and Abraham Zerai presented recent developments in Eritrean archeology. Dr. Eyoab Iyassu presented a lecture entitled: "Biology and Society". Senai Woldeab lectured on copyright law and its applicability in the Eritrean context. Artist Ghidey Gebremicahel presented his video on the Eritrean askari. Ahmed Saleh lectured on music. Iman Tekle, a young Eritrean drama student from a university in Salzsburg, Austria gave a lecture on drama.

There were two sections: the morning and the afternoon sessions. The morning section's class began at 8:30 and ended at 12:30. The same group met on their own in the afternoon to work on their assignments and on their respective short films. There were a total of 58 students in this group and were divided into 11 sub-groups to work on their respective 5 minute final short film.

The afternoon session started at 2:30 and ended at 5:30. This group met on their own every morning to work on their assignments and on their respective short films. There were a total of 32 students and were divided into five sub-groups.

Both the morning and afternoon groups met every night at 6 (except Sundays) to view films picked by myself and Ambassajir. Different sub-groups from the afternoon session were given a specific film to watch ahead of time so that they could lead the film discussion the following day.

On the final day of the workshop, the various sub-groups presented their final five-minutes short film ( a total of sixteen short films) to the invited audience at Cinema Asmara. The audience was impressed with the quality and the visual presentation of their respective stories.

The filmmaking workshop will continue next year.

Pictures from the workshop.

More pictures in the next blogpost.

Ambassajir, Sara and Yonas (one of the coordinators of the program)

Sara Tracey Meretab.

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