4th Summer Film School 2016 a Success

On 16 Sept, 2016 participants of the 4th Summer Film School presented three completed films to members and media experts of the ProCEEd project as well as representatives of PADETC and DEQP. The audience was impressed by the remarkable results the students have achieved during the four-week workshop. One of the films will be shown in the ProCEED's upcoming Environmental Tour about Wildlife Protection in Sayaboury and Khammouane. Since 1992, the DOKLAO Media Service as part of PADETC has been producing up to five films a

year about education and sustainable development. For the past four years, ProCEEd has assisted DOKLAO in offering the Summer Film School Workshops at DOKLAO's premises in Vientiane. As such the event is part of ProCEEds’ efforts in capacity building in environmental journalism and its Environmental Education and Communication Strategy (EECS).


The 15 participants originated from MoNRE, the Department of Cinema, the Faculty of Environmental Sciences and the Department of Mass Communication of NUoL,  the Vijitsin Art College, the Nasiow Vocational Training Center, the Rural Development Agency and Doklao. Their different backgrounds and levels of experiences helped them learn from each other’s knowhow so that they worked together well as a group.


German film director Leonel Dietsche, who studied at the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg in Germany, shared his experience with the Lao participants on the principles of filmmaking from the first script to the final cut: How do I develop a fictional storyline? Why are shooting lists essential for my film? And how do I direct an actor at the filmset? As a novelty, this year’s Summer Film School focused on scripted and fictional short films. Former workshops had concentrated on documentary film styles.


Leonel Dietsche also helped participants examine and  improve their work, come up with fresh ideas, spot mistakes and work these out as a group. During this learning-by-doing process the students realized that preparation in particular is an important part of filmmaking. Participants developed great ambitions related to filmmaking as such and perfectionism in regard to scene designs.


Organized in three groups, participants focused on the topics of wildlife protection and waste management, which are major problems in Laos. As the complex connections and interactions in nature are not easy to understand, they tried to tell stories about the daily life of rural citizens and the challenges they are facing. This makes it easier for an audience to identify with a storyline. The short movies do not only show problems, but also offer solutions. For example, in one of the films, one of the main film characters is annoyed by the increasing plastic waste in his neighborhood and starts to bring his own basket for shopping at the market. Another villager learns how to earn money without hunting endangered animals. These stories aim at encouraging the audience to be part of a well-balanced, healthy and sustainable environment.


The finalized films will be part of ProCEEd’s communication strategy to raise awareness on environmentally friendly behavior. ProCEEd is constantly working on new and innovative media content for their Environmental Tours. Moreover, lessons learned during the training will help students develop scripts and plan film shootings in a professional way in order to get their messages across in the most effective and entertaining way.





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