Young auteurs

Young auteurs

It’s a platform that has given voice to children. It is teaching them how to wield the camera and the pen to tell their stories.

A workshop in the city teaches children how to make movies

It’s a platform that has given voice to children. It is teaching them how to wield the camera and the pen to tell their stories. The idea of having a forum such as the Child Journalists Summit was conceived by World Vision India which works for people living in poverty and injustice.

The summit,based on the theme ‘My Life is a story’,is being held at Alliance Francaise and Dilli Haat from November 11 to November 14,where more than 100 children from Delhi,Jaipur,Chennai,Kolkata,Bangalore,Goa and Malda are taking part in a series of workshops that the World Vision has been conducting for past six months. In the workshops,the children are trained to handle a camera,write a screenplay,etc.

“ We wanted to give the children living in difficult circumstances the opportunity to talk,discuss and debate the issues that they feel are important for them and present them to an audience—other school children,NGOs and policy makers. We didn’t want any adult talking on their behalf,so this was the platform that could serve this need. It is called Child Journalists Summit because it is about the children raising their voices and presenting their stories through photo exhibitions,short films and skits,” says Impuri Ngayawon,media relations associate at World Vision. Thirty-six children were chosen to represent their communities and share their stories.


“The selection procedure we followed to select these children was that we showed them a movie and after the movie ended,we asked them to say whatever came to their mind about the movie. We chose the children who spoke. In addition to providing them with the tools of film-making,we also developed a questionnaire during our interaction with the children and they were told to conduct a survey for which they presented the data collected from 200 children for a social audit on their chosen topics. The stories that the children shot were based on incidents out of their personal life,” says Ajitson Justus,the facilitator of the workshops.

Children staying in Madanpur Khadar area in South Delhi,who were participating in the summit,chose ‘friends’ as their topic for the event. Sharing their experiences of what they learnt in the workshops,Kuljeet,a Class X student,says,“Before this workshop,I didn’t know anything about using a camera. We were acquainted with new things such as various camera shots,what goes into making a film,and the other technicalities that I didn’t know about. It was really interesting.”

It also gave these children a chance to bond with one another. “Since we were working in groups,we interacted a lot with each other,and learnt how to work in a group and how to communicate with our peers,” says Manoj Kumar,a participant.

“ Things such as what kind of sound effects should be there in our film,what could be eliminated,how to write a story,how to act—we learnt everything and the best part was that we were given the freedom to decide how we want to present our story. We were working as writers,producers and directors,” says 13-year-old Sadhna Sangwan.

The children also showed their works to community members,their families and teachers from their schools in their towns and cities.