Young migrants share their stories in self-made short films. In the coming weeks, students from International Transition Classes throughout the Netherlands will participate in Ithaka Filmt. During a three-day workshop, the young migrants, with the help of professional filmmakers, are given all the tools to share their stories and make their own short film.
They get to work with subjects they have chosen themselves that suit their environment; such as bullying, fleeing, family, falling in love, faith and the future. Young people who excel are given the opportunity to make another film under more intensive supervision, which will be shown at the Netherlands Film Festival.
One International Transition Class is intended for young people between the ages of 12 and 18 who have just arrived in the Netherlands and are taking the first step towards the Dutch education system. In recent years, more than 2000 young newcomers have made films. In 2022, more than 50 classes from schools throughout the Netherlands will participate in the project.
During Ithaka Filmt, young people are introduced to all facets of film making: concept development, storyboard, script writing, camera technology, production, sound, acting and editing. Learning to collaborate is also central and the Dutch language is actively practiced by making a script and speaking in front of the camera. They work with short, interactive and practical assignments that are tailor-made for the young migrants.
Film as a means of integration
Hemmo Bruinenberg, initiator of Ithaka Films:
“Film is a means of integration for the young newcomers, so that the gap between them and the Dutch students will soon be slightly smaller. For young people who are still learning the Dutch language, audiovisual work in the classroom is a real godsend. By working on, for example, coming up with a script and acting, the young people are involved with language in a different way. In doing so, they learn important skills that are often not self-evident to them, such as collaboration, creative thinking and communication.”