20.10.2011 - UNESCO

UNESCO and UNESCO’s Association of Igualada gathered independent producers

Participants of the workshop - © UNESCO

Over 30 participants from 23 countries and covering all regions of the world gathered in Igualada for a unique and mutually enriching encounter of diverse cultures within the context of independent production of audiovisual content. In a sense a “melting pot of the world has come to Igualada”. UNESCO urged participants to “pour themselves into, while at the same time eat from the melting pot of cultures, knowledge and experience that has been afforded through the international workshop”.

In keeping with UNESCO’s priority on gender equality and women’s empowerment, participants included 15 men and 15 women. The meeting was organized within the framework of the UNESCO Audiovisual E-Platform.

During the three-day event participants engaged in intensive and interactive training on the following broad areas:

  • innovation in audiovisual content and application of new technologies to audiovisual production;
  • aspects of entrepreneurship effective marketing;
  • financing and distribution;
  • animation and networking among independent producers; and
  • cinematographic styles of feature films, with a particular focus on audiovisual production for television and new media.

Screening sessions took place between all 14 training sessions and at the end of each day, lasting late into the nights. It was especially during the screening sessions that the dynamism of participants reverberated and their cultural differences and similarities equally celebrated in unison – irrespective of race, gender or creed. It was like a drum saying to a piano, “I am glad you are a piano”.  Or a trumpet saying to a violin, “I am glad you are a violin, together we can make great music”.

This was a major outcome of the training. Participants created strong synergies among themselves; there was a common recognition that intercultural dialogue and cooperation are ever more essential in the current era, and that independent production of audiovisual content is an indispensible conduit buoyed by new technologies and new media. One of the presenters, Pierre Duret from the European Broadcasting Union, noted that “broadcasters need independent producers more than ever”.

In her presentation, Katalin Barsony, from Romedia Foundation, facilitated a compelling discourse on audiovisual production in the service of multicultural understanding. She used her own Roma people as a case study and underscored the power that innovative audiovisual narratives may have “to defy the socio-political status quo and reverse trends towards underrepresentation of minority groups in mainstream media. “As we reach our audiences, it is our role as activists to break through the stereotypical processes, and attempt to bring about social change through the use of quality, informative and ‘attractive’ audiovisual tools,” Katalin affirmed.

Participants showed sincere enthusiasm for having been given such a learning and sharing opportunity: from trainers to trainees, and among peer trainees as well. They expressed their wish to make the workshop the starting point for future activities, collaborative work and constructive debates. The creation of the first international network of independent producers was planned.

Participants came from the following countries: Algeria, Argentina, Barbados, Burkina Faso, Cameroun, Canada, Colombia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iraq, Italy, Hungary, Kenya, Lebanon, Mongolia, Philippines, Senegal, Serbia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Tunisia and United Kingdom.

UNESCO thanks its partners who helped to make the workshop a reality: UNESCO Association of Igualada, International Public Television Conference (INPUT), European Broadcasting Union, Permanent Conference of the Mediterranean Audiovisual Operators (COPEAM), Central Africa Bank of Images, Big Fish – School of Digital Film Making, Lola Kenya Screens, Romedia Foundation and all the speakers.

The UNESCO Audiovisual E-Platform is a project started by UNESCO in 2004, with the overall aim to foster international exchange of creative audiovisual content, particularly relating to development issues, and to promote AV production as a tool for cultural expression and intercultural dialogue. The Platform also facilitates business-to-business exchanges among professionals in the audiovisual field. If you are an independent producer of content, a broadcaster, director, producer or film festival organizer, you will find this Audiovisual E-Platform useful.

The project is executed through a partnership of the Government of Spain and the UNESCO Association of Igualada.

You can visit the website of the Audiovisual E-Platform at http://creativecontent.unesco.org . You have the choice of becoming a member or just browse. However, you will have a richer experience as a member. You can create an audiovisual catalogue, including uploading and managing your productions by just clicking this link.

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