Exploring language in all its forms, directing a short film and accessing the world of cinema: these are the aims of the "From pen to screen, it's all about language" group project ("De l'Ecrit à l'Ecran, tout est langage") supported by the Societe Generale Foundation for Solidarity in partnership with the Valence International Screenwriters' Festival.


Trainees have been working on their film project, which is to be screened during the festival, since the start of the year.


From brainstorming...

During one of the first working sessions, the facilitator, Alexandra, invited the trainees to make a list of their interests. The purpose of the brainstorming was to find out if there was any overlap in their ideas to help identify a subject for the short film. For Walid, it is important to "show and share". Dorine mentions "cooking, engaging with others, imagining". "And what if we made a film about the suburbs?", suggests Hadidja...


To pitching: 2 minutes to convince

The trainees then moved on to the next step: writing their own screenplay models which they presented to the rest of the group during pitching sessions. These sessions provided the youngsters with the opportunity to organise their thoughts and to practice writing and presenting.  All of the film ideas send strong messages, sometimes critical of society: forced marriage, revenge following a car accident, an apocalyptic world in which all natural resources have been depleted by mankind, a society where money is not an issue, etc.


Using pocket films to understand the way images work

Based on some of these pitches, the trainees then used cameras to film their preliminary ideas. Producing these unedited and non-technical pocket films is a first step towards understanding the way images work, the acting process and the feasibility of potential screenplays.


A team effort

The pitches were presented once again to two external partners of the project:  Yannick Dumez, director, technician and editor, and Isabelle Massot, executive officer of the International Screenwriters' Festival... also a genuine screenplay professional.  This key step of the process involved the two specialists taking an informed look at all the projects and giving their opinion on them. At the end of lively discussions, a joint screenplay took shape. Above all, the film will be the result of a team effort, stemming from the imagination and creativity of all the trainees!


... Watch this space!

To know more about this organization : Ecole de la 2ème Chance Drôme-Ardèche

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