Workshop:  19.10 - 07.11.2013  

Tutors: Mirosław Dembiński, Maciej Cuske, Marcin Sauter, Remigiusz Zawadzki

Partners: Bydgoszcz Cultural Centre, City of Bydgoszcz, BKF Newsreel, ART-HOUSE Foundation

The workshop took place in the Bydgoszcz Cultural Centre from 19 October-7 November 2013. The group of tutors consisted of: Mirosław Dembiński, as the main facilitator and project leader; Maciej Cuske and Marcin Sauter and Remigiusz Zawadzki as the coordinator from the Bydgoszcz Centre and back-up facilitator. Mirosława Dembińska, a native of Bydgoszcz, supported the workshop with her filmmaking experience. In addition Marcin Ściegliński provided cinematographic consultation, Katarzyna Śpioch was responsible for editing and Luiza Skrzek managed production. The director of Bydgoszcz Cultural Centre, Marzena Matowska, created an ideal environment for running the sessions and the shooting of a record 30 short films. Without the help and involvement of Ms Matowska the undertaking wouldn’t have been completed. The workshop was recording-breaking not only because of the number of people involved organisationally, but also as regards the number of participants, of which there were an impressive 42 at the sessions, which probably was the maximum this educational and filmmaking project – which was open to all-comers – could accommodate. Most of the participants were young people from Bydgoszcz universities, colleges and the arts high school. Students from the Bydgoszcz Academy Music also played a crucial role by contributing their sound-recording skills. Although many of the people didn’t have a film background, their enthusiasm, inventiveness and desire to learn compensated for what they lacked. After only a few days they were already forming a good film-making team with their more experienced peers, jointly thinking up subjects, discussing how to get them onto film, helping with documentation and shooting, and then working on the editing. The subjects which the workshop participants brought with them had more in common with people, with the central characters, than the place they live in. It was clear to see that Bydgoszcz on camera would become something of a gallery of personalities: a 12-year-old musical genius who came to Bydgoszcz from China in order to study at the Academy of Music, Mr Czubek who’s a paragliding pilot, an alternative artist, a mountaineer and musician, the mysterious Woman with the Suitcase, and many, many others, whose life trajectories bisect each other on pedestrian crossings or in lottery retailers…

The workshop’s climax was the ceremony of awarding the participants with their certificates and a screening of clips from the filmed material. The characters of the film were among the invited guests. They’d “stepped out of the screen” onto the stage and created a moving atmosphere. The young pianist from China gave a concert which another child – a blind pupil at the Braille School –spontaneously joined in with. A group of historical reenactors in Wermacht uniforms “arrested” Ms Matowska and a Roma band danced with a girl in a wheelchair.