Age: 12 years old
Way to school (length): 6.5 km
Jaffer is a smart young boy. He thinks beyond his young age. His road to the school is a hard one, but in the same time interesting, he passes through various natural and historical places. A desert, oasis with green orchids as well as a historical place.
Terrorism and the bad Security situation in Iraq makes the shooting process almost impossible ! I was worried about Jaffer and his friends, In case a car explosion happens near us in the side! But in the end we were lucky and everything passed peacefully ! It was such a unforgettable experience!
Regie: Ali Kareem
Residence: Forbesganj, Bihar
Way to school: 30 min.
Hobbies: dancing like heroines in Bollywood films.
Sanjana is a very talkative girl. She knows every single person and all to the last gossips going around her area. She’s like a little adult taking full care of the housework and at times even explaining life to her illiterate and dreamy mother. Sometimes totally out of the blue she could burst into dancing or singing and make the onlooker think Sanjana was living in the nicest place on Earth.
At the age of 12 Sanjana is well aware of what prostitution, sex slavery and rape are. Born in the red lights area in the poorest part of India she is one out of the seven children her mother gave birth to after being forced into prostitution at the age of 9. On her own will and at her own risk Sanjana is crossing the red lights area towards the school dreaming of becoming an educated and rich Bollywood star and turning her home village into a nice place.
The shooting in doors had gone smoothly and I’ve been getting ready for the outdoor part, when suddenly Sanjana came up to me and ordered: “we’ll have to be very quick there”. “What’s the rush” – I thought, but right after I had started filming Sanjana on the dirt road, the first rock landed on my head and shortly there was a whole avalanche of rocks thrown at us by the pimps as their form of protest. This would have meant the end of the shooting if not a sudden appearance of women yelling and threatening at the pimps. And so we continued: Sanjana walking in front, me following her with the camera and a squad of women pacing behind to protect us.
Regie: Lina Luzyte
Way to school: 3 1/2 km with skateboard
Hobbies: skateboarding, parkour, painting, drawing and reading.
Characteristics: If Finya sees somebody who is sad, she always wants to help immediately.
Finya loves to drive fast on her skateboard, so that she can feel the wind in her hair. Her way to school leads her through an industrial area where the big trucks drive through. She loves adventures. And now she likes going to school again, which wasn't always the case before. This is why she didn't go to school for a while. But now she found a school which suits her really well.
One ought to think it's easy to film a way to school in Germany. But here, too, a way to school can be adventurous. The big trucks which cross Finyas way seem quite threatening. And what we learned: not every train in Germany comes on time. At least not the freight trains, for which we were waiting without luck. Then finally a train arrived - two hours late. Finyas patience was impressive, when we tried out how to do the driving shots in the best way, when a rain cloud approached...
Regie: Insa Onken
Country: South Africa
Way to school: One hour by foot and by bus.
Luniko lives in the second biggest and the most dangerous township of South Africa, Khayletisha. More than 1 Mio. People live here. Luniko is HIV-positive and experienced lots of sad things in his short life. His father died of AIDS. He goes by foot and with little rusty busses, called "taxi", to school. His way to school is dangerous and he is always frightened of muggings. Just before our shooting, the headteacher told me, Luniko came to school sobbing. He cried a full hour and nothing could calm him down. A gang of teenagers had badgered him. He didn't want to tell how. Simultaneously and despite of all the poverty and criminality, a township is a colourfull and culturally very intersting place. I enjoed staying there. Luniko is lucky because the centre of "Ubuntu Africa" takes care of him every day - medically as well. There children obtain a warm and healthy meal and get supported medically, psychologically and educational, and, especially, devotion.
Before shooting I visited Lunikos school to speak to the headteacher. The rental car I parked in front of the schoolhouse. During our talk an employee approached and pointed at the monitor. I realized that my car has been crushed. The driver was an old and cardiac man who had to be rescued. And I had to go to the township police station..- To shoot in a township is a special occasion, because there always covibrates a little fear. "If there's a white face, they see money" a collaborator of "Ubuntu Africa" told me one day, especially emphasized by bringing camera equipment of course. However, I had great protectors from the township and a south african team with me, who helped pushing when the school-taxi from Luniko refused to start up.
Regie: Sigrid Klausmann
Residence: Kharidhunga, Dhading
Way to school: 1 hour
Hobbies: a game of Chukka and climbing up the trees
Characteristics/specifics: Anish is an unbelievably bright boy who lives in the mountains of Ganesh (Nepal). He believes that beyond these mountains is where the world ends. Home and electricity Anish names as the most important things in life. Yet if somebody made him a king, he would also install water taps. Anish believes that the world is a beautiful place, where people love and help each other and the only bad thing in it are ghosts.
Having fed the buffaloes and goats, Anish hits the steep mountain path towards the school. Entering into the jungles Anish feels no fear at all. He knows that if a bear appeared he would have to run down the hill and in the case of a tiger he would have to climb up the tree. “Important is to not mix the directions and that’s it”, says Anish. Happy to have met no predators this time, Anish jumps into a metal cage fixed on a cable stretched across the river and swooshes down to the other side, where his friends are already waiting. Along with the boys Anish runs to the school to learn about the beauty of the world.
The first time Anish saw me he started crying thinking I was a ghost. It took couple of days and a lot of effort by the locals to convince him that I was just a “white woman from the other world”. After I had introduced the camera to him, Anish burst into tears again and disappeared for the whole day. When we finally began shooting the interview and I asked him “what changes would he make if he were the President of Nepal”, Anish went into tears another time for he didn’t understand nor the word “the President” nor “Nepal”. However, a bumpy beginning developed into a real interplanetary friendship with Anish instructing me how to behave in case the tiger crossed out way and on my side trying to explain to him what the traffic lights or the cars or the planes were.
Regie: Lina Luzyte
I fiIt's exciting for me to encounter people with the camera, because the time you share is way more intense. Because of filmmaking people converge. Perla and her sister Urdur are wonderful girls and they almost adopted me. They spoke even better english than I did because they'd had an english speaking AuPair-Girl and they where joking about me and I can still laugh about it. I admire Urdur because she had a lot of endurance during the interview and we all knew: this girl will make her way.
Regie: Sigrid Klausmann
Residence: Ban Muang Keo, Province Luang Prabang
Way to school: two hours by foot, by boat and tuktuk
Characteristics/specifics: To wants to do something against drug business
To is a little scallywag who only seems to be shy. He is a smart boy and has a critical view on his society. He wants to become a policeman - also, to do something against drug business. To get to school To needs two means of transportation and his own legs. His way leads him through slash-and-burned areas (a topic affecting whole south-east-asia) and two times across the Mekong. In between there is a 16 km long dusty country road he crosses by Tuktuk-bus. To's topics are slash-and-burn (which threatens his own village!) drug difficulty and the fact, that his school is so far away from home and his parents spend a lot of money for his weekly joruney. Schule: Secondary School - in Chom Phet, on the other Mekong-Side, as seen from Luang Prabang. By now there are elementary schools in almost every village in Lao. As soon as the children need to go to secondary school, they have very long ways to school though - mostly even longer than To.
From 11 h there is more than 30 degrees. To get a shooting permission we needed a lot of stamps, 1000 Dollar for two days of shooting and we had to call a laotian official, pay for her journey and overnight stop and accept her attendance during the shooting. That was quite a lot. She seemed to be happy to escape heroffice and made no problems. I had a wonderful team from vietnam with a cameraman I would be happy to work with again.
Regie: Sigrid Klausmann
Way to school (-length): 50-60 min walk
Way of transportation: walk or winter car Hobbies: –boy scouts , intrest in animals and plants
Characteristics/specifics: dominante, strong will, intelligent, good freiend , linkes to get in fight , extremly talkative
Luka is the oldest kid in the family living on a beautiful hill Katarina with a an incredible view on the capital of Ljubljana in the distance. His school is located on the other hill 50 min walking distance. He is a born environmentalist, helps around the house with the essential works around the house. He is a born leader and does not take no for an answer, even if he has to fiscally fight for it. He gets’ in trouble regularly. His parents are calm and lovable people, he is not only visually different , his eyes with his looking for trouble red-haired freckled face but also , stands up in as a different kid in any aspect. He is special person a grownup in a child’s body.
Fortunaly I know Luka really well he is a good friend of my daughter they have similar attitude and get along really well, he took this shooting as a challenge, he even showed us some of the hidden spots and fall in water. But he has not much concentration since he is so interested in so many things at the same time it would be a hard job to work with him if he was not fond of us , my daughter helped a lot since she is experienced and has worked on 4 documentary films. He jumped in river so he made it to school in wet shoes , they were waterproofed but he managed to get weather in from above.
Regie: Petra Seliskar