The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in the Maldives in partnership with Dhiraagu has commenced ‘Film for Change: Climate Edition’, with an opening ceremony held at Salt Restaurant and Café, to be followed by a 10-day filmmaking theory workshop conducted by industry experts.
Initiated in 2017, the purpose of ‘Film for Change’ – an ongoing collaboration between UNDP and Dhiraagu, is to use the alternative medium of film to stimulate dialogue on different social issues amongst young people, decision-makers and the wider community. This year’s series is focused on empowering young people to explore and form narratives on issues of climate change in Maldives through the medium of film. The platform provides them with the necessary technical and creative skills on producing documentary-style short films using accessible devices such as mobile phones and tablets.
Speaking to the participants at the opening ceremony, Dhiraagu’s Manager Corporate Social Responsibility, Bishaara Hameed stated, “We are very fond of this programme for a number of reasons. We believe it is such a unique and an impactful approach which gives a voice to young people. The best part is that it would be your story, your narrative that would be told through the medium of film. We hope it would also be an opportunity for you to think, explore and reflect on key issues related to climate action through this year’s climate edition.”
Thanking Dhiraagu for the continued partnership with UNDP on initiatives such as ‘Film for Change’, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative Vera Hakim alluded to how this year’s ‘Film for Change’ is timely as it coincides with COP26, and as the world is focused on this pivotal moment in the fight against climate change. “UNDP is committed to confront climate change, markedly by bringing the private and public sectors together to showcase our unified efforts for sustainable development and community resilience. We are focused on empowering youth to bring out their voices on issues such as climate change and give them a platform to play the catalytic role in delivering fresh new ideas and solutions, in spreading awareness and transforming behaviours,” said Vera Hakim.
The youth participants of ‘Film for Change’ will undergo a training component and a post-production component with industry experts where trainees in groups will produce five short films under the main theme inspired by the Sustainable Development Goal: Climate Action (SDG-13). The films will then be screened via social media and other public platforms to be followed by dialogue. Additionally, the films also have the potential of being showcased on platforms for youth advocacy on climate change at local, regional, and global levels.