Previous Events

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Bringing it Back: Doc Bootcamp Course at MassArt

CSFilm Training AfghanistanMichael Sheridan will teach the Documentary Bootcamp course at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston again this summer!  The course is a one week intensive, June 2-6, 2014, covering  the full production experience in fast motion: project definition, project planning, camera, editing, and presentation.

The course is open to the public and to students  of all levels of experience.  To learn more please go to MassArt’s course page.

Students are welcome to use their own digital video camcorder during the course if it accepts an external microphone, allows for audio monitoring and has manual focus and exposure controls.

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Field Trip to the Carroll School

Eliz Thank You Card

Eliz Thank You Card (Click on images for larger view)

Last month, Michael made a special trip to the Carroll School in Lincoln, Massachusetts to discuss the work of CSFilm with an elementary school class.  The students are reading the Afghan book The Breadwinner, which takes place during the Taliban regime and was the impetus for inviting Michael to provide a more contemporary perspective.   Below are some of the thank you cards and drawings sent to Michael from the kids.

It was a completely new experience communicating with this age group. We don’t usually try and engage kids under High School age and even older students can be a reach without a specific focus on issues such as the role of the media in society, poverty reduction, governance or geography.

Lessons learned from elementary school students:

1. Be prepared to role with a nonlinear conversation and questions coming at you mid-thought and sentence – unless you lay down different rules and try and stick to them – as Dinan, their teacher, quickly implemented for Michael.

2. No matter how much you try and expand the conversation beyond “the war,” some boys at this age are only going to ask you about your experience of guns and bombs.

3.  Youth have remarkable memories and will latch on to everything you  say – even side comments – as can be seen in the inclusion of some repeated oddities in their comments and pictures, such as:

Tom Thank You Card

Tom’s Thank You Card (Click on the images for a larger view)

“I learned that Afghans drink Coke.”  I asked them what was unusual in one one  picture  I showed.  I was expecting them to note that the women were not wearing burkas and were dressed in western clothes.  A few of them instead rightly noted the Coke can on a table and expressed surprise that soda is available in Afghanistan.

Nelson Thank You CardIn a few of their comments they noticed that all the cars were Toyota Corollas, an amazing truth – almost all cars in Afghanistan are Corollas – an oddity that occurred since the return of cars post Taliban.  Hence a number of drawings with Toyota logos!

You’ll also notice that many got the theme of the presentation – that Afghanistan is much more than a war zone as commonly depicted in our media.

Violet Thank You Card

Violet’s Thank You Card

Natalie Thank You Card

Natalie’s Thank You Card

Eliz Inside of Thank You Card

Eliz’s Thank You Card

 

 

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Digital Communications Workshop with Michael Sheridan

Community Supported Filmmaking: From Afghanistan to Boston’s Immigrant Community, a Digital Communications Workshop with Michael Sheridan

Date: Friday, February 14th, 2014
Time: 2:10 – 4 pm
Location: RG 20, Rubenstein Building, Ground Floor, Harvard Kennedy School, 79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138

Illustrating principles of video storytelling, filmmaker Michael Sheridan will present highlights of his work in Afghanistan and Indonesia training activists, journalists and storytellers to make their own documentary films. Against that background he will discuss his current project similarly to empower recent immigrants to Boston to tell their stories with video. Catherine Rielly will Harvard talkshare insights on how she uses DevCom films in her work with Rubia and immigrant groups in New Hampshire. Michael Sheridan, DevCom Mentor since 2001, Michael is an independent producer of film and video with a special interest in international issues of social and economic development in Africa and Asia. As a Fullbright Fellow, he spent a year in Indonesia teaching filmmaking, subsequently trained 10 Afghan filmmakers to make documentaries about issues in their communities. Michael is the founder of Community Supported Film: www.CSFilm.org.

Charles Mann, following his retirement from a career as a development economist with the Harvard Institute for International Development and The Rockefeller Foundation, founded the Development Communications Workshop, a collaboration with filmmakers to help students use video effectively for development and to produce documentaries about development issues. www.DevComWorkshop.org

Catherine Rielly, experienced development economist, teacher, DevCom Executive Producer, is the Executive Director of Rubia, a non-profit organization that promotes empowerment of Afghan women and immigrants in Manchester, New Hampshire: www.rubiahandwork.org See her TEDx talk, “Empowerment by Stealth: Sewing Confidence, Literacy and Unexpected Power” : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=evh7ke5lJPY

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The Messenger is the Message: Lecture at Mass Art

This March, Michael Sheridan of CSFilm will be giving a lecture entitled: “The Messenger is the Message: Why I Worked with Afghans to Tell Their Own Stories” at the Massachusetts School of Art and Design.

Below is a brief description of the lecture: CSF_DVD_image_small

Frustrated by the American media’s self-centered battlefront depiction  of Afghanistan, Michael went in 2009 to make a documentary from the  perspective of Afghan villagers. To match the method to the message, he  trained Afghan women and men in lived-reality documentary  filmmaking. The intensive 5-week training resulted in a compilation of  ten short films that provide a unique view of Afghans’ daily efforts to  address their challenging social and economic conditions.

CSFilm Training Afghanistan

As Robin Young, host of NPR’s Here and Now, reported, “Michael put cameras in the hands of Afghans and gave them training to make films about their lives. The result is an unprecedented intimate look at Afghan life with exchanges no outsider has been privy to before.” From Michael’s work in Afghanistan, he developed Community Supported Film an organization dedicated to strengthening documentary storytelling from the local perspective.

Michael will talk about the process, show excerpts from the films made by the Afghan trainees and compare them to the stories and images provided by the mainstream media. You can watch excerpts of the films here.

The lecture will be held on Thursday, March 20th, 2014 at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, in the Trustees Room (11th Floor, Tower Building) Boston, MA. Light refreshments will be served at 6:00pm, lecture begins at 6:30 pm.

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Bringing the Teaching Home – Doc Bootcamp Course at MassArt, Boston

AAM pigeon shoot - 12

Michael Sheridan working with students in Afghanistan

Michael Sheridan will teach the Documentary Bootcamp course at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston.  The course is a one week intensive, January 13-17, 2014, covering  the full production experience in fast motion: project definition, project planning, camera, editing, and presentation. It’s open to the public and to 10 students  of all levels of experience.  To learn more please go to MassArt’s registration page.

Students are welcome to use their own digital video camcorder during the course if it accepts an external microphone, allows for audio monitoring and has manual focus and exposure controls.

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