Making peace films

IssueNovember 2007
Feature by Sonia Azad

During the summer holidays, I spent four days filming Iraqi Refugee children in Amman, Jordan.

When I returned back to England, I knew it was going to be fun editing the film but it was also going to be very hard and time consuming work.

Milan Rai and I spent one intensive week editing the film sometimes up to six hours a day.

I had a lot of footage. We managed to make 20 minutes of a rough copy.

I also worked on my own, editing more footage on my laptop.

Background noise

Whilst I was in Amman interviewing people, there was a lot of background noise and movement; I found it really hard to get people in the room to be silent, therefore it was difficult to edit the interviews.

A few of the young people I interviewed only spoke Arabic, so we used a translator. I found it interesting to work on the volume of different voices.

My first film

I made my first film in 2005; I interviewed people demonstrating at Colombia University, New York.

I think it was easier to edit this film because I did not have a lot of footage, it was half a day's filming and 7 hours of editing. Also, the people I was interviewing were not the victims.

Although I enjoyed making the film in Amman, I found it tougher to edit this film than the previous one I made in New York. It could be because I was interviewing people whose lives were destroyed, and their childhood taken away.

I have been very lucky, I have always got advice and support just when I needed it from Milan Rai.

I hope

I hope my film gets a wider audience and it makes a difference to how young people see war.

I also hope it would inspire other young people to know that you do not have to be an adult or a trained professional to go and talk to the young people whose life is torn apart because of the war.

Topics: Culture, Refugees
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