They are searching for 20 participants to create experimental films at a 12-day research workshop in Georgia around the theme of BLACK. Unwearable, but hopefully not unbearable, these BLACK SHORTS will then be editing during a second workshop in Budapest before being screened in cinemas and published online. Previous experience in filmmaking is welcome but not necessary, just an inquisitive mind, an eagerness to learn and a willingness to collaborate. Do you want to spread rumours of everyday life in Georgia? Then read below to find out more.

So what exactly does the BLACK SHORTS project consist of?
1. A 12-day training, research and filming workshop in Georgia with 20 young people from across Europe (May 10th – May 22nd 2011).
2. A 4-day video editing workshop in Hungary (June 5th – 9th 2011).
3. Public premiers of the finished films at downtown cinemas in Budapest, Tbilisi and Berlin (June).
4. The distribution of the finished films online, at film festivals and via DVD.

Why Georgia? Why Black?
They are aware that blackness in Georgia can invoke the past. It might be associated with the dark 90’s – with armed street gangs, bullies and cleptocracy. Or that black could also refer blackouts that plagued Georgia throughout the 90s and early 2000s, or the caravans of black BMWs and Mercedes owned by the wealthy and the ruling class. If this is black, then maybe the Revolution of Roses in 2003 was meant to signal the start of a colourful future? That it was in part about the suppression of the black-side of Georgian society? A top-down and coloured modernisation that has physically manifested itself through colourful street repainting, gentrification and upbeat styles? Of course, we might be taking black a bit too far – its roots lie in everyday life. After all, if you asked most foreigners to think of black in Georgia then it would be the Black Sea that springs to mind, whilst for many Georgians it’s another sea of black they see on a day-to-day basis – the sea of black clothing in which most people clad themselves.

Thus black is both a colour of everyday life and a colour full of symbolic tension – a tension that can be artistically exploited. Turning black on its head, we want to use the colour to shed light on stories of everyday life in Georgia. Whilst the topic of black can be broad, what unites the possible film-topics is the colour’s underlying subversiveness, outsiderness and supposed legitimisation of all that is ‘white’, legal and proper. We feel ill at ease with both the bright promises of modernity, as well as the dark undertones of local-based resistance. Instead, we care for smaller stories of everydayness that are (dis)coloured – symbolically or physically. Intrigued and inspired, we want to slip under state-based radars to bring black rumours of everyday life.

Give me more details! What will happen at the workshops?
During the first two days of the filming workshop in Georgia, you will be trained in the basic camera and sound techniquesand be given an introduction into how to develop a story within a film. We will also form five teams of filmmakers, based on research interest, film skills and local language ability. Within the team you will develop your common idea for a film with an expert tutor. The teams will then have a little over a week to film their chosen topic. The final days of this first workshop will be for reviewing footage and deciding upon how your final film will look. During the editing workshop in Budapest, you will (having solved conceptual, thematic etc. issues in Georgia and via email) make the final edit of your film. On the final day we will screen the films in a downtown cinema in Budapest.

Who are you?
They are the central and eastern European magazine Plotki, the Georgian documentary film company Sakdoc Film and the Centre for Arts and Culture at the Central European University in Budapest.

Who am I?
If you’re under 35, creative, willing to learn, inquisitive and speak good enough English to work in a multi-national team, then we’d love you to apply. Though local language ability is an advantage, you don’t have to speak Georgian or Russian as each team will have one Georgian/Russian speaking participant. Though previous filmmaking experience is not necessary, they encourage filmmakers to apply (though you should have realistic expectations and be willing to work with those who are less experienced). They will select participants based on their profile and the proposed film idea (see application form below). Whilst they would like to cover all participants’ travel costs, if you live outside Europe then it’s unlikely that they will be able to fund the full amount due to budget limitations.

How much will this cost me? What will I get in return?
If you’re living in Georgia the participation cost is 10EUR, if you’re not from Georgia the cost is 120EUR (to reflect the differing travel-costs). In return you’ll get travel to and from the Georgian workshop, living expenses in Georgia, travel to and from the Hungarian workshop and living expenses in Hungary. You’ll also get training sessions on using film equipment, conceptualising documentary films and editing films. Finally, and most importantly, you’ll get the chance to design, plan, shoot and edit a short film as part of a multi-national team.

What type of film do you expect?

They are looking for short (average 15mins) experimental film on the theme of black in Georgia.

Deadline for applications is March 15th (application form below).
Please submit to: