Volume 6 | Issue 04| February 25, 2012|


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Cover Story

Insight Desk

Celebrating the Youth of Bangladesh

For the fifth time in a row, the Celebrating Life Competitions have returned. And in 2012, we would like participants of the competition to 'Celebrate the Youth of Bangladesh'. With 74% of the country's population below the age of 30, the youth of Bangladesh is the country's biggest asset. We want Celebrating Life 2012's films, photographs and songs to reverberate with the youth's accomplishments and with the potential that lie inert in them.

Bangladesh's population is often cited as the country's largest problem. The reasons are obvious, since population density of Bangladesh is the ninth largest of the world, and 164 million people call this small country their home. Thousands pouring into the cities every day, increasing pressures on water, gas and the overall infrastructure to the point that the cities appear to be bursting at their seams! But the nation's biggest weakness is also its most significant strength. With 74% of the country's population below the age of 30, the youth of Bangladesh is the country's biggest asset. On one hand they are impressionable, on the other they are powerhouses of potential energy. Their views and opinions will undoubtedly have a significant impact in shaping the future of Bangladesh. Will they follow the tides of society or will they take the roads less traveled? What is the youth of Bangladesh thinking? Who amongst them want to lead the society? Who amongst them are change makers? What are their biggest challenges?

“Celebrating Life” is a composite competition, inviting films, photographs and lyrics entries that showcase various aspects of life in Bangladesh. Organized jointly by Star Insight Magazine of The Daily Star and Standard Chartered Bank, this initiative is our attempt to provide participants with a massive platform for creative expression. Since 2008, the contest has grown enormously in terms of number of participants, number of entries and it has grown far more diverse. Celebrating Life 2012 will be even bigger, reaching hundreds of thousands of more people, as the organizers have planned grander events throughout the year to showcase previous and this year's winning entries. In the spirit of patronizing quality of production over the total number, the organizers had raised the prize money in all three areas significantly for 2011, and the awards will be no less prestigious or rewarding in Celebrating Life 2012 - totaling in over seven and a half lac takas. Over a dozen more will receive 'Honourable Mention' awards, along with crests and certificates. Winners will be announced at the Award Giving Gala Ceremony by the end of September 2012.

Weeklong festivals will be organized in districts of Bangladesh throughout 2012, showcasing the winning entries from the previous years' and this year's contests. We will take the spirit of Celebrating Life to remote areas and villages of Bangladesh, and make sure that the whole nation can participate in the celebrations!

The overarching theme for Celebrating Life 2012 is “Celebrating the Youth of Bangladesh”. Contestants are allowed complete freedom to explore any subject matter of their choice within this theme. However, we strongly encourage participants to broaden your horizon of thinking and take their cameras and pens to the remotest corners of Bangladesh. We want to bring rural Bangladesh to the limelight. The Photography and Lyrics Contests of Celebrating Life 2012 are tied to the overarching theme, but the Film Contest's theme/ subject is open to the imagination of the filmmaker. We want Celebrating Life 2012's films, photographs and songs to reverberate with the youth's accomplishments and with the potential that lie inert in them.

Celebrating Life Contest branches out into the following components:
* Lifetime Achievement Awards
* The Film Contest
* Critics' Awards for Television Productions
* Celebrating life 2012 Film Making Workshops
* The Photography Contest
* The Lyrics Contest

Celebrating Life 2012 Film Making Workshops

Celebrating Life 2012 Film Making Workshops
Since last year, Celebrating Life transcended its basic definition of being a contest to include capacity building to elevate the quality of participation and production under the banner of Celebrating Life. Experience has taught that despite an immense interest in film making, there exists a tremendous lack of capacity in film making. This is why the film making workshop was introduced - to enable creative minds to be able to produce better and more professional films. The film making workshop has a professional edge, and almost every one of last year's workshop participants are currently engaged in filmmaking with well-known directors.

About the film workshops
For three months, April to June 2012, three media personalities will serve as the resource persons for film making workshops. The workshops will not only be theoretical, but will also include actual productions in the last month. Three groups will produce three films, under the closer supervision and direction of the resource persons themselves. The workshops represent a tremendous opportunity for budding film makers and newcomers who are interested in film making to learn the process of professional film making step by step.

The three productions of the three workshops will be professionally organized, funded fully by Celebrating Life. The films will be broadcasted on television, and viewers will vote to rank them. The participants of each workshop will become part of the production team behind each film. Furthermore, these three films will be showcased next to the winning films of Celebrating Life 2012.

The participants of these workshops may participate in the film contest on their own accord, meaning their output within the workshop cannot be used as their own entry into the contest since the workshop will create space for a team production. Participants that wish to be a part of both the workshop and the film contest are encouraged to do so, but they must do so separately. The workshop is a capacity building exercise where they will work in a team; on the other hand, the film contest will require each participant to submit his or her own original work. The film contest of Celebrating Life is still open to the general public meaning those that do not participate in the workshop are free to submit their own work to the Film Contest of 2012.

Eligibility Requirements and Application Rules for Film Making Workshops 2012
Applicants of 30 years of age or less can apply
Applicants with experience in the field will have to submit a show-reel in DVD, no longer than 5 minutes, of their previous works.

Applicants without previous experience can apply with a reference letter from renowned directors or anyone renowned in the media sector saying that they are capable of taking up the workshop while citing types of works done with them, or have assisted them with their works.

Applicants have to submit a script based on their own original idea they have conceptualized of showcasing on the screen. The script has to be shortened so that it can be screened in no more than 10 minutes and typed within 1000 words in one A4 page. Note: the idea has to be the applicant's own original idea and not based on existing literature and/ or productions.

Application Deadline: 30th April 2012

Other Important Information for Film Making Workshops 2012
Each participant, if admitted, will be required to pay a workshop participation fee (yet to be decided, check www.celebratinglifebd.com for updates regarding this), payable in advance at the beginning of the workshop.

A total of 30 participants will be selected based on show reel/ recommendation/ essay.

Workshop will be held for 3 months starting in April and ending in June, 2012.

9 most underachieving participants will not be allowed to continue in the workshop after the first month of the workshop.

6 most underachieving participants from the remaining 21 participants will not be allowed to continue in the workshop after the second month.

The remaining 15 participants will go on to finish the workshop with the workshop facilitators.

The three directors will choose their own team of 5 from the 15 remaining participants to create a film depending on the director's choice of format from each team.

The whole workshop will be conducted by the three directors, with visiting lecturers chosen by them. The last month of the workshop will be used to produce the three, each under one of the conducting directors.

Application for participating in the workshop cannot be emailed. It has to be sent to the address below.

Interested applicants can apply with FULL NAME, MAILING ADDRESS, MOBILE PHONE NUMBER, OTHER CONTACT NUMBER, EMAIL, SHOW REEL/ RECOMMENDATION & ESSAY. Send your applications to the same address as entry submission.

Participants for the Film Making Workshop of 2012 will be selected throughout the month of March 2012. Apply now!

Submissions for the Celebrating Life 2012 competitions will be accepted between 1 May and 30 June 2012. Interested participants are requested to log on to www.celebratinglifebd.com for detailed information regarding the Celebrating Life competition, its six components, award values, submission rules and guidelines.

Cover art by Sadat Uddin Ahmed

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