Today we are all in an exceptional situation – a situation where the whole world is paralysed. How will it affect the economy and culture? How will it affect our civilization and each of us individually? Nobody knows because nothing like this has ever happened. One thing is sure, we are living in interesting times. For some it is a curse, for documentary filmmakers it is a challenge. How can we understand and represent our reality when unprecedented barriers to communication arise in front of us. We are basically left only with the Internet to exchange our ideas. We’re all in the net. But could this be our strength? The world has shrunk, we are closer together, closer to our heroes. Thanks to the Internet, the field documentary making has become unlimited.
As a group of experienced filmmakers, who grew out of the Polish School of Documentary, we have conducted film workshops all over the world for ten years, as part of the “World from Dawn to Dusk” and “The Young Europe” programmes. We have met hundreds of young filmmakers – in Łódź, Wrocław, Bydgoszcz, Kiev, Minsk, Moscow, Tbilisi, Yerevan, Baku, Kishinev, Istanbul, Kolkata, Beijing, Tokyo, Havana and Jerusalem. We were impressed with their sensitivity and talent. The fruit of these encounters came in the form of collaborative projects and individual films that were triumphant at the largest film festivals.
We offered our most gifted students to participate in an on-line workshop: “My world in times of plague”. We would like them to attempt to depict this unique time, a time of isolation, a time of uncertainty, a time of plague. What is our everyday life like, the routine of being isolated, boredom, uncertainty, fear, hope…
During on-line workshops (open-air, group-work and individual), we analysed the recorded material, looked for mutual inspiration, and together we came up with new concepts. Over several months, documentary projects were created with the common denominator being an attempt to describe and understand what “My world in times of plague” looks like.
In addition to development work, the meeting of so many artists from around the globe in one workshop was a value in itself. This is only possible through the on-line formula. Creative cooperation and mutual inspiration also include the search for new tools for making documentaries at a time when the evolution of the world towards online was turned by the coronavirus into a revolution.
Our roots go back to the Polish School of Documentary. We want to share our way of seeing, understanding and filming reality with young filmmakers around the world.