Centrul Astra Film
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Astra Film Festival

City Play / City Play

Paloma Yanez Serrano,  UK 2015 31'

Cinematography: Paloma Yáñez Serrano
Editing: Paloma Yáñez Serrano
Sound Editor: Paloma Yáñez Serrano
Music: Paloma Yáñez Serrano
Producer: Paloma Yanez Serrano

Film Presentation:
Proiectul MiniMedina ('orașul în miniatură' în arabă) este o simulare a unui scenariu într-un oraș real, creată special pentru copii, cu scopul de a le desluși mecanismele funcționării unui oraș și de a îi provoca să își imagineze orașul ideal și locul lor în cadrul lui. Ecranul este împărțit în două, fiecare parte rulând imagini contrastante despre rolurile copiilor în oraș și modul cum acestea se schimbă pe măsură ce copiii cresc. Tehnica e interesantă și plină de semnificații, ir rezultatul e un documentar care testează limita abia perceptibilă dintre joc și realitate.
Director's Bio-Filmography:
Paloma Yáñez Serrano este etnolog/antropolog şi etnomuzicolog. A absolvit Facultatea de Studii Orientale şi Africane din cadrul Universităţii din Londra. În Manchester, a co-înfiinţat Other Collective, care a câştigat premiul Parlamentului European la competiţia Europe at Heart din 1014. Este director de producţie la compania Big Tree Collective, care se concentrează pe proiectele creative participante. Pe lângă City Play, a mai filmat şi produs un documentar despre muzicieni congolezi tineri.
Director's / Curator's Statement:
In 2012, I was living in Cairo, concerned about the degradation of the violent confrontation between the different social players. Tired of playing the revolution in the street, and with my lungs broken of the continued tear gas, I came to realise that if a major change was to be seen in Cairo, it needed to come from each institution. With the intention of change in mind, I co-founded the project Mini-Medina ('mini-city' in Arabic) created by a team of five educators, mostly Egyptians. Broadly stated, the project aimed to create a simulated real-size city scenario for children, to learn about the mechanisms of a city, imagining their ideal city and their role in society. The process would be to create a common vision of the city by drawing the buildings on paper and agreeing to a basic constitution or rules. The film City Play came out of the need to document Mini Medina, seeing such a rich and experimental project take place before my eyes, produced an urge to document it and research it, for Mini-Medina as a working team, for other educators, and for the world in general, as it showed a unique vision on play. This research urge led me to Manchester, where I did an Mphil on Ethnographic Documentary at the Granada Center of Visual Anthropology, where not only did I learn about filmmaking, but also about the anthropological implications of the project I had undertaken and its relation to the wider human context of the city of Cairo. An analysis on play based in the experience of 40 kids, in a Western influenced project (Mini-Medina), and outside of their daily environment, was certainly not representative of the whole scope of play in Cairo, nor of how children related to the city in a playful manner. Therefore I began to look at the city for answers, trying to find situations and moments that could provide a balance point for the events taking place during the simulated city, Mini Medina. I selected seven children from different neighbourhoods of Cairo (rich/poor, Muslim/Christian, old/young children), and taught each of them how to film, producing with each one of them a short movie about play, from their own perspective and in their own environments. The film City Play mixes the experience of all the children filmed in and outside Mini Medina, comparing real life play scenes, with imagined play scenes in relation to how children see the city. The plurality of the play discourse is shown through the split screen, allowing the viewer to appreciate the dualities of the observer/observed, city/imagination, real/fiction, play/work perspectives across the film, with a focus on the macro vision of the coexistence of the different dynamics of play within a single city, Cairo. (Paloma Yanez Serrano)
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