Mental Health Advocates in Moldova Use Film to Tell Stories of Children with Disabilities
By Paul Silva
In April 2011, the Open Society Foundations held a two-part video filming and editing workshop in Chisinau, Moldova, for advocates working to promote the rights and social inclusion of people with disabilities. In the first part of the workshop, John Kennedy of the production company Purple States, trained the participants to work with families to produce their own video stories. The training covered a range of topics from developing interview questions to planning visuals to using video and audio equipment. During the workshop the participants worked with a particular family—the Tcaci family—to film the story of their son Stas, who returned home after living in an institution for six years. In the second part of the workshop, the advocates focused on editing and completed a short film based on the footage filmed by the family. The editing training focused on assessment of collected video material, creation of short stories, editing techniques, basic animation, and sound and visual corrections. The Tcaci family hopes that their personal film can serve as an example for other families with children with disabilities. Many families in Moldova have been forced to send their children to institutions or orphanages because they do not have access to affordable, community-based services. The family and the advocates hope to change public opinion about children with disabilities.