You&Me – a youth film project for a new European narrative

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Ruralink – A film about rural Youth in Europe

We are happy to present you the film RURALINK (2017, 32 min), a documentary produced by Citizens For Europe, Fondo Natural and Bridging Europe.

In the EU, 75% of the population lives in urban areas, while 80% of the territory is categorised as rural. Rural areas throughout Europe are often associated with remoteness, population decline, lack of education, infrastructure and services, and therefore risk marginalisation and social exclusion.
The documentary film Ruralink features six stories of rural youth from Brandenburg (Germany), Aragón (Spain) and Lesbos (Greece) beyond stereotypes and mainstream narrative. It provides a fresh look at rural Europe and shows young people, committed to reviving their local communities and regions.

The film is in German, Spanish and Greek, with English subtitles. Watch here.

The documentary was supported by Jugend Für Europa in the frame of the transnational project “You and Me – A Youth Film Project for a New European Narrative”. Started in April 2016, the project brought together 9 young people from rural areas in Attica, Lesbos (Greece), Aragón (Spain) and Brandenburg (Germany). After an intensive film training, they were split into three transnational film crews and grabbed their cameras to tell stories of rural youth in their regions. Find out more on the project blog: https://youmefilmproject.wordpress.com/

Direction, Camera and Editing: Ruth-Maria Thomas, Elisabeth Wank, Jesus Lozano Lombarte, Laura Martinez Pallas, Anabel Roda Cerda, Emre Jon Brooks, Panagiotis Kypriotis

Media trainer / Artistic Direction: Séverine Lenglet

Production: Citizens For Europe, Fondo Natural, Bridging Europe

Coordinators of the project “You and Me- A Youth Film Project for a New European Narrative”: Chiara Zannoni (Citizens For Europe), Jorge Gracia Lopez (Fondo Natural), Eleni Kostantopoulou (Bridging Europe).

In partnership with European Alternatives Berlin.

The content of this documentary does not reflect the official opinion of the European Union. Responsibility for the information and views expressed therein lie entirely with the authors.

 

About the project

Our youth film project brought together 9 young who grew up in the rural areas in Spain, Greece and Germany. They grabbed a camera and told their own stories beyond media spin and stereotypes that have dominated the mainstream narrative in the European Union over the last few years.

IMG_3688You&Me is a project for and by young Europeans coming from rural areas generally associated with isolation, lack of activites, infrastructures and services, a restricted job market and fewer opportunities to participate in transnational mobility.

In April 2016, 9 young participants from Brandenburg (Germany), Attica (Greece), and Aragón (Spain) took part in a video training where they learned the art of filmmaking. In September and October 2016, they travelled as transnational groups through the rural areas of Brandenburg, Attica and Aragón, where they interviewed other youngsters about their lives in the rural areas, their dreams and everyday challenges. They also investigated their relationship with the European Union, other countries and other youth from these countries.

Our video crew produced a film that connects rural youth from Germany, Greece and Spain and provides a fresh look at rural areas. The documentary shows active, dynamic and modern young people, who dedicate their time and passion to protecting, restoring and reviving habitats, local communities and culture in their area. Through their engagement at the local level, they put into practise a vision of Europe that is based on sustainability, solidarity and pluralism, countering the nationalistic rhetoric and media spin.

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Timeline and activities

Phase 1: April 2016

  • Media training: the young participants learned how to film, how to make interviews and will develop the concept/storyboard of the film.
  • Kick-off meeting with the partner organisations

Phase 2: Mai-October2016

  • Selection of the young interviewees in each country
  • Filming trips in villages in Brandenburg, Aragón and Attica:  3 transnational filming crews (each one composed with 1 Greek, 1 Spaniard and 1 German young participants) will film and interview other young people in villages in Brandenburg, Aragón and Attica.

Phase 3: October-December 2016

  • Selection of the footage
  • Final transnational meeting in Athens: Editing of the documentary

Phase 4: January 2017

  • Premiere of the film in the three countries

Objectives:

  • Strengthen youth participation and the active citizenship of young people
  • Empower young Europeans coming from rural areas and encourage their inclusion
  • Broaden their perspective and network
  • Strengthen their sense of belonging to Europe
  • Restore young people confidence in the European Union
  • Reduce impact of stereotypes and prejudices and develop an informed and critical understanding of mainstream media
  • Provide new skills and experience in filmmaking and interview techniques
  • Break down barriers between youth from different cultures and backgrounds
  • Promote cooperation and exchanges between youth in different countries

Dissemination and exploitation:

  • Documentary film
  • Social Media campaign
  • Blog with photos, videos, stories…
  • Final event: presentation of the film in the three countries

Partners

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  • Asociación Fondo Natural (Spain)
  • Bridging Europe (Greece)
  • European Alternatives Berlin e.V. (Germany)

Funded by

Jugend für Europa Erasmus+