Youth-REC – Let’s celebrate youth and cinema at the Italian Local event!

On 3 May 2024, the Italian local event of the Youth-REC project, co-funded by the European Union’s Erasmus+ programme, took place in Palermo. The project has a very specific aim: to celebrate young people from all over Europe and give them innovative and creative tools to make their voices heard. How? Through participatory documentary filmmaking. Young people from various parts of Europe completed preparatory workshops in almost all the consortium countries (Italy, Greece, Spain, Austria, Ireland, Bulgaria and Romania), at the end of which the young participants realised short films on civic engagement issues dear to them.  

The event that took place in Palermo, at the CEIPES ETS office, had in this sense a twofold value: to show for the first time to the public (mainly composed of students, teachers, young people and city associations) the 11 short films made by the students of the Stenio institute of Termini Imerese on civic issues and to celebrate together the precious art of cinema. Culture and society, in this way, are closely intertwined.  

The topics presented by the students included the fight against gambling, the value of friendship, bullying, violence against women and arranged marriages, a hot topic in some parts of Europe.  

It was the latter film that triumphed, ‘Love is Freedom’, to huge acclaim from jury members and the audience. The winners were awarded of a special prize: to represent their country during the next International Film Event in Thessaloniki, Greece, on September 25th. 

What to say, then? It was a day full of success and excitement, which brought to the forefront not so much the competition, but the awareness that young people can (and must) make their own valuable contribution to changing society. 

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