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"What would happen if we shot a film in 3 weeks?": A PTC volunteer story, Part 2

Part 2 of Niamh's story: Pass the Crayon volunteer, Niamh, shares her thoughts and impressions from our movie-making workshop series, held at the Pankow refugee shelter.


Last week, I gave you all a run through of our PTC film-making workshop so far, in which a professional film director ran a three-part workshop series on shooting your own small film.

Last week, the kids got the chance to get in front of the camera and make their stories come to life, and this week, the finished movie clips are ready to be admired and critiqued by a 30 person strong panel of excitable judges. Each film had its own unique style, a great sense of fun, exuberance and a plentiful array of guns! Enjoy.


The first film is a tale of betrayal, witchcraft and resurrection from the dead from a group of tiara and tutu-clad actresses who jump around animatedly and cast their hexes upon similarly flamboyant enemies.

Their victims immediately drop to the floor, apparently dead, only to be brought back to life by another round of ritual dancing, jumping and energetic “hex-hex-ing.” The audience are in fits of giggles- this appears to be a strong first contender in our unofficial, underground film festival (hey, we’re in Berlin).

MOVIE 2: BIG WIGS & ZOMBIES. The supernatural theme continues with movie number two, featuring ten tiny zombies stalking around the courtyard, fake blood dribbling from their lips and some sporting wigs three times too big for their little phantom frames.

The escalating frantic nature of their attempts to break into the building are admittedly hilarious, as they are probably the cutest little zombies ever, but also genuinely quite scary. Eventually the small army of mini-Frankensteins break through the barriers and, tired of lazily sleepwalking towards their prey, begin to sprint en masse down the corridors of the center. An unnerving yet arguably inconclusive ending. The film receives a round of (potentially confused?) laughter - definitely a spectacle, but lacking somewhat in storyline.

Movie 3: WATCH YOUR BACK TARANTINO... The tone has clearly been set and the theme of tension and dangerous intrigue continues. Film number 3 is reminiscent of an early, extremely low budget Quentin Tarantino, featuring dubiously underage gangsters, cops and robbers.

Two tiny bandits enter a supermarket, they dutifully fill their baskets with a range of the usual groceries, nothing too suspicious. As they approach the cashier, the two exchange cheeky smirks, pulling out fake plastic guns and grabbing what appears to be a pile of gold.

What ensues is an extended series of frantic police chases, fight sequences and downright brutality, culminating in the perpetrators apologising to their victim. The dramatic crescendos have been a clear hit with the audience, with one heckler lamenting on the lack of “zombie-Pistolen” - an ingenious idea for a hybrid sequel perhaps?

MOVIE 4: NOT ENOUGH GUNS! Next in line is my group’s film, featuring me in a lead role as the prodigal sister. Unfortunately we have misgauged our audience and opted for a heart-warming and subtle storyline, with discreetly arty touches - luckily lowering the tone a little at the end with a dance routine to “despacito” - but ultimately leaving the panel dissatisfied with the over-focus on emotional dialogue and lack of supernatural eye-gouging and pistol-whipping.

THE NEXT YOUTUBE STARS? The session is called to an end with a final evaluation by our 30 person panel, who give us some encouraging feedback through mouthfuls of popcorn and chocolate. Movie-making is a clear favourite for the workshops, and some of these kids are really ambitious, asking us to subscribe to their youtube channels and wanting to find out how they can make it onto mainstream television. Watch this space ;)

Thanks for reading our latest post. If you haven't read Part 1 of Niahm's story, then check it out here! Alternatively, take a look at some more volunteer posts: why not check out volunteer Babi's article about last months "Mit Sicherheit Gut Ankommen" event? For more pics and vids from our art classes, head to our Instagram page now :)

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