Students Showcase Their Documentaries Shot Around the Globe

Student filmmakers will screen documentaries created as part of their CEU coursework on Monday, May 13 at 6pm. The evening features exceptional student work produced in CEU’s "Historical Narratives and the Moving Image" and "Visual Anthropology" courses. The screenings will be followed by brief Q&As with the filmmakers and a reception in the Nador 13 Atrium. 

Ahead of Monday’s event, we sat down with a few of the student filmmakers to discuss their documentaries.

 

“Life of an Antique” by Shushan Abrahamyan and Orsolya Udvari

Abrahamyan and Udvari’s documentary focuses on a run-down thrift shop in Budapest’s castle district. The two-story shop initially caught Udvari’s eye while she was walking around the city one day.

“The shop immediately had a great atmosphere. I spoke to the owner, Zsolt, and asked if we could make a film about it. The film is really about his connection to objects and what makes them special to him,” said Udvari.

The process of filming “Life of an Antique” proved positive for Udvari, who enjoyed putting the theoretical elements of her course into practice. “If you have a camera, you can do anything with it,” she said.

 

“Movements” by Ifra Asad and Mackenzie Nelson

“Movements” looks at the fraught relationship between two feminist movements from two different generations in Karachi, Pakistan.

“In Karachi, you don’t see women in the public domain,” explained Asad. In response to the absence of women in public places, a collective of young feminists started hanging out at roadside tea stalls popular among men in Karachi and posted videos of themselves online. The idea of taking up space in public spread, and chapters of the collective popped up in cities throughout Pakistan.

While the group enjoys support from young feminists, it has also run into conflict with an older generation who often faced police brutality in their attempts to further women’s rights. “There is tension between the older generation and younger generation. Some women in the older generation look at what the younger generation is doing now and think, ‘we did the real work, what you’re doing is silly,’” said Asad.

The conflict isn’t so different from that seen in feminist movements throughout the world, according to Nelson. “Our film looks at the different strategies feminists use. The women from different generations in Pakistan are navigating the same kind of gap that occurred between second and third wave feminists in the US.”

As part of the final applied policy project that master’s students in the School of Public Policy complete, Asad and Nelson will continue their work documenting the feminist collective.

 

“Just for Fun” by Nadin Helmi, Natalia Kovyliaeva and Dinara Satbayeva

“Just for Fun” takes a critical look at the annual buso festival held in Mohacs, Hungary, to celebrate the end of winter. The days-long folk celebration is best recognized for the frightening wooden animal masks and woolly coats worn by participants. Today, locals and tourists alike flock to the festival.

Intrigued by the history of the festival, the three filmmakers went to Mohacs to observe the festival with an ear tuned specifically to the gender dynamics of interactions with the masked busos.

“After we arrived at the festival and spoke to several women from the community, we realized we had to change the focus of our film,” said Helmi. “Along with other young women at the festival, we were chased and sexually harassed by the men in costumes.”

Rather than using footage of the festival and interviews with people from the community, the filmmakers decided to share their personal experiences at the festival in their film. "We became our own protagonists,” said Kovyliaeva. “When we came home and looked at our footage, so much of it was of us being harassed.”

 

The evening’s screening also includes the following student documentaries:

  • "Clear-Out"
  • "Deadly Stereotypes"
  • "G@D"
  • "Ghosts of Past Regimes"
  • "History that Waits in Vienna"
  • "Isaura the Spectre"
  • "Roma Tour"
  • "The Street Performer"
  • "Uncle Charlie"
  • "Water Stories"
  • "White Flags"
  • "With the Eyes of a Fisherman"

Find more details about the event here.