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Kyrgyzstan|art & entertainment|March 1, 2024 / 02:32 PM
U.S. movie director trains emerging filmmakers how to document environmental issues

AKIPRESS.COM - American movie director Frank Chi led a four-day workshop for 20 emerging filmmakers from across the Kyrgyz Republic February 26-29 in Bishkek. Participants learned documentary techniques to create captivating social media content about ecological changes within their communities.

Frank Chi’s workshop was organized by Public Foundation Jandan, with funding by the U.S. Embassy in Bishkek and support from the U.S. Department of State’s “American Film Showcase” program, which highlights the value of film in fostering understanding, cooperation, dialogue, and debate.

Participants, divided into teams of four, created short videos, gaining practical experience in narrative structure, storytelling techniques, and smartphone filmmaking, editing, and sharing. A jury comprised of Chi and U.S. Embassy representatives selected the most outstanding films.

The workshop offered not only film production knowledge, but also insights from local experts on the environmental challenges facing the Kyrgyz Republic. All participants improved their digital production and social media engagement skills, which are valuable assets in the Kyrgyz Republic’s thriving digital and creative sectors.

Outside of the workshop, Chi engaged with the broader public during speaking engagements at Kyrgyz – Turkish Manas University, the American Corner in Bishkek, and the American University in Central Asia.

“It’s very important that we provide the skills for people to engage an audience and express themselves when it comes to the topics that are most important to them, such as climate change. That’s what this training is all about,” said Frank Chi.

Frank Chi is a U.S. filmmaker, artist, and creative director at the intersection of art, politics, and culture. His work helps lead narratives around inclusion and identity in American life. Frank’s debut film, 38 at the Garden, is about Jeremy Lin’s 2012 start on the New York Knicks basketball team and its cultural significance for Asian Americans and for all Americans. The movie premiered in 2022 and has been shortlisted for the Academy Award™ for Best Documentary Short. The movie won the Sports Emmys™ for Outstanding Short Documentary. Across social media, Frank’s video collaborations have received over 50 million views.

The American Film Showcase is the premier American film diplomacy program, organizing screenings and workshops with American filmmakers like Frank Chi in more than 60 countries around the world. American Film Showcase is a partnership between the Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the School of Cinematic Arts at University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

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