Charbel (LB) : Association Héliotrope

HÉLIOTROPE HAD 2 PARTS:

IN THE EDUCATIONAL PART WITHIN SCHOOLS, LYCÉES AND COLLEGES, I WAS HELPING IN THE PREPRODUCTION/ SHOOTING/ POST PRODUCTION PARTS OF EVERY SHOOT.

In the preproduction, I made an educational power point of 60 pages, explaining in an animated and pedagogic way all about the stages of “how we make a movie”, and I was presenting to each class before they start writing the scenario.
On the shooting, I was showing the students how to use the camera, boom, as other duties of the rest of the crew.
In the post production, I was editing, sound and image, with the teachers and colleagues, to get a final movie.

I was presenting our festival in the market of Clermont Ferrand film festival, and in Cannes film festival’s one.

CONCERNING THE FILM FESTIVAL, I WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE SELECTION COMMITTEE.

We received this year 1400 films for our festival. Last year we just got 900. I was the contact person between Nice Short film festival, and the director/producer/distributor.
I was responsible for all the database that we got. And then, I was making sure that the 14 persons who are responsible for choosing the 200 semi finalists could see the movies and vote in a proper way.

PREPARING FOR THE FESTIVAL, I WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE SUBTITLING.
As I am one of few who speak English and French, I was helping in subtitling the irish movies, and the Polish ones with our Polish colleague, since she wasn’t able to use the editing software.

I had the chance to organise a Lebanese soirée night, I chose 3 short movies and 1 feature film, the soirée intitled “Interdit au Liban” difusing films that the censorship banned in my country. The theatre was full that night.

Pre-departure training

Rita Khawand (from Sending organization Khayal, Beirut ) explained to us what are our rights and our duties. We talked about expectations too. Personal ones, and professional ones too.
I still remember it was really helpful to meet other EVS, and to know that they’ve got the same anxiety that I was having; made me feel less lonely.

During the Service in Sommière we met other EVS from around the world. This was really nice. And the animators explained to us more about our duties and our goals. They were having one on one meetings with us to discuss more each project, the expectations, the rights…

My tutor and my collegues always brought me good support. We had the chance to see short movies together, to discuss them and analyzing too.
They were always explaining more and more to me about how a festival works, the final selection of the movies, the planning of the event…
In Clermont Ferrand, Cannes and Aix en Provence film festivals, they were the contact persons, they got me into the film market, and I was able to see movies due to their help.
 

I had more than one on one meeting with my tutor, we were discussing my duties, my expectations, the importance they’ve got… we were really close, even personal matters were involved.
All this was during work, as after 6 we barely met with my colleagues. I have to admit that this social barrier surprised me at the beginning, but later I had to know that this is the culture’s way to deal with co-workers.

On the linguistic level, since french is my second language, I did not need any specific extra support.

Rita Khawand from the sending organization was always in contact with me.
In the pre-EVS period, she was very helpful in order that we get the visa, and during the evs, she was always in contact with me, making sure that everything was going smooth.
She was very helpful concerning paper works, the right to travel or not, and other issues I used to have.

IN GENERAL, I AM SATISFIED WITH MY EVS.

AT A MOMENT IN THE MIDDLE OF MY PROJECT I FELT FRUSTRATED, I KEPT ON COMPARING THE BIG TV COMMERCIALS AND PROJECTS I USED TO WORK ON IN MY COUNTRY, AND THE LEVEL OF THE EDUCATIONAL AND ASSOCIATIVE SMALL PROJECTS I WAS DOING HERE. LATER I HAD TO KNOW THAT EVERYTHING HAS ITS IMPORTANCE, AND LEARNED HOW TO GET THE MAXIMUM OUT OF EVERY PROJECT, AS SMALL AS IT WAS. WETHER ON THE ARTISTIC LEVEL (WHEN I WAS ADDING WHAT I HAVE AS SKILLS) OR ON THE RELATION LEVEL (HOW TO COMMUNICATE WITH KIDS, TEACHERS OF SCHOOLS, AND COLLEAGUES)

THE FILM FESTIVALS THAT I WAS VISITING WERE A VERY BEAUTIFUL AND GOOD EXPERIENCE FOR ME.

SINCE I WAS ONE OF FEW WHO SPEAK ENGLISH FAIRLY WELL IN MY ASSOCIATION, I WAS PRESENTING OUR FILM FESTIVAL IN THE INTERNTIONAL FILM MARKETS.
I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO OUR FILM FESTIVAL, STARTING ON THE 18 OF THIS MONTH HOPING THAT IT WILL BE A GOOD EXPERIENCE TOO THAT I CAN ADD ON MY EVS PROJECT.

I HAVE TO ADD THAT DISCUSSING MOVIES WITH MY COLLEAGUES, AND THE PRE SELECTION COMMITTEE I WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR HELPED ME A LOT TO SEE/ JUDGE MOVIES IN A DIFFERENT WAY.

I HAD TO SPEAK ONLY FRENCH AT WORK AND AROUND SINCE ALMOST EVERYONE HERE SPEAK ONLY FRENCH, NO ENGLISH OR OTHER LANGUAGE TO COMMUNICATE.
I HAD TO WRITE FORMAL LETTERS TO DIRECTRS AND PRODUCERS, WHICH I WASN’T CAPABLE OF BEFORE.

I LEARNED HOW TO BETTER COMMUNICATE AND TRY TO BE A PART OF ANOTHER SOCIETY, WITH ALL ITS DIFFERENCES. WHEN WE USED TO DISCUSS FILMS, WE COULD REALLY SEE THE BACKGROUND OF EVERY CULTURE AS A MAIN CRITERIA FOR JUDGMENT. I HAD TO NOTICE HOW MUCH BEING IN A EUROPEAN SOCIETY, CONSIDERED “INDIVIDUAL” MAKES IT HARD TO COMMUNICATE, TO PROVE/ SHOW THE EASY SIDE OF COMMUNICATION THAT I WAS RAISED AT.
ON THE PERSONAL LEVEL, THESE DIFFERENCES MADE ME THINK/ DISCUSS AND WRITE A LOT ABOUT THE MATURITY ONE GETS WHEN HE FINDS HIMSELF IN ANOTHER COUNTRY, WITH PEOPLE HE DOESN'T KNOW. I THINK THAT THIS TOPIC MAKES NOW A VERY BIG INTERESTING DILEMMA IN MY THOUGHTS.

KNOWLEDGE OF DIFFERENT CULTURES

THAT WAS THE THING I LEARNED THE MOST, BESIDE THE FRENCH CULTURE AND THE FEW ELSE I HAD THE CHANCE TO DISCOVER WHEN I WAS VISITING OTHER COUNTRIES, THE COUCH SURFING SOCIETY HELPED ME MEET PEOPLE I COULD HAVE NEVER KNOWN. SHARING EXPERIENCES AND THOUGHTS WAS REALLY A VERY INTERESTING PART.
I HAVE TO ADD TO THIS THAT WATCHING THIS BIG AMOUNT OF EUROPEAN MOVIES, ESPECIALLY WHEN I WAS SUBTITLING THE IRISH AND THE POLISH ONES, I HAD TO SEE THE PREOCUPATIONS OF EACH ONE OF THOSE TWO SOCIETIES, THE TOPICS THAT MAKE THE MAIN INTEREST, EVEN THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE CINEMA STORYTELLING ON ALL LEVELS, SOUND, EDITING, SCENARIO, CAMERA MOVEMENT… IT WAS LIKE READING A CINEMA BOOK ABOUT OTHER CINEMA CULTURES…

SEEMS LIKE WHEN WE KNOW CLOSER OTHER PEOPLE FROM ANOTHER COUNTRY, WE REMOVE THE PREJUDICE WE WERE RAISED AT…

I HAD TO LIVE EVERYDAY WITH FLATMATES, CO-WORKERS AND TO COMMUNICATE WITH LOCALS. AT THE BEGINNING, AS I SAID BEFORE IT WASN’T EASY, ESPECIALLY THAT I WAS CLOSE TO MY COLLEAGUES AT WORK, BUT WE WEREN’T HAVING ANYTHING IN COMMON OUTSIDE THE WORK HOURS, ALTHOUGH WE HAVE THE SAME AGE… LATER I KNEW THAT THIS IS HOW IT WORKS HERE… SO I HAD TO FOCUS ON OTHER “RENCONTRES” AND THIS IS NOT REALLY EASY IN AN INDIVIDUALIST SOCIETY… BUT I CONSIDER THAT MY COMMUNICATION SKILLS THAT ARE FAIRLY DEVELOPED MADE ME MEET PEOPLE, IN STREETS, CINEMAS, RESTAURANTS, ON THE INTERNET AND ELSE.

I RECOMMEND EVS TO PEOPLE WHO WANT TO TRY TO LIVE IN ANOTHER COUNTRY FOR A CERTAIN PERIOD. I DON’T RECOMMEND IT TO PEOPLE WHO WANT ONLY TO PROGRESS ON WORK LEVEL, BECAUSE THIS IS NOT THE GOAL. THE BEST OBJECTIVE TO ME, IS TO DISCOVER ANOTHER COUNTRY, THAT WE MIGHT BE FAN OF, IN ORDER TO SEE IT CLOSER. TALKING TO MANY OTHER EVS, I KNOW NOW THAT SOME OF THEM WOULD NEVER BE ABLE TO LIVE IN FRANCE (ALTHOUGH THIS WAS THEIR DREAM BEFORE) AND OTHERS WHO CAN’T BE LIVING AGAIN IN THEIR OWN SOCIETY, AND LOOKING FORWARD TO COME BACK TO THEIR EVS COUNTRY… I DON’T RECOMMEND IT TO PEOPLE WHO ARE LOST IN CHOICES AND ARE JUST LOOKING FOR SOMETHING TO HELP THEM MAKE CHOICES, I NOTICE MYSELF, THAT NOW, I AM IN THE SAME “LOST TRANSITION PERIOD” THAT I WAS IN BEFORE I CAME.

IT’S JUST A BEAUTIFUL EXPERIENCE TO KNOW MORE ABOUT ONESELF AND OTHERS.