Cámara Chica

CAMARA CHICA is a youth filmmaking programme developed and owned by British Council, delivered in collaboration with UK partner Into Film and in-country partner organisations. The project develops the skills of educators and community leaders to teach digital filmmaking to young people; and introduces young people to filmmaking and visual storytelling.

‘Camara Chica’ (which broadly translated in English means ‘Little Cameras’) speaks to many of the ideas that underpin the UK’s ‘Film: 21st Century Literacy’ policy. The project proposes activity that aims to go beyond a simple transfer of expertise, by pioneering a new approach to the way we think about the relationship between children, filmmaking and visual literacy. To this end ‘Camara Chica’ sits firmly within a skills agenda but also has a significant societal, educational and developmental dimension.

Aims and Objectives:

  • To improve access to digital filmmaking equipment for communities and young people
  • To develop filmmaking and digital technology skills in young people
  • To empower local educators and community leaders to work with young people in a digital filmmaking context
  • To provide a creative space for young people to express themselves and develop socially
  • To develop workshop and youth participation models which have the potential for sustainability and rollout

This programme is delivered by Into Film, a film education charity that puts film at the heart of the educational and personal development of children and young people across the UK. Supported by the BFI and the film industry, the organisation is responsible for one of the world’s most extensive and fastest growing film education programmes for five to nineteen year olds. 

Filmmaking is an absorbing, challenging and powerful creative process that can expand young people’s understanding of what is possible. It’s more than a journey: it’s an adventure! 

Watching and making films enables young people to develop an understanding of different cultures by introducing them to exciting new people and worlds that are different from their own. Making films can help young people think on their identities and view their own communities with a fresh perspective.

This programme provides ample opportunity to organise and plan but also encourages discovery and improvisation. It provides a great opportunity for young people to work with their friends or peers and build trust and respect. Everybody is able to join in, and all can bring their creative thinking, writing, editing, ICT, organising and production skills. In this way a strong team can be formed of imagination, co-operation and productivity. 

Previously the project has run in Cuba, Venezuela, Nepal, Egypt and Rwanda, and is about to run in Pakistan. This programme is highly flexible, using established core elements but responding to local conditions and opportunities.

Despite the covid and economic challenges, Camara Chica in Sri Lanka took place in March/April 2022 through a hybrid model. Three schools from the British Council UK Exams network were selected to take part in this programme - Wycherly International School, Ilma International Girls School, and Elizabeth Moir School. 

The legacy of Camara Chica Sri Lanka is a cohort of 55 young people with improved filmmaking skills and 5 educators empowered to continue supporting young people in their schools with filmmaking beyond the life of the training project. It also created a professional skills exchange between 3 UK film practitioners overseen by Into Film UK, and 7 filmmakers in Sri Lanka who were mentors on this project. 

Learn more