" Our film does not show everything first time! You see a main scene, but in the background, something else is happening. We do not pay attention, then the scene comes back in the film and there, we focus on what was behind. " In a corridor of the College of Chatelaillon-Plage, south of La Rochelle, Joy whispers her explanations so as not to interfere with the current shooting. "Silence. Action. "
Twenty college students present complies without renouncing the injunction of the young director, Sebastien Biget. They know that he is at their service, and all are striving towards the same goal: to get the selection of their short film for the next FestiPREV, the International Festival of prevention film and youth citizenship of La Rochelle.
Bring their story to life
The group moves into the courtyard for the rest of the shoot. It's break-time : "It will make us extras in the background. " Joy, Lucie, Julie and their third friends had seven months, at the rate of 1:30 per week, to tame the vocabulary of cinema and prepare the various stages leading to this culmination, two full days of filming to give life to their scenario.
"We tell the story of a boy who has embarked on a challenge on the Internet," summarizes Julie. A challenge ? "You know, these challenges that young people are embarking on social networks. At first, you have to do something easy, then it gets harder and harder. In our film, the guy has to pierce his nose with a needle. In college, he has no friends and no one knows what he's going through, how he puts himself in danger through this challenge. "
The principal, Eric Bouverat, ignores all or almost all the film that turns in his establishment. "I'll find out at the screening. My presence on this workshop, even intermittent, would have embarrassed students and I could not help but give my opinion. " In Châtelaillon, the school head plays the game of this word freely left to adolescents, as in the eleven colleges of the agglomeration of La Rochelle engaged in the adventure FestiPREV.
One day to educate the youngest to the dangers of the Internet
It is not reserved for this territory. "Our festival hosts short films made by young people from all over France and even abroad, but in La Rochelle, we also accompany the creation of films. This is a request from our main partner, the Agglomeration Community. We put at the disposal of each establishment a youth leader and a professional director ", says Nicolas Aujard, coordinator of the event.
Because for FestiPREV, there is no question of filming three shots in ten minutes with his laptop. We take our time, we learn, "We make quality images that will be shown on a big screen in a real cinema, in front of a real audience, with a real jury! ". All these signs show teens that their word is taken seriously.
"A way of their own"
They express themselves on the broad field of prevention and citizenship: rights and duties, responsibility, road safety, prevention of health, violence, addiction, sexuality … "A message of prevention is never as effective as when young people address other young people with their codes, their own expressions", says Jean-François Lefèvre, director of the popular education association Angou'Loisirs which is at the origin of FestiPREV.
The festival is only 4 years old, but the educator is already observing an evolution in the films on offer: "At first, they had something a little bit of school, as if the kids wanted to stick to what adults expect from a prevention message. But quickly, from the second year, the stories told are enriched with humor, words, a way of their own to present things. "
What prevention against youth suicide?
The directors, like Sophie Mestre, pay a lot of attention to writing the screenplay. "I plan a lot of time on this part, I let young people talk, debate between them, things are free. I do not intervene in their choice and I do not turn in their place, even if I advise them. There is only editing that I do myself, while discussing with them cuts. "
This year, at Albert-Camus College in La Rochelle, the group led by director Pierre Noirauld has fallen behind. "We had too many ideas and everyone wanted to pass his, we discussed for several sessions," says Celian, in fourth grade in this college. Blanche, in the same class, says: "I have a disabled brother and I wanted to show the eyes that others have on him without understanding. Others wanted to talk about racism, homophobia … In the end, we realized that there was something in common for all our subjects, that of prejudices. We ended up writing a script on it. But now we do not have much time to prepare the shoot. "
Unnecessary concern, according to the coordinator Nicolas Aujard, who knows the dedication of the directors engaged in the operation FestiPREV. They will spend the necessary time, their nights if necessary, to edit the films before the deadline for selection. "We share rare moments with these young people," said Sophie Mestre. " Then, during the public screenings during the festival, an emotion difficult to describe emerges. Adults realize how much teenagers tell them about them, open a window to their world where our society is reflected. "
32 short films are selected for the FestiPREV. "Those colleges we accompany do not appear automatically", provide the programmers. At the time of the festival, the young production teams come on stage at the end of each screening to explain their choice of theme and film treatment.
These young people are not afraid to tackle heavy topics: harassment on social networks, domestic violence at home, confusion behind arrogance. "Other themes are lighter. We saw a year a humorous short film about the state of the college toilets. It was finally about respect due to others and to oneself, reports Jean-François Lefèvre. "In addition, many films conclude on similar solutions: talk to others, get help, do not hesitate to reach out: this is what teenagers say. "
The keys of the subject
Combine prevention and image education
A prevention message is better when delivered by a peer of the same age. Here is what Jean-François Lefèvre, founder of FestiPREV, is convinced. Director of a youth education organization, the association Angou'Loisirs, he imagined with the community of agglomeration of La Rochelle and many other partners a festival of short films made by teenagers on the questions that touch. The idea was then to combine prevention and image education. Thus was born FestiPREV, festival of prevention and youth citizenship of La Rochelle. Since its first edition, the event has opened to achievements of young people from other regions of France, then from abroad.
The Festi'PREV 2019 will take place from May 16 to 18 in La Rochelle. Thirty-two short films of a maximum duration of five minutes are selected from those made by the colleges of Charente-Maritime and those received from elsewhere. On Friday, May 17, the young teams will come on stage to defend their film against their college peers in the room and a professional jury. On Saturday, May 18th, screenings will be open to the general public. A village FestiPREV will settle on the quays of La Rochelle.
AND YOU ?
The films selected during the previous FestiPREV are posted online and downloadable on the festival website. They are intended to be shared and can serve as support for debates and prevention workshops. New participants in future editions are welcome. All information and contacts are on the website: www. Festiprev.com