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TV camp for teens

Girls watch own productions on the big screen

Christine Kay
Northern News Services

Iqaluit (Aug 12/02) - The cameras started rolling in late July for a group of Iqaluit teenagers.

The all-female cast participated in the North's first-ever Women's Television Network TV workshop. Over the span of 11 days they learned how to use cameras and plan production.

"The girls are being exposed to something different and new at a very crucial point in their life," said the camp's co-ordinator and producer Catherine Fry.

The camp, held at Inuit Broadcasting Corporation in Iqaluit, was free for the participants, who ranged between 11 and 16 years of age. The WTN Foundation provided $27,000 and the budget for this camp was close to $100,000.

Fry said it's expensive, but worth it. The camp also received funding from Qulliq, the Nunavut Status of Women Council. First Air and NorthMart donated their services as well.

The girls witnessed the results of the camp at their very own video festival held at the Astro Theatre.

"It was great when I heard about it. A counsellor at my high school told me about the camp. I like it because I don't have the whole summer to stay out and do nothing," said 15-year-old Mialisa Noah.

While Noah learned how to shoot both wide-angle and close-up video, she said she's happy just to have learned how to use the camera. Fry said she hopes the camp will show the girls there are many options available.

"It shows them that they can control their own destiny. The girls leave here with more of a sense of self," she said.

Throughout the camp, the girls participated in a video scavenger hunt, walked on the land with elders, studied sound editing, planning and lighting techniques. They also had a workshop on the portrayal of women in the media, a subject that Fry said all the girls found interesting.

During the last week of the camp, the girls were put into groups. They spent that time planning, researching and shooting their own productions. They also had the chance to tour the Iqaluit newsroom at CBC North.

"We'd love for this to be a yearly thing," said Fry.

She added that next year the foundation will try to hold a camp in Iqaluit as well as another community in Nunavut.