Life Through the Lens: The 48-Hour Challenge
A 48-Hour Documentary Challenge was organized for the third year at AUBG this weekend. Keeping the tradition, it started by presenting a specific topic to the participants and inspiring them to create short documentaries from scratch. Six teams signed up for the challenge, but only three of them managed to survive the two days of brainstorming, filming and editing.
The actual challenge started on Saturday, Sept.26, but the screening of the finished documentaries took place at the BAC Auditorium on Tuesday, Sept. 29. Professors Devadas Rajaram and Ronald Wiginton together with alumna Katarina Djuknic were also present as part of the jury. This year’s documentary projects took a new approach to storytelling. The teams’ “exceptional” works contributed to the challenge, according to Prof. Wiginton. “I am amazed with the outcome of each team,” he said.
After a long discussion and voting by the jury and the audience, the winners were announced – the AUB International team. The team consisted of eight full-time and exchange students from different countries. Their short documentary described social discrimination in their respective countries. It was based on three interviews revealing the struggles of adapting in societies that suffer from a political crisis, prejudice against homosexuality, and rejection of the outsiders. The team received both the audience and the jury awards, consisting of two trophies and tickets from Mark’s Guerilla Kitchen, a local take-away restaurant.
One Woman Army, represented by Fatme Tsiko alone, impressed the jury as well. According to the judges, she had the most original and touching short film. It revealed the story of a first-year student from Vietnam, confessing the struggle of adapting to Bulgarian food.
Fatme attempted to emphasize the emotional side of her story by showing visuals of her suffering when eating food she did not like. As the main character stated, trying new dishes, which tasted strange, made her feel homesick. “I was completely insecure,” said Fatme
. “But the editing turned out to be easy.” Prof. Rajaram said it was “heartwarming” to watch. “And it’s amazing that she did this all by herself.”
Another judge, AUBG alumna Katarina Djuknic, highly supported the third screening by the team Essex. It consisted of Yana Yakovleva and Natalia Shirshova. Their script was entirely personal and it elaborated on their work and travel experience. The girls shared their dearest memories, and that is exactly what dragged Djuknic’s attention. “I was anxious about showing it to people,” Yakovleva said. “I still am.”