The seventh art can help change the world as we know it. These changes can occur not just because of the stories told through film, but also because the film-making process affects the people behind the cameras, lights, and scripts. With this idea in mind, Repsol’s Transform your energy program, which forms part of the Energía en acción (Energy in Action) project, has enabled young people at risk of marginalization to delve into the world of film in a way that empowers them and offers them an avenue of exploration through short films of their own creation.
“I have the satisfaction of seeing that expression on my students’ faces that says “look at everything I’ve accomplished, with a bit of hard work and guidance I can do anything I put my mind to,” says Miguel Guerrero, one of the 30 Transform your energy volunteers. Garrido has also worked in the Energía en acción project.
This initiative took place in Tarragona through a volunteering program with support from the local foundation En Xarxa. The 61 young people who’ve participated in the program learned how to record and produce a short film on social issues.
Energy in Action helped give rise to 14 short films about issues that are important to the participants themselves. Three winning films were chosen: La música del silencio (The music of Silence), Over & Over, and Intro, about disabilities, school bullying, and the fight to achieve one’s dreams, respectively. Racism, sexual diversity, and gender violence were some of other issues the films covered.
“The music of silence”, a short film winner of Energía en Acción
Not only did the young participants acquire technical and practical knowledge from industry professionals, they also heard motivational talks like the one given by film director Daniel Villanueva, founder of Escola de Cinema de Reus (Rues Film School) and producer of the short film Timecode, which was nominated for an Oscar in 2017.
The filmmaker showed “a step-by-step guide to becoming a film director in one hour. What you want to show and what the rules are to do so. They realize that making a film, despite all the complexities involved, is simple if you know what you want to say.” Villanueva also note that “in this type of talk, you see that there are people who have a calling, and you show them how to get where they want to go.”
Without a doubt, the most notable part of this initiative is the teamwork you see both between the young people themselves and between them and the Repsol volunteers — two generations joining together to make this social project possible.
Apart from Energy in Action, the Repsol volunteering program Transform your energy also includes six more programs aimed at other groups, such as refugees, elderly people who live on their own, kids from gypsy ethnic group, children at risk of marginalization, and society as a whole. One of our projects that benefits all of society is the reconditioning of an old railway line that’s been transformed into a greenway where people can exercise and play outdoors.