Why I liked this video very much, or Why … I didn’t like it at all!

This is an activity primarily for Secondary school students. 
Students can participate either individually or as a group. Written reviews can only be submitted for discussion in your school. If the school agrees to invite open discussions of reviews, the written review texts can be uploaded on your school's site.

All videos in this festival are student productions. Each video presents moments from their daily life that a group of students chose to show us.
Some of the videos have been created to show actual events as they happened in reality and thus have a strong documentary character, while others have been created as stage plays ("docu-drama"). Then, these plays were shot and made into short videos so that all students could view them. It should be remembered however that none of the videos tell us an imaginary story; rather, they record and present real situations around us, always through the creator’s personal view of the world we live in.

Writing a review on a film we don’t simply try to put forward our own opinion about the film, but we also try to answer questions that could be asked by anyone in the audience who is watching the film. For each film, numerous questions could be asked and each of us might give his/her own answers.
Mainly we try to include information/answer:

  1. The film’s identity:
    What is the title of the film? How long is the film (duration)? When was it produced? In which school? By students of which grade?
  2. Issues discussed in the film:
    • In your opinion, what is the main subject that these students want to discuss in their film and what do they tell us about it? Are they clear and convincing enough in showing us what they wanted?
    • What do we think about this subject? Does this subject concern us as well? Do we agree in the way that the filmmakers present their subject or would we view it in a different way? Is there something important which -in our own view- we feel that the film didn’t include?
    • Are there any side-subjects discussed in this film? Do we have any remarks of our own about any of these side-subjects?
  3. Film language:
    • What is our impression of the way the film 'shows us' its subject? Does it remind us of life and reality in the same way that we usually experience it? Or perhaps did the filmmakers choose to guide our imagination to look at reality in a somehow different and unusual/weird way?
    • What is our impression of the film’s characters? Are they convincing enough? Do they look like us?
    • What is the film’s tempo? Is it fast or slow? Is it joyful and rhythmic? Or, perhaps, is it sad and distant? Is this tempo suitable to the film’s subject?
    • Would we make any comment about the music of the film?
    • Does this film resemble the films we usually watch, or is it somehow different? Can we describe how this film is different than most? Or, perhaps, did we notice some characteristics that make this film very similar to the films we usually watch.
    • Were there any unforgettable moments in the film, or any moments that we will remember for a long time?
    • Does this film mostly resemble to a type of journal article that one would read in a newspaper? Or is it more like some thoughts and ideas we would share with a friend? Is it like a story, or perhaps, even a poem or a song?
  4. Overall impression:
    Did we like this film? Was it honest? Was it clear? Did the film raise some questions that will stay with us for quite a few days? Did it remind us any of our own experiences? Overall, what kind of feelings did it create in us while watching it? Optimism? Pessimism? Unrest? Trust in something? Anger? Irony about something? Something else?
As we said at the beginning, there are numerous questions that can be asked about each film. We often wonder how the filmmakers themselves would answer them. But they usually say "all that we wanted to say, we have said in our film. Now you tell us what you understood from it"! For this reason, a well written review can only be written by a very careful reviewer. He/She will provide the answers that -in his/her own opinion- have been put forward by the film.
This does not necessarily mean that there can be answers to all questions asked. For each film, but also for each reviewer, some questions seem to fit and elicit very interesting answers, while other questions may not make any sense and should be disregarded. Especially when there is a word limit for the length of the review -as is the case in our contest- out of the many questions listed above, the reviewer should consider the ones that best allow him/her to express a well thought out opinion.
To write a fair review responsibly, watching the film once is not enough; it is advisable to carefully view it for a second time.
  • In our activity your text can vary between 300-900 words (this present guide is about 900 words long).
  • Each student or group of students can submit a review on only one of the 12 videos.
  • Each text submitted should also include the student's name, grade and his/her school ID.
And don't forget:
A review is not reflecting the filmmaker's opinion, but rather the opinion and views of its writer!
Have fun and enjoy participating!