Dion Wyn Hughes is the Projects and Marketing Manager for Wicked Wales. He recently attended the International Youth Media Summit (IYMS) in Falkenberg, Sweden.
IYMS is an annual two-week event that brings together young people from different cultures to create media projects aimed at inspiring their own generation to take action and responsibility for the future. By confronting and examining global problems and exploring solutions together, they are bound in a shared purpose. Working toward a common goal and being accountable for a concrete creative product within a limited time period provides the perfect “stew” for collaboration. Here’s what Dion told us about the trip:
Attending IYMS was an eye-opening experience that broadened my mind about what we can do in Wales. While the primary basis of the summit is to empower change through filmmaking, it also gives you opportunities to meet like-minded programmers, activists and filmmakers from all across the globe.
Throughout a fortnight, the challenge was to create a PSA (Public Service Announcement) over seven topics the IYMS wanted to eradicate in the world through diplomacy and film. They are youth empowerment, environment, violence, women’s rights, poverty, health and discrimination. Each group were split into young filmmakers, young diplomats and advisors who all worked together to create a short film about their subject matter with the help of their mentor who worked within the assigned fields. By the end of the summit, they would have a completed film that will be shared with international audiences at film festivals, on YouTube and through their partners, including UNESCO.
There are various ways to encourage and embrace heritage, language and culture, from Afghanistan to Nepal to Norway. Each day there were numerous opportunities to hear about different nations, how they promote their countries’ work, and the best models to exhibit the films. While many have expressed their frustrations about funding and sharing their voices globally, the summit allows you to develop and work on further collaborations beyond the two-week summit.
One of the main reasons Wicked Wales wanted to attend the summit was to engage with more young people. As they were the ones making the films and making positive changes in their communities, it was an enlightening experience. Hearing about the various programs they work on and their viewing habits benefited us as an organisation and for Wales as a whole. The diversity of delegates gave a fresh perspective on what works well for us and where we can improve and further diversity and inclusion in our sector.
The main takeaway from IYMS is the importance of international collaboration and working with organisations to improve our methods and share our own practices from Wales. We can learn so much from one another, and Wicked Wales has already begun a dialogue with partners in Sweden and Nepal on how we can collaborate further. Fortunately, through social media, we can now stay in touch with some of the great film societies we connected with and keep an eye on the ideas and programming that they’re doing. We hadn’t looked further afield until now, so I think this will benefit us when determining our own programme and events.
Attending IYMS was an eye-opening experience that broadened my mind about what we can do in Wales. While the primary basis of the summit is to empower change through filmmaking, it also gives you opportunities to meet like-minded programmers, activists and filmmakers from all across the globe. – Dion Wyn Hughes
Dion attended the International Youth Media Summit with the support of Film Hub Wales via our Bursary scheme. If you want to attend a meeting, course or event that would benefit your organisation and develop audiences but the costs are prohibitive, you can submit an application for support here.