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国家电影局纪录片:7个加拿大年轻人的不同信仰(The Faith Project)(带纪录片视频)

来源:NFB   更新:2017-02-27 11:36:35   作者:NFB
国家电影局纪录片:7个加拿大年轻人的不同信仰(The Faith Project)(带纪录片视频)

 

The Faith Project is an immersive media experience that intimately observes the rituals of seven young Canadians from different faith traditions. Religious identity and expression can be very personal topics, but the practitioners profiled in this project offer viewers a deep, privileged understanding of their diverse faiths. Set in a specifically Canadian context, the website and app include supplementary content that deepens viewers’ understanding of each interviewee’s faith. Shuttling between the project’s short portraits, striking commonalities between different traditions emerge. The articulate, busy young women and men at the heart of The Faith Project weave faith into their daily lives not as an obligation but as something that is essential to their identity and place in the world. Whether it is smudging or singing, a mandir or a mosque, a Siddur or the Bible, it’s clear how essential spiritual practice is to the bustling, stressful daily lives and identities of these young Canadians.

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The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) interactive iPad app and website The Faith Project offers a unique and intimate look at how seven young Canadians from different backgrounds weave faith into their daily lives. This immersive media experience was conceived by the NFB in collaboration with the CRRF, directed by Chris Romeike and written by Shiraz Janjua.

 

The Faith Project offers users a deeper understanding of the diverse face of religion in Canada today. The articulate, busy young women and men at the heart of The Faith Project view their faith not as an obligation but as a key part of their identity and place in the world. Whether it’s smudging or singing, a mandir or a mosque, a Siddur or the Bible, it’s clear that spiritual practice is essential to the bustling, stressful daily lives of these young Canadians. As users shuttle between The Faith Project’s seven short cinematic portraits, striking commonalities emerge between these personal expressions of faith. The full-screen, intimate experiences facilitated by these platforms allow users to utterly sink in and search—as the practitioners themselves do—for a contemplative orientation in a noisy world. Set in a specifically Canadian context, the website and app also include supplementary content that deepens users’ understanding of each subject’s faith.

 

 

 

“Being able to observe and understand the significance of faith in the lives of these extraordinary young people has been absolutely inspiring,” said NFB producer Lea Marin. “Our hope is that The Faith Project will provide an opening for a much needed conversation about identity, tolerance, and acceptance in Canada, and the world around us.”

 

 

 

CRRF Executive Director Anita Bromberg added, “The Faith Project is an amazing tool going live just as we see renewed stresses around faith and belonging. Thanks go out to the young people who allowed us to glimpse into their personal expressions of faith and thereby help us to deepen the conversation as we seek a greater understanding of each other.”

 

 


 

Featured in The Faith Project are:

 

·         Allison, a chaplain at the University of Manitoba and an ordained priest in the Anglican Church;

 

 

·         Aviva, a recording, performing, and touring musician, and Jewish prayer leader at congregations in Toronto;

·         Ivana, a student and youth mentor in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and member of the Cree community;

·         Jetan, a mechanical engineer who grew up in the Swaminarayan Hindu community in the Greater Toronto Area;

·         Kashif, a recent university graduate and filmmaker, and member of Surrey, BC’s Muslim community;

·         Preetinder, a behaviour specialist for children with autism, and a Sikh living in the metropolitan area of Vancouver;

·         Sonam, a freelance DJ and community organizer, and member of Toronto’s Buddhist community.

 

Directed by Chris Romeike and written by Shiraz JanjuaThe Faith Project is produced by Gerry Flahive and Lea Marin and executive produced by Silva Basmajian and Anita Lee for the NFB. For the CRRF, Anita Bromberg is executive director and Suren Nathan is project manager.

 



Q&A WITH ANITA BROMBERG, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CANADIAN RACE RELATIONS FOUNDATION

The CRRF’s core mission is primarily dedicated to the elimination of racism in Canada. How do you see faith-based identity being connected to your mandate?

The Faith Project was a direct response to a worrying rise in overt racism in which people were being targeted for their faith. Religious institutions such as mosques, gurdwaras and temples were being vandalized and desecrated, while a growing number of individuals who had an outward and visible expression of their faith were being subjected to discrimination and expressions of intolerance. This was in addition to the colour-based racism that still existed.

We wanted to explore the societal changes that were taking place as multiculturalism became more visibly multi-faith. We knew that the majority of Canadians welcomed and celebrated multiculturalism, but did they have the same level of acceptance for the multi-faith dimension that is now included in multiculturalism?

Faith is part of a person’s identity. In many parts of the world, including Canada, a person’s faith identity can be as strong as any other part of their identity; this can be equally true for a community’s identity, particularly for ethnic communities that have their very basis in faith. Since discrimination and intolerance toward a faith have the same results as racism, this issue fell within the CRRF’s mandate to create a more harmonious Canada.

What are some of the biggest challenges to strengthening multi-faith understanding and cooperation?

Multi-faith understanding and cooperation in Canada begins with the notion that, while we may come from different faith backgrounds, our ultimate goal as Canadians is to create a harmonious society where we can all live together in peace. The biggest challenges come from the more extreme religious factions—present in all faiths—whose adherents believe that they are the only ones who possess the truth and that everyone else is wrong. This “us vs. them” view of the world creates an almost impenetrable barrier when it comes to interfaith understanding and cooperation.

These difficulties continue to be explored through the Our Canada Project, whose national survey in 2014 revealed an ongoing discomfort with religious practices not common to one’s own faith.

Along with this app the CRRF has produced with the National Film Board of Canada, what are some of the other tools the CRRF has developed to strengthen interfaith understanding?

The most widely circulated and well-received tool that the CRRF has created is a multi-faith poster featuring a photo of a woman wearing a head covering. The text challenges the viewer to see the woman not just as a person of faith but also as a Canadian.

The CRRF produced the Our Canada Handbook, which gives significant insight into issues that people with a strong faith identity often confront, and provides an informative overview of the major faith groups currently present in Canada.

In addition, the CRRF is offering workshops across Canada that help diversity leaders develop an understanding of how to create and function in a positive workplace where multiple faiths co-exist.

In general, has it been difficult to get young people to discuss their faith-based practices?

We found that, when we provided a safe space for discussion, young people had no difficulties in discussing their faith-based practices.

What do you believe will be the most significant legacy of the CRRF’s Interfaith and Belonging initiative?

The most significant legacy of the CRRF’s Interfaith and Belonging initiative is that it started the first real dialogue at a national level as to what happens when multicultural Canada becomes multi-faith Canada. The initiative raised this important issue to the level of public, private and media discussions around the country, shining a light on the challenges that people of faith were experiencing concerning their identity and belonging in Canada. The initiative also laid the groundwork for an ongoing national dialogue about an issue that grows more relevant every day.

In keeping with the CRRF’s practice of building sustainability into our initiatives, the Interfaith and Belonging poster, handbook and workshops continue to have an impact within education, policy, government, justice and faith sectors. These, together with The Faith Project, form a living legacy.

Q&A WITH SHIRAZ JANJUA, WRITER AND ASSOCIATE PRODUCER, NFB

Within the context of the NFB’s partnership with the CRRF, can you speak to why an app seemed the most effective way to communicate ideas about faith and belonging in Canada?

We wanted to make intimate portraits that took us beyond popular portrayals of faith—for example, what we might encounter in news reports. By presenting the project in an app, there were a number of ways we could make the audience’s experience of the stories extremely intimate.

With a tablet, it’s almost like diving into a good book—it’s just you and the device. Even having an interactive documentary in a web browser creates a certain physical distance between the viewer and the screen. We wanted to bridge that distance. We wanted to get the audience as close as possible to the people in the films, to be part of intimate moments they typically never see, and to hear the subjects’ thoughts. So, it was a case of envisioning a certain type of film and a certain type of user experience, and having those two things conceptually married.

And with the app, the audience is able to discover things and even sometimes participate in the ritual they’re watching, even in an abstract way. That kind of primacy of experience isn’t possible in a traditional film. It’s an experiential way of taking the audience past barriers and preconceptions.

The seven young Canadians who allowed the filmmakers to observe their faith practices are all very articulate and engaging. Can you speak to the process of finding The Faith Project’s subjects?

The process was primarily driven by on-the-ground research, by talking to people in houses of worship, in university faith groups, and in community organizations. The process was also supplemented by online outreach.

It’s always difficult to get people to open up about their faith, particularly to someone with a camera. There’s a sense in many communities that filmed material can be politicized or taken out of context. Personal contact was therefore extremely important in building trust. We explained we were after human stories that looked beyond whatever crisis was in the current news cycle. We didn’t want spokespeople holding a press conference; we wanted to feel the emotion and beauty of individual spiritual practice.

When people understood those aims, they were very generous with us, allowing us into their spaces, and introducing us to other articulate people within the community. From there, it was simply a matter of having conversations with many potential subjects, learning about their lives, and selecting subjects whose stories could be effectively and beautifully portrayed in short films.

Obviously “faith” is broadly defined and practiced in contemporary culture. How did the creative team approach researching and ultimately selecting which practices to represent?

Initially, the project was very issue-oriented: “What are the issues young spiritual people are facing in today’s society?” But we realized that people were already talking about those issues in blogs, on message boards, on YouTube, and in the news. So, we moved away from that approach toward something less political and more tangible. We went after the grand and the beautiful, because religion itself is about a relationship with the transcendent, even if it happens in the most mundane surroundings.

We decided to look for rituals that define spiritual experience itself, and for people who had authentic, sustained relationships to such rituals. Each ritual or practice—prayer, meditation, chanting, or something else—needed to be essential to that person’s own spiritual identity and even to their religion at large. At the same time, we were conscious that no one subject’s experience could (or should) be a “safe” representation of the spiritual lives of millions of other people. Nevertheless, we hoped each film would be relatable to people who shared that subject’s faith.

And, ultimately, we needed to be sure each subject’s practice could be portrayed in a visual medium. That’s not to demean any practices that aren’t as visual; those might be better explored in a different medium. There are also practices so private they can’t be openly portrayed at all. There are many other stories to tell about faith, far beyond what we could hope to capture ourselves in one project; we left out more than we could include. Still, we tried to capture a variety of personalities, traditions, experiences and locations across the seven films.

In several of the short films, the filmmakers required access to places of worship. Was it difficult to obtain permission to film in some of these locations?

One location was so accustomed to fielding filming requests that they initially assumed we were yet another Hollywood production with many trucks full of catering and generators and the like—which would have required us to pay some hefty fees for access. But, when we explained we were a small team of scruffy documentary filmmakers, we quickly got the go-ahead.

In other cases—whether it was a private residence or a house of worship—the major concerns were about how filming would impact the regular use of the space, and especially how the people and the space would be represented in the finished films. In those cases, we negotiated with our subjects and people in the community over a longer period of time to assuage concerns they had. We tried to approach the filming with a great deal of sensitivity, and we always made sure to be respectful of the spaces we were in. In the end, we graciously received all the access we required to capture the beautiful moments we were after.

In exploring this topic, what were some of the biggest surprises the creative team encountered?

Perhaps it’s not a surprise, but over the course of the production, we would see common themes emerge, regardless of the subject’s personality or tradition.

We would see recurring patterns of movement in the practices—circles, for example, are a common feature in many traditions. Sound and musicality were also surprisingly common—we probably could have made seven films about faith and music. And language was always a stumbling block for people, whether it was a sacred language they didn’t understand, or even one they did. It is continually difficult for people to centre themselves for moments of devotion when they use the same words over and over again.

It was surprising, too, just how generous people were with these intimate aspects of their lives. There is a hunger to share the moments that give us such meaning, as well as to share the struggles that are a part of those moments. You know that you’ve achieved a deep level of trust when someone can admit they once skipped their spiritual practice because it conflicted with a screening time for The Hobbit. But that’s precisely the kind of honesty and tension we wanted to bear witness to.

(Source: National Film Board)

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