Since its inception, Ateliers Varan has set up workshops in various countries around the world. At the end of the filmmaking course, Ateliers
Varan stays on for the time necessary to help the local interns run the workshop autonomously, thanks to the equipment Varan leaves in place.
Training courses can be organised at a country’s request, in liaison with representative organisations , such as universities, TV networks, unions, film schools and cultural organisations...
25 years ago, Ateliers Varan chose to give the opportunity of mastering audiovisual tools to those who didn’t have access to them. Today, the use of digital video is available almost everywhere. However, the standardised programmes presented by the media leave little room for an author’s vision. In many countries, the documentary genre is often absent from everyday audiovisual programmes.
Ateliers Varan recommends establishing work groups with trainees issued from various sociological backgrounds. Experience has proven that cultural, ethnic and professional diversity makes for fruitful intellectual exchanges, and builds up group dynamism.
Thus, the workshop operates like the microcosm of a given society.
Conveying the reality of a big city, of a country or at least revealing its most representative facets, is a difficult task. The films depict a range of situations and characters which, altogether, help to deepen understanding of a country’s complexity.
Although short-lived (the time to set up one or two courses), some of these workshops have enabled filmmakers to be trained and films to be produced (Mexico, Kenya, Romania, Venezuela). On the other hand, in some other workshops (Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, South Africa, Cambodia, Colombia, Vietnam, Serbia), a long-term follow-up could be carried out over several years. Strong groups have emerged.
Initially, the Communication Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs entirely financed the workshops. Since then, financial resources have largely evolved and diversified.
Ateliers Varan and the interested organization apply for funding. Requests are sent to the French Embassy representing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to the local delegations of international institutions (European Union, UNESCO, Foundations...) and to local institutions.
Ateliers Varan, and its local partner, follow up on the advancement of project with the various ministries and organizations.
They establish a budget for the workshop, including : the purchase of shooting and editing equipment, video tapes, the coaches’ wages, the cost of local transport, the trainees’ grants and if necessary, the local facilities...