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South Sudanese youth prepare to shoot a film on the outskirts of Juba, capital of South Sudan, Oct. 25, 2021 (Photo by Denis Elamu/Xinhua) 


In South Sudan, a group of young people are resorting to telling stories through short films aimed at ending the culture of violence.

JUBA, Oct. 28 (Xinhua) -- Tired of the violence that continues to pit communities against one another in the country they call home, some South Sudanese youth are resorting to telling stories through short films aimed at ending the culture of violence.

Deng Dhieu Garang, 26 and a former child refugee, together with four of his colleagues are part of the Real Game group that is slowly making inroads in the nascent South Sudan's film industry by churning out films that seek to highlight violence and other social ills including child marriages.

Garang, who lived most of his childhood life in Kenya, returned to Juba, the South Sudan capital, in 2019 and slowly assembled a group of ambitious youth who aim to confront the social and cultural challenges facing their society.

"The main thing that motivates me to do this was when I analyzed the situation in my country and I think we need happiness more because we have spent so many years not enjoying the kind of life we are supposed to live," Garang told Xinhua in Juba Monday while shooting an upcoming film on peace and cohesion.

"I came up with this idea of acting out a story or funny clip to make someone happy even if he or she is in a stressful mood," he said.

Garang, who always uploads some of these films on the group's Facebook page called real games and trending TV, said their first film "strange in the jungle" aims to end the culture of cattle raiding, especially among his native Dinka community. "The main message is that we are trying to show people what causes inter-communal conflict because most of our communities do raid cattle," said Garang.

Deu Dhieu, also 26 and the film writer with the group, said the various cultural norms in the country need to be harnessed to build a united, peaceful and prosperous society. "South Sudan is a country made up of 64 tribes with different norms and cultures, but these norms and cultures sometimes divide us and this motivates us writers to imagine a society of one culture," said Dhieu.

He said that South Sudan's film industry has potential to grow if it is encouraged and supported by the government and development partners because of its role in influencing society.

Deng Matiop, a 27-year-old actor, said they are trying to bring out the untold stories from the various cultures in order to create national identity. He cited the cultural challenges in his own community that are holding back women from freely expressing themselves in the creative arts.

"In my community women are not allowed to act and yet there is a need for actresses. This is really challenging for us but we need to change the mindset of our communities on this issue," said Matiop.

Ajak Luis, an upcoming actor, said that South Sudan needs the creative arts to help bring about a conversation on peaceful coexistence among communities. Filmmakers, however, face financial challenges, he said, adding that it requires between 2,000 to 3,000 U.S. dollars to make a short film, but they often struggle to put together the sum as a group.

What's more, insecurity complicates shooting a film in South Sudan. "That's why most of our films are not coming out frequently because we have to go through a lot of documentation to shoot a film," said Garang, adding that they can push through all the obstacles together. 

Source http://www.bing.com/news/apiclick.aspx?ref=FexRss&aid=&tid=E15C9AEAD7E840DC9C681CFD1650324F&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.msn.com%2Fen-xl%2Fnews%2Fother%2Fsouth-sudans-youth-embrace-cinematic-storytelling-to-change-mindset%2Far-AAQ3knN&c=7964822246861773538&mkt=en-ca

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