Video Storytelling Workshops: Exploring Human Rights and Advocacy

Initiated in 2014, Visual Storytelling Workshops are collaborative works between the British Council, Human Dignity Film Institute and Huston school of Film and Digital Media, Northern Ireland and are designed with a view for supporting the Human Rights Human Dignity International Film Festival. 

Led by Nick Danziger, award-winning photographer and filmmaker and Claudia Modonesi, Cinema Human Rights and Advocacy School (CHRA) Associate Director, these workshops brought together a number of local and overseas trainers who specialized in documentary filmmaking and human rights advocacy to share their knowledge and experience with the participants on the impact of films and videos in addressing human rights abuses and how to use film to influence social change and promote justice and democracy. Starting from last year 2016, the workshop received a support from University of Michigan (USA) and Witness organisation. In 2017, the event received the support not only from above organisations but also from the Bertha Foundation and Picture People, a British non-profit organisation delivering advocacy-based multimedia projects to vulnerable communities and Equality Myanmar. 

Targeting human rights activists who make use of visual storytelling as their medium for awareness raising and advocacy, these workshops have supported, as of to date, more than 40 individuals, ranging from young media and human rights professionals, former political prisoners, documentary filmmakers and magazine editors to further their skills and experience in video advocacy and human rights documentation, storytelling techniques, project drafting and pitch, shooting, editing and subtitling. 

The Video Storytelling Workshop 2016 took place in Rangoon from 9th to 18th May at the Orchid Hotel. The outcome of this ten day workshop is the production of three short documentaries which were created by 11 participants which can be viewed in the following links. 

2017 is the fourth year of the Video Storytelling Workshop and it took place in Mandalay for the first time from 8th to 18th May at The Link 78 Hotel Mandalay. The course is to provide the opportunity for emerging filmmakers and engaged activists in Upper Myanmar to learn how to use and produce short video addressing sensitive issues that impact on their communities and aimed at producing a series of 3 to 5 minutes film addressing sensitive issues for advocacy purposes.

One of the workshop’s trainers and film-maker, Nick Danziger said “We’ve decided to hold the fourth workshop in Mandalay to give those that haven’t been able to attend one in Yangon a better chance to do so. This workshop is one of the highlights of my year as I remain consistently humbled by the stories, the passion and the commitment of the participants. I hope this year’s participants will rise to the challenges to help build a more just and democratic society by turning everyday stories into compelling films advocating for social change.”


A 3–minutes advocacy film on the struggle in daily life as a LGBT in Myanmar Society

  • Htet Wai Yan Oo (Geography University Student, prize awarded for a video competition)
  • Khine Moe Thu (English Literature Student at Mandalay University)
  • Thet Naing Tun (Program Trainer at Institute for Political and Civic Engagement)
  • Tu Lawt Laje (Myitkyina Millennium Center and YMCA)

Click here to watch the fim.


A 3-minutes advocacy film on life of the school dropout kid 

  • Dee Maw Ram (Videographer)
  • Ja Seng Roi Sumdu (Myitkyinar Millennium Center and YMCA) 
  • Nyan Win (Freelance graphic designer)
  • Zin Mar Latt (Lecturer, Anthropology Department, University of Mandalay)

Click here to watch the fim.


A 3-minutes advocacy film on taking care of the elderly without abandoning them 

  • Kyaw Soe (Journalist, filmmaker and producer)
  • May Phoo Pwint Aung (Social work Diploma at Yangon University)
  • Swam Htet Aung (First year university student. Diploma in IT)
  • Taryar Aung (Video journalist for DVB Channel)

Click here to watch the fim.




  • Min Htin Ko Ko Gyi, Founder of the Human Rights Human Dignity International Film Festival
  • Rod Stoneman, Huston School of Film & Digital Media Director
  • Emma Sandon, Senior Lecturer in Film and Television,  Birkbeck University of London
  • Sam Gregory, Witness Program Director


  • Min Htin Ko Ko Gyi, Founder of the Human Rights Human Dignity International Film Festival
  • Aung Myo Min, Executive Director of Equality Myanmar
  • Youk Chhang, Executive Director of the Documentation Centre of Cambodia (DC-CAM)
  • Swe Hlaing Htet A.K.A. DARKO, Coordinator, Turning Tables Myanmar
  • Zin Mar Aung, Co-funder of Rainfall
  • Kyaw Swar, Editor of Human Rights and Democracy Journal published by Myanmar Knowledge Society


  • Min Htin Ko Ko Gyi, Founder of the Human Rights Human Dignity International Film Festival
  • David Chung, Professor,  STAMPS School of Art & Design, USA
  • Khin Ma Ma Myo, Founder of the Myanmar Institute for Peace and Security Studies
  • Arul Prakkash, WITNESS Program Manager for Asia and the Pacific
  • Nyan Kyal Say, Animation Filmmaker


  • David Chung, Professor,  STAMPS School of Art & Design, USA
  • U Thein Than Oo, Lawyer, Myanmar Lawyer Network
  • Arul Prakkash, WITNESS Program Manager for Asia and the Pacific
  • Aung Myint Myat Cho, Filmmaker

External links