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Romanian documentary wins top TV award
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A documentary produced as part of a BBC World Service Trust programme on social integration has won a prestigious television award at the annual SIMFEST festival of local and independent TV in Romania.




The winning film, "Under the Sign of the Earth" focuses on a community of Lipovans - a Russian minority - in Targu Frumos, north east Romania, and was judged best documentary about an ethnic community.
It is part of a BBC World Service Trust project in partnership with the Center for Independent Journalism in Bucharest (CJI) that seeks to build professional skills amongst local media to encourage social integration of communities.
The BBC's Kate Butler and Sorin Avram of the CJI supervised training of Romanian journalists and film-makers on a special documentary course:
"From the outset the team were keen to make a film about the Lipovan community, and spent a day in the region looking for people who would make compelling 'characters'" said Butler. "The project gave them the opportunity to spend time with this minority group, and learn more about their history and current situation."
"While they found that many of the Lipovans have now married Romanian partners, many of the old customs and traditions are still preserved", she added.
Filming outside Targu Frumos, Romania
CJI trainer Sorin Avram said a combination of great teamwork and good timing resulted in great success:
"The team was committed ... but some times you need good luck too. Filming on scheduled days [there] happened to be an important religious celebration, followed by a meal, a very relevant event [in] Lipovan tradition ... but the good luck is the reward for the committed people, isn't?" he said.
The documentary was produced by Laura Lechovolea and Radu Vizitiu of regional television station TVR Iasi, with contribution from Andreea Stiliuc (BIT TV Iasi).
the good luck is the reward for the committed people, isn't it?
Sorin Avram, Trainer
"We had discussed the importance of team work, and I feel the success of the project was partly due to the excellent communication between the team members, Radu, Andreea and Laura" said Butler.
The project, "Enhancing the Capacity of the Local Media to facilitate Social Integration" aims to use the power of regional media to act as a catalyst for positive change by serving the interests of minority groups in society.
It runs from September 2007 to October 2008 and is supported by the Global Opportunities Fund Programme of the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).
The film will shortly be available from a custom-built website, currently under construction.
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