Jesuit TV enlightens Timorese
A variety of programs intended to inform as well as entertain
- Jesuit-run Casa de Producao Audiovisual (CPA) has been enlightening Timor Leste for several years now through stunning television programs in cooperation with Televisao Nacional Timor Leste (TVTL).
Its latest TV production, Labarik Nia Mundo or Children’s World, was launched earlier this month in the capital Dili.
Many government officials, community leaders, religious leaders, and elementary, high school and university students, attended the event.
The series, televised Wednesdays and Sundays is aimed at children 5-9 years of age. Divided into 46 episodes, it tells the stories of Timorese children who struggle with their identities while achieving their dreams.
“Labarik Nia Mundo invites Timor Leste people to know their own culture,” CPA’s president director Amelia Hapsari said, adding that TV programs are effective tools to educate people.
Casa de Producao Audiovisual was established by Jesuit Father Ruedy Hoffman in 2002. Since its founding, the center has collaborated with TVTL in the making of various TV shows aimed at educating the Timor Leste public.
In February 2004 it produced Istoria Ba Futuru (History of the Future). This series, in 43 parts focused on history makers and individuals who have had a major influence on Timor Leste society.
Another program, first aired in 2007, was 16-episode Povu Nia Fiar (Beliefs of the People), which depicted the struggles of Catholics missionaries when starting their missions and inculturation on Timor Island 450 years ago. The series emphasized how Christian values penetrated local cultures of the Timorese.
More recently, another program called Povu Nia Matenek (Wisdom of the People), was produced in 2009 and ran until the end of 2010. The 43 episodes in this series featured public figures in Timor Leste.
Besides making TV series, CPA also produces dramas and documentary films, Hapsari said, including Weaving Stories which tells the story of fisher folk children and The Beauty of Likisa which covers the development of the country’s Likisa district.
Palmira De Jesus Cortereal, a senior high student in Dili, said CPA makes some very interesting programs.
“My favorite is Povu Nia Fiar, as it helps educate the younger generation about how Catholic missionaries came and helped develop Timor society. It not only shows religious values, but also moral and cultural values,” she said.
Future CPA projects will include programs echoing social themes, according to Hapsari. This will include problems surrounding land ownership, which is currently a big issue in Timor Leste.
“Land ownership is being hotly debated because land handed over by the Indonesian government will fall in the hands of Timor Leste government,” said Hapsari.
What’s more, the political climate is heating up as a general election, scheduled for 2012, is fast approaching.
CPA currently has 14 staff members who also help would-be journalists and program makers with skills such as video editing, scriptwriting, photography and animation.
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