PRIX EUROPA MasterClass in Vilnius: Around the World of Radio Features in Two Days


On 7 and 8 November 2017 in Vilnius a small group of highly motivated journalists from Lithuanian Radio (LRT) took part in the PRIX EUROPA MasterClass.

In two days, a freshly coined tutoring team Edwin Brys from Belgium and Agnieszka Czyzewska-Jacquemet from Poland (see tutor info below) covered basic ingredients of radio documentary - from the seemingly simple, but fundamental question ‘What is radio documentary?’, to finest details like how to use music to create worlds for your characters, or how to – literally – get closer to your interviewee to get top quality recordings, without ‘attacking’ their private space.

What makes a story relevant? How to use scenes? Do you need a narrator? Where do you find your protagonists? How do you keep listeners’ attention? Those were some of the questions that Edwin and Agnieszka tried to illuminate on the first day, with the help of compelling sound examples and real-life anecdotes.

Focusing on storytelling and dramaturgy, the second day was organised like a PRIX EUROPA: the presentation of Agnieszka’s ‘Crap Business’ (Radio Lublin, 2016) and ‘Everyday Something Disappears’ which Edwin made together with Luc Haekens (VRT, 1993) was followed by a discussion, analysing both pieces. The discussion was moderated by Vaida Pilibaitytė, the initiator and co-organiser of the MasterClass in Vilnius.

Finally, the MasterClass was rounded off with a pitching session - participants were invited to share their ideas for programmes, to brainstorm, think of opportunities, possibilities, and challenges.

Compact and functional, we hope to bring this MasterClass to a number of radio stations that could benefit from such combination of theory, practice and - inspiration.
Also, we are looking forward to follow development of the Vilnius feature hub, and hope to play many of their programmes in the future editions of PRIX EUROPA!

Edwin Brys
After a career as a radio documentarian and head of the Radio Documentary Department at the VRT (Vlaamse Radio- en Televisieomroep), Edwin Brys lead the Radio Training Department there. He teaches radio documentary radio at the Institute for Drama, Radio and Television in Brussels, and is a member of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) Radio Documentary Project Group and the International Features Conference.

Agnieszka Czyzewska-Jacquemet has been working at the Features Department of Polish Radio Lublin, specializing in documentaries and features since 1993. Agnieszka received a Radio Documentary Maker of the Year award in 2014. Her feature “Crap Business” got Prix Europa Special Commendation in 2016. A feature “Marble and Children” which she co-produced with Katarzyna Michalak won Prix Bohemia In 2017.