THE Ministry of Tourism, Heritage and Creative Industries has lent institutional and financial support to a film festival which organizers say is the ideal springboard to help young people launch their careers.
According to Kendel John, President of the Audio-Visual and Film Association of Saint Lucia, because film production is a communal effort, participants in the RISE Film Festival will have the opportunity to learn about the various aspects of film making, and as a result, find his or her career niche.
“Film making encompasses all skills—carpentry, accounting, business planning, marketing—we need all skills on board,” Director of the film festival, Colin Weekes, said. “The first thing that you learn is teamwork, film making is a group effort.”
Weekes said that the festival will also encourage youth to get into the industry, and channel their interests efficiently. Beyond that, the intention is to create a viable film industry from what is now a grassroots program.
“The youth are already engaged in all forms of visual activity whether through camera phones or tablets, so we found it was fitting to groom them in the right direction,” he said. “From there, what we aim to do is to have persons graduate or provide them with the means and skills needed to go into other avenues, so outside of the film festival you could graduate into a professional field because you won’t be green to the industry but would have a sense of what it entails.”
Sir Arthur Lewis Community College student Kiswanda Alexander said the film festival piqued what was already an innate curiosity in photography and film.
“The workshops [last year] gave me more of an idea of what I was interested in. They helped to provide a clearer path as to what you want to achieve,” she said.
The inaugural film festival was held in 2013. The 2015 film festival will be held in April, during National Youth Month. Preparatory workshops are slated to begin on February. 28. Film submissions should be no longer than 15 minutes.
For information, contact the RISE office at 758-451-7473 or RISE Film Festival Director Colin Weekes at 758-520-4814.