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Lights, Camera, PIFF!

THAT’S the call to action for the series of workshops planned by PIFF – Piton International Film Festival – at Bay Gardens Hotel.

These workshops bring together a collection of experienced professionals willing to share their expertise. PIFF has arranged for three Master Classes from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (August 16-18). The lead facilitator for these classes is Kim Williams, a writer and producer.

PIFF is more than excited to have Williams join us in St. Lucia. She is no stranger to the world of entertainment, having worked for over 20 years in the television and film industry in Post Production and TV Development. After graduating from the University of North Texas with a degree in Radio-TV-Film, she began her career in Post Production, working on several TV projects before transitioning to the creative side in TV Development for Viacom Productions and the WB Network.
– Master Class #1: Pre-Production
– Master Class #2: Production, &
– Master Class #3: Post Production
Registration is US$40 per class and there’s a discounted price if registering for all three classes.

In addition, there will be an Acting & Production Bootcamp. Other scheduled workshops are: Aniya Wolfe, Filmmaking; Atif Lanier, Production; Jill Minard, Kemetic Yoga; Rosemarie Wilson, Poetry & Performance; Jaycees Carnival International, Antigua (producers of the regional pageant), Poise, Pageantry & Performance; and Diana & Travis Wolfe, Parenting Children in the Film Industry.

These Master Classes and Workshops will discuss the types of job and career opportunities that are available to interested St. Lucians. International agencies that have done research into the film and creative industries say there is great scope available for countries like St. Lucia to marry the creative with the economic for job creation, especially for youth. UNIDO, the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation, has stated: “The creative industry concept includes several subsectors that offer the potential for wealth and job creation, when accompanied by appropriate policies and strategies. These include industries related to advertising, arts, architecture, crafts, design, film and audiovisual media, as well as the agribusiness sector for textiles, fashion design, leather, furniture, (slow) food and even community-based tourism-related services.” The experts also say: “Youth make excellent entrepreneurs. They are idealistic, energetic and knowledgeable about local and global economies.”

Founder of PIFF, Ed Herman, has stated: “This is not about me. I am assisting in building the future that the youth themselves are already creating. I am hoping many youth will be at our workshops to explore how they can be part of this billion-dollar industry. We have the talent in St. Lucia; now we have to plan together how to push these skills and talents forward for the benefit of those who wish to be in the industry.”

Apart from camera/production careers, the film industry also offers jobs in special effects, stunts, sound stage manager, performing artists, make-up and hair styling artists, creative writers, research, casting, art, property, greens technicians, electrical, grip (sets, lights, etc.), wardrobe, marketing, to name a few. These and others will be discussed as part of the workshops.

“We recognize there are no long-term structured opportunities for Saint Lucians to learn about filmmaking (like courses and schools) and the many other skills needed in the film industry,” noted Dr. Kathleen Walls, one of the founders of PIFF. “The many Saint Lucians who wish to be part of the industry, perhaps, don’t have the funding to study overseas. So, the next best thing is to bring in the experts so as many as possible will get the kind of exposure that can provide survey as to what it takes to be in the business. That’s where PIFF comes in.”

Dr. Walls says the workshops are open to all and she is hoping that St. Lucians already involved with film/video/TV will attend.

“We would like to learn from the local talents about the challenges they face and how they think PIFF can assist them in the future,” she said.

This year’s theme for PIFF is Empowering Our Youth! Throughout the festival, we will see the power of our youth and their growing impact on the global community. We take this time to inspire them and be inspired by them!

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