Career & Education

54 trained in film-making

Sunday, December 10, 2017

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Fifty-four young people from vulnerable communities across the island have been equipped with skills in film-making, having completed training under the University of the West Indies Community Film Project (UWICFP).

The graduates, from UWI's Mona and Western Jamaica campuses, represent the largest cohort under the initiative to date.

Founder of UWICFP and dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, Professor Ian Boxill hailed the various partners in the undertaking.

He cited the Jamaica Social Investment Fund, which last year providing a grant.

Professor Boxill, who was addressing the graduation ceremony last Thursday at the Faculty of Law, said the project has transformed the lives of hundreds of young people over the years.

“Once people are given opportunities, once we open up doors, we know that many people will have been helped. We know from experience that we have persons who have graduated from this project and who have gone on to do great things. The mandate of this university when it started in 1948 was that of helping those in need; all of us who would have not had the opportunities that others would have had,” he noted.

Professor Boxill said the project's next major objective is to invest in underwater filming and documentaries to help boost Jamaica's film production and tourism industry.

“This region has more sea than land. We want to swim and discover the marine environment. We want to move forward. We want to push boundaries. We believe once we begin to expose persons to this sort of opportunity, we can get them to make films and documentaries of the environment,” he said.

UWICFP started in the community of August Town in 2012. Drawing on partnerships with the Mona Social Services/UWI Township, GraceKennedy Foundation, Social Development Commission and others, the project rapidly expanded to a number of other urban and rural communities across Jamaica.

The initiative encourages youth to get directly involved with innovative storytelling and film-making around important community and national issues. It provides new opportunities and new experiences to young people while simultaneously contributing to their education, social development and the economic empowerment of the community members through film-making.

Most of the graduates go on to make short films for public screening. The eight-week programme also provides a platform for the graduates to showcase these short films to the public through the GATFFEST Film Festival.

In addition, some graduates are given internships with the UWICFP and media and film-making companies to hone their skills in an area related to film-making.

— JIS

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