The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

This year, the RISE Film Fes­ti­val cel­e­brates its third an­niver­sary as a vis­i­ble pres­ence on St. Lu­cia’s an­nual cal­en­dar of events. The fes­ti­val, which de­buted in Fe­bru­ary of 2013, has gone from strength to strength over the last few years, gain­ing recog­ni­tion from par­tic­i­pants, in­vestors and spon­sors alike. Founder of the fes­ti­val, Colin Weekes al­ways had a vi­sion for it to be­come an av­enue for the youth to ex­press them­selves. He saw that the youth had a story to tell in re­la­tion to the way in which they saw them­selves and the world around them. Th­ese sto­ries, even though ex­tremely per­sonal, in turn needed an out­let and thus the fes­ti­val was born.

Whilst any lay spec­ta­tor who has wit­nessed the suc­cess of the event might come to the con­clu­sion that Weekes has reached and gone be­yond meet­ing his aim, the vet­eran film maker be­lieves that he has only scratched the sur­face in re­gards to what he wishes to achieve with the fes­ti­val. There­fore this year’s line-up of ac­tiv­i­ties prom­ises to be big­ger and bet­ter than any be­fore. With the con­tin­ued back­ing and sup­port of RISE (St. Lu­cia) Inc. a non-profit, non-gov­ern­men­tal or­gan­i­sa­tion es­tab­lished in 2007, he seems equipped to do just that.

“From day one RISE un­der­stood what I wished to achieve with the fes­ti­val,” Weekes states. “They un­der­stood the im­por­tance of the youth be­ing able to ex­press them­selves freely through such a free and vis­ual medium. They un­der­stood why the youth needed to be given that voice and due to this they have been with me in es­tab­lish­ing the fes­ti­val ev­ery step of the way. I am very thank­ful for their pres­ence and their be­lief in the fes­ti­val.”

Weekes goes on: “This year the fes­ti­val has part­nered with The Ock­to­ber Film Fes­ti­val from New York which will bring a whole new di­men­sion to the fes­ti­val. Also, an­other wel­come ad­di­tion to the fes­tiv­i­ties this year is MY I TV, a weekly tele­vi­sion show which al­lows a plat­form for young film mak­ers to show off their works na­tion­ally via lo­cal tele­vi­sion. All the vi­tal parts of the fes­ti­val re­main the same, how­ever. We will still be run­ning our usual work­shops which teach on the ba­sics of film mak­ing and life skills. From script­ing to edit­ing, to gain­ing fund­ing to act­ing, the work­shops cover all bases. Work­shops begin on Satur­day 28th Fe­bru­ary. They are free and all are in­vited to at­tend. Dur­ing this time par­tic­i­pants and any other in­ter­ested par­ties are in­vited to sub­mit their en­tries to the fes­ti­val. They can be in the form of short films, doc­u­men­taries or mu­sic videos. Th­ese in turn will be judged and win­ners will be an­nounced on April 11th, 2015 at our awards cer­e­mony,” Weekes says.

Any­one who wishes to take part in the fes­ti­val or who wants to be a spon­sor of the event is asked to con­tact Colin Weekes at 520 4814 or at the email ad­dress cweekes@ dove­prostlu­

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