In­de­pen­dence Film Com­pe­ti­tion

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL - By Clau­dia Elei­box

This year’s in­de­pen­dence cel­e­bra­tions en­com­passed the par­tic­i­pa­tion of cit­i­zens from around the is­land in­clud­ing bik­ers, ath­letes, youth and film­mak­ers. The Caribbean Youth Film Fes­ti­val (CYFF), in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the St. Lu­cia Na­tional In­de­pen­dence An­niver­sary Com­mit­tee, or­gan­ised an In­de­pen­dence Film Com­pe­ti­tion for which twelve short films were sub­mit­ted. The CYFF will host a num­ber of dif­fer­ent ac­tiv­i­ties through­out the year, the com­pe­ti­tion be­ing just one of them. This year’s In­de­pen­dence Film Com­pe­ti­tion was open to peo­ple of all ages, no mat­ter their level of ex­pe­ri­ence. Or­gan­is­ers stated that they were in­ter­ested in find­ing film­mak­ers who were ca­pa­ble of ex­press­ing in in­no­va­tive ways the things that make Saint Lu­cia truly unique.

On March 4, 2017 an awards cer­e­mony was hosted at The Yard for the In­de­pen­dence Film Com­pe­ti­tion. The films were judged based on a cri­te­ria of keep­ing to the theme, cin­e­matog­ra­phy and how the mes­sage was used to por­tray Saint Lu­cia’s unique­ness. The panel of judges in­cluded ex­pe­ri­enced film­mak­ers from Saint Lu­cia and Eng­land. Each film lasted be­tween five and ten min­utes. The com­peti­tors were sep­a­rated into two age cat­e­gories: un­der-eigh­teen and over-eigh­teen.

Colin Weekes, direc­tor of CYFF, de­clared that he was de­lighted to see how dif­fer­ent peo­ple viewed Saint Lu­cia. Their themes in­cluded pos­i­tive and en­cour­ag­ing mes­sages show­cas­ing Saint Lu­cia’s scenery, our peo­ple, our tra­di­tions, and other so­ci­etal high­lights and low­lights, some even touch­ing on the im­pact of crime on the is­land.

The cer­e­mony started with a screen­ing ses­sion of the twelve in­trigu­ing short films. All par­tic­i­pants were rec­og­nized and it was high­lighted that the age range was be­tween twelve and sixty years. The qual­ity of films, es­pe­cially from ama­teur par­tic­i­pants, was a sur­prise to the judges; this made it dif­fi­cult to choose the win­ners. When the defin­ing mo­ment fi­nally oc­curred, the win­ners were an­nounced as An­dres De­vaux in the un­der-eigh­teen cat­e­gory and Pierre Ch­ester in the over-eigh­teen cat­e­gory. Both De­vaux and Ch­ester re­ceived phones spon­sored by FLOW. Ob­tain­ing the sec­ond place prizes (spon­sored by FLOW and San­dals) were Ker­briyan Charlery for un­der-eigh­teen and Wyn­dell Nep­tune for over-eigh­teen.

Other par­tic­i­pants did not seem at all dis­ap­pointed, prob­a­bly ow­ing to the fact that the Caribbean Youth Film Fes­ti­val has a num­ber of events, in­clud­ing work­shops, to build film knowl­edge. They men­tioned look­ing for­ward to tak­ing up new chal­lenges in film and be­ing thank­ful for the ex­pe­ri­ence of the com­pe­ti­tion.

The short films are all avail­able for view­ing on the Caribbean Youth Film Fes­ti­val Face­book page. Take a look at the film­mak­ers’ skill and con­cepts of what makes Saint Lu­cia unique!

At­ten­tive au­di­ence soak­ing in Saint Lu­cian ta­lent at The Yard, Gros Islet.

Ex­cited par­tic­i­pants and co­or­di­na­tors of the In­de­pen­dence Film Fes­ti­val.

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