I had the privilege of attending the UWI Community Film Project class of 2014 graduation on Thursday, January 22 at the University of the West Indies Law Faculty. The room was quite packed with lecturers, family members, guests, camera crews and the UWI Film Project volunteers.
The guest Speaker was the Film Commissioner Ms. Carole Beckford and MP Andre Hylton who opened the ceremony MC'd by radio and TV personality Jenny Jenny. Special honours went to Lenny Little White and RETV for their contribution to the project as well as their companies hiring some of the past graduates.
We were not only witnesses to the graduation of these Montego Bay, Portland and Kingston cohorts, but we also had the privilege of viewing their final projects. These students had never written a script before or held a camera much less edited or acted and they had only 6 weeks to learn all of this and produce a film. I remember when I was just starting out in film, how horrible my sophomore efforts were. So no doubt I was not going to be too harsh judging them. As expected with only 6 weeks and no prior experience in video production there was definite room for improvement in all of the films, but they all showed potential. You could tell given more time and practice they would easily produce better visuals and narratives the second time around. There was one film however, which really stood out. Well shot, well edited and the story translated really well. It was called "Forever New". The story of a couple who met by divine circumstances and stayed together even when things got challenging. Their love lived in memory even when one passed on. It was the last film and it was obvious they saved the best for last and the crowd reacted with applause.
After the viewing were cocktails and discussion about the films and the project which were very positive and of course the discussion was heavy on the upcoming GATFFEST festival open to all filmmakers. I entered last year and I am planning to enter again this year. It's my hopes that we will see animations, horror, Sci Fi, documentaries and music this year, as they are distinct categories on their flyer. Check out all the information above and go to their facebook page for details. https://www.facebook.com/TheUwiCommunityFilmProject
Here are some pictures from the graduation. Forgive the fuzziness, I used my phone.
I am a Filmmaker, Animator and Writer. I love telling stories and making them come true. You will see me on the big screen soon enough.