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 firstname.lastname@example.org.