The Gablewoods Mall at Sunny Acres played host to the launch of the second annual Rise Saint Lucia Inc National Film Festival on the morning of April 9, 2014. The National Film Festival which is orchestrated under the astute guidance of founder of Dove productions and co-founder Colin Weekes, is an opportunity for young persons to express themselves, and attempt to articulately reproduce their daily experiences in the form of short film.
Dr Stephen King, Director of Rise Saint Lucia Inc. gave some insight as to the relevance of the organization behind the event.
“Rise is really all bout trying to create a movement in the country, that facilitates the cultural development of people, and I think what we need is getting people involved in personal development, community development and national development. We think that not enough of us play our role in terms of the development of our country and ourselves and for that matter in particular, we are focused on youth. So we’re really trying to create avenues for youth to be involved in those developmental processes,” King said.
“What happens here is we do professionally run workshops, with young people who are interested in producing films, in acting, screen-writing, script-writing and all the aspects necessary in creating a film. In that process there is a lot of education, transfer of knowledge, discussion and mentorship that occurs between the professionals and the
youth in the development of their films.”
Dr. King interestingly enough pointed out that the youth are often times misunderstood by adults, and that this initiative intends to educate them also.
“The Film Festival permits the youth to explore their own feelings on various issues, and of course document them and then place them into a format that everybody can look at. And that’s communication. We think that it’s so important because communication is fundamental to any development. For us to be in good communication with our youth and our youth in good communication with us is a prerequisite for healthy development.”
We also had a short discussion with Colin Weekes on the progression of the Film Festival.
“Last year was our first year and really did not know where it would go, and now we are onto our second year, we’re happy about that and obviously looking forward to many years to come. We are really pleased that sponsors, participants and everybody has come on board and embraced this project. It was a means of getting youth to be involved in a meaningful endeavor, and that’s basically what it is,” Weekes said.
He also noted that there is growth this year in the festival which he hopes within the next 4 to 5 years becomes “a real Caribbean project.”
“Last year Barbados did take part but they were not part of the judging competition, but they did show their film on the awards night. This year they are competing and even currently I am speaking to a group from Grenada. They didn’t have time to come on board but they had great interest and there is potential for them to participate next year,” Weekes explained.
This year five films are coming out of Barbados and will also be shown as part of a road show.
”Then on the 26th of April we have our Awards night, where we will be awarding the winners in the various eight major categories and a number of other consolation prizes,” confirmed Weekes.
A number of sponsors including title sponsor Courts also pledged their support for the event this year on Wednesday.