54 Young People Equipped With Skills in Filmmaking

Photo: Michael Sloley Founder of the University of the West Indies Community Film Project (UWICFP) and Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, Professor Ian Boxill, with graduates of the UWICFP at the ceremony held on December 7 at the Faculty of Law, Mona campus.

Story Highlights

  • Fifty-four young people from vulnerable communities across the island have been equipped with skills in film-making, having successfully completed training under the University of the West Indies Community Film Project (UWICFP).
  • The UWICFP was started by the Centre for Tourism and Policy Research (CTPR) in the community of August Town. Drawing on partnerships with the Mona Social Services/UWI Township, Grace Kennedy Foundation, Social Development Commission and others, the project rapidly expanded to a number of other urban and rural communities across Jamaica.
  • Founder of UWICFP and Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, Professor Ian Boxill, hailed the various partners in the undertaking.

Fifty-four young people from vulnerable communities across the island have been equipped with skills in film-making, having successfully completed training under the University of the West Indies Community Film Project (UWICFP).

The graduates, from UWI’s Mona and Western Jamaica campuses, represent the largest cohort, to date, under the initiative, which was implemented in 2012.

Founder of UWICFP and Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, Professor Ian Boxill, hailed the various partners in the undertaking.

He cited the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), which came on board last year providing a grant to boost the training.

Professor Boxill, who was addressing the graduation ceremony held on Thursday (December 7) at the Faculty of Law, said the project has transformed the lives of hundreds of young people over the years.

“Once people are given opportunities, once we open up doors, we know that many people will have been helped. We know from experience that we have persons who have graduated from this project and who have gone on to do great things. The mandate of this university when it started in 1948 was that of helping those in need; all of us who would have not had the opportunities that others would have had,” he noted.

Professor Boxill said the next major objective is to invest in underwater filming and documentaries to help boost Jamaica’s film production and tourism industry.

“This region has more sea than land. We want to swim and discover the marine environment. We want to move forward. We want to push boundaries. We believe once we begin to expose persons to this sort of opportunity, we can get them to make films and documentaries of the environment,” he said.

The UWICFP was started by the Centre for Tourism and Policy Research (CTPR) in the community of August Town. Drawing on partnerships with the Mona Social Services/UWI Township, Grace Kennedy Foundation, Social Development Commission and others, the project rapidly expanded to a number of other urban and rural communities across Jamaica.

The initiative encourages youth to get directly involved with innovative storytelling and film-making around important community and national issues. It provides new opportunities and new experiences to young people while simultaneously contributing to their education, social development and the economic empowerment of the community members through film-making.

Most of the graduates then go on to make short films for public screening. The eight-week programme also provides a platform for the graduates to showcase these short films to the public through the GATFFEST Film Festival.

In addition, some graduates are given internships with the UWICFP and media and film-making companies to hone their skills in an area related to film-making.

JIS Social