Nevis hosts 3rd Caribbean traveling film festival

“Film industry in a state of evolution and formation,” reports Abisola Abiola for the St Kitts and Nevis Leewards Times.

Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Social Development, Mr. Alstead Pemberton has opined that the Travelling Caribbean Film Festival will help to promote cultural integration in the region and also afford Nevisians the opportunity to experience the culture of others in the region through film. “We are trying to promote Caribbean togetherness,” he said. He made the statement at a press conference held at the Project management & Training Unit (PMTU) office, Cotton House, Charlestown to launch the3rd Travelling Caribbean Film Showcase throughout Nevis.

The PS who declared the 3rd Caribbean Film Showcase officially opened and gave remarks on behalf of the Minister of Social Development Hon. Hensley Daniel said that his department sees the film showcase as an avenue for young people on Nevis to develop their skills in audio visual work. The Travelling Caribbean Film Showcase, which is co-organised and co-sponsored by the Cuban Institute of Cinematographic Art and Industry (ICAIC), UNESCO, UNICEF and MINCULT, travels throughout the Caribbean region every two years and this is the third time.

The Film Showcase was created as a mechanism to increase the visibility of films made by Caribbean film makers who respect the cultural, ethnic, linguistic and religious diversity in the region. Through their films, they show respect for the Caribbean peoples’ identity, their reality, history and culture by transcending the stereotypes presented from the outside, which do not represent the historical and cultural wealth of the countries in the region.

Today is the start of the 3rd Travelling Caribbean Film Showcase. Over the next week, 47 films from 18 countries in the Caribbean will be shown for the viewing pleasure of the people on Nevis free of cost. Some of the films are for children aged 8 to 11, some for children aged 12 to 16 years of age. These films will be shown at: Charlestown Primary School, Elizabeth Pemberton Primary School and Ivor Walters Primary School. Films will also be shown at Maude Cross Preparatory School. In addition on Saturday afternoon, films for children will also be shown from 12 noon to 2 pm, at the Project management & Training Unit office, Cotton House, Charlestown (opposite the treasury).

According Mr. Abdul-Kareem Ahmed Chief Policy Analyst, PMTU, through the Travelling Caribbean Film Showcase and the upcoming Nevis Film Week, the Ministry of Social Development in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) has identified ways for young people to embrace the audiovisual industry for what it can do, “in terms of projecting the island and the wider Caribbean, and of equal importance, for creating what Minister Hensley Daniel sees, to be a viable industry that has potential to employ a lot of people and generate foreign exchange on our island,” he said. He said that Minister Daniel in considering the importance of the manufacturing and development process, and the economic and social needs of the island, wanted the PMTU to be more innovative and supportive of young people on Nevis. He therefore, stated that the audiovisual industry must be seen as an expression of the dawn of the new form of manufacturing on Nevis.

“Film production can provide a huge potential for us while we enable others to understand who we are as a people.” Film production he noted will allow “us to create a vehicle that everyone can buy into and be a part of.” However, he indicated that it needs support, not just from government but local filmmakers, business people, and audiences. “We need to come together as a people and invest our resources and build the audiovisual industry on Nevis together,” he implored. Mr. Ahmed concluded that the Caribbean film industry is in a state of evolution and formation, and governments including, the NIA has really embraced the industry.

He advised that in addition to the Travelling Caribbean Film Showcase there will also be a Nevis Film Week, 9 – 15 May 2011, which will include: the advancement of our ‘Audiovisual Incubator Programme’ for content development; a ‘Special Nevis Film Showcase’ with a film competition for movies made on cell phone and camcorders; workshops and films from the Caribbean and beyond. “On May 9th, the Opening Movie will be ‘Critical Assignment” This action drama stars Michael Power as a journalist. “The new President of an African country decrees that the Arms budget will be diverted in to the “Water For All”, project. The producer Bob Mahoney , who will be present at the opening gala,” he informed.

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