Young film makers behind the camera

This year’s winners of the Young Image Makers film competition, sponsored by the Cayman National Cultural Foundation, recently returned from separate week-long summer sessions at the prestigious New York Film Academy.

Here’s what the young filmmakers told Weekender about themselves, their art and their experience:

Connor Hoeksema, 13, 8th grade, Cayman International School. Film: Life of a Plastic Bag

Eric Francisco Caraballo, 15, Year 10, Layman E. Scott Sr. High School, Cayman Brac. Film: My Dead Story

What was the theme of your winning film?

CONNOR: My film was about the harm that plastic grocery bags can do to the Cayman Islands environment and the importance of using reusable bags.

ERIC: The theme was being attacked by zombies on a small island, Cayman Brac.

How did you come up with the idea for it?

CONNOR: It was an idea I worked out with my family when I asked for suggestions.

ERIC: Me and my brother Lee wanted to make a video of zombies attacking us, [and] while we were doing the video, a friend told me about the competition and we entered, not expecting anything from it.

How did you get into filmmaking?

CONNOR: This was my first film. It was a school assignment in my seventh grade technology class.

ERIC: Just watching a lot of scary movies and just wishing I could act in a horror or action movie.

What was the highlight of your experience at the New York Film Academy?

CONNOR: The highlight of my time at the New York Film Academy was filming/directing the final film project with other students.

ERIC: Well, at first I was nervous for the first day, but I realised that they welcomed me there fully, and the rest of week I had fun. It’s definitely something I would love to do. I learned pointers to enhance my editing skills and my acting. I hope and wish someday I could become an actor.

Tell Weekender something about yourself that might surprise us.

CONNOR: I love nature, and I spend part of every summer on an island in Washington State. Someday I want to have a career where I can work outdoors.

ERIC: Hmmmm… I have nothing to surprise you with. I’m just a quiet person with big dreams to make it big in acting, being the first Caymanian mega star.

To view their videos, visit

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