Young filmmakers on the red carpet

The stardom continued for the finalists of the Young Image Makers short film competition as their films were screened at the Travelling Caribbean Film Showcase in Cayman Brac on Saturday, June 27. 

The screening comes just one week after the finalists were treated to a Hollywood experience at their red carpet premiere at the Harquail Theatre during the CayFilm festival. 

The People’s Choice award was given to 16-year-old Alex Flores for her short film, “Beloved Isle, Cayman Brac.” Runners up for this award were Deija Myles and Sherinold Matthews.  

Flores says her love for film began four years ago when she received her first camera, and that this passion was her inspiration for entering the competition.  

“Cinematography is a beautiful art, and with it I wanted to showcase that I too can make something beautiful,” Flores said. “I am extremely proud and honored to know that the public really enjoyed my film.”  

Her film displayed her love for Cayman Brac, and featured nature shots from around the island.  

“Cayman Brac is a beautiful island. My favorite location would have to be east of the island on boat … because you can truly enjoy the bluff and the dark Caribbean waves,” Flores explained  

The budding filmmaker received a Nikon Coolpix A camera courtesy of Nikon and Cathy Church’s Photo Centre.  

Samuel Harding, 10, won in the junior category for his film “” Runners up were Sherinold Matthews and Aysha Ricketts.  

Harding’s film featured an ordinary school day gone wrong, as his classmates and teacher become possessed. He thanked his teachers, family members, and friends, and said he will never give up filmmaking after this experience.  

“My most memorable moment was getting my award [at CayFilm] from Carlos from ‘Big Time Rush’ and Alexa PenaVega from ‘Spy Kids,’” Harding said. “When they announced that I’d won, I was really emotional and very excited.”  

The final winner of the evening was 18-year-old Ocean Costa in the senior category. Runners up were John Tomlinson and Kaleigh Thompson.  

Costa’s film “Loss” was a tribute to her grandfather, as well as a remembrance of the loss she experienced during Hurricane Ivan.  

“I decided to make the film silent, so viewers could relate to it, and interpret and incorporate the story into their own experiences,” the young filmmaker said. “When I heard my name, I nearly burst into tears … I knew my Opa was cheering even louder from heaven.”  

This was Costa’s first foray into filmmaking, despite having extensive involvement with the Cayman National Cultural Foundation and the Young Image Makers competition in the past. Costa is also a writer and is soon to finish her first novel.  

Harding and Costa will be traveling to the New York Film Academy later this summer as part of their prize, and are both looking forward to the experience. Costa said that she plans to attend film school in the future, while Harding said that he is looking forward to improving his filmmaking and visiting New York for the first time. 

All of the finalists’ videos from the competition can be seen by visiting

Award winners Samuel Harding and Ocean Costa flanked by Carlos and Alex PenaVega and Tony Mark at the CayFilm award’s ceremony, held at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman. – Photo: Maggie Jackson


Samuel Harding, winner in the Junior Category.


Alex Flores receives her People’s Choice award from reigning Miss Cayman Tonie Chisholm.


Aysha Ricketts, one of the runners up in the Junior Category.


Deija Myles, one of the runners up in the People’s Choice Awards.


John Tomlinson, one of the runners up in the Senior Category receives his award.


Sherinold Matthews, one of the runners up in the Junior Category and People’s Choice award, with Miss Cayman Tonie Chisholm.


Kaleigh Thompson, one of the runners up in the Senior Category arrives on the red carpet.