A new Cayman Media Academy which aims to train locals to work in the film industry will launch with a series of evening classes in 2017.
Tony Mark, the organizer of the CayFilm movie festival, said the academy would initially offer night classes in acting, writing and other aspects of film making.
He said he hopes that eventually it will be able to offer trade certifications through a partnership with the University College of the Cayman Islands.
The fledgling academy will host a seminar on Tuesday and Wednesday this week with television producer Calia Brencsons-Van Dyk, best known as the producer of the Martha Stewart show. The two-day seminar will cover the fundamentals of film and television production.
Mr. Mark said it would be a sample of things to come from the Cayman Media Academy, which has set up a headquarters at Cayman Enterprise City.
“We are building up to the launch of the Cayman Media Academy,” he said. “We will start by offering evening classes in different aspects of film making. We are looking at eight-week classes starting in April and May and leading up to CayFilm.”
He said the long-term plan is to expand the academy by linking up with a U.S.-based film school and offering more comprehensive training locally.
“We are working with Enterprise City with the hope of having the facility in their new media park. Ultimately, we want film makers to be able to come and shoot here and find crew locally.”
The shortage of trained personnel has been highlighted as one of the barriers to film and television production companies shooting in the Cayman Islands. While the Cayman Film Commission acknowledges it is unlikely that Hollywood producers would set a multimillion-dollar movie project in the Cayman Islands, it has highlighted movie scenes, music videos, commercials and reality television shows as areas of potential growth.
Mr. Mark said the media academy project aims to ensure Caymanians could take advantage of career opportunities in the industry.
This week’s seminar will be a broad overview of some of what it takes to make a career in television and movie production, he said.
“It will cover everything from coming up with an idea to getting it made and protecting it from a copyright perspective,” he said.
Ms. Brencsons-Van Dyk is also a member of the board of advisers for the Cayman Media Academy and CayFilm.