Thirty students at the Cayman Islands Further Education Centre were given the opportunity on Friday to advance their interest in filmmaking.

Thanks to a donation from The Security Centre and CayFilm, Year 12 students received free passes for the Cayman International Film Festival June 30 to July 3.

Students were also encouraged to attend the associated Cayman National Cultural Foundation workshops. Leading up to the festival, the Foundation is sponsoring two free workshops for aspiring filmmakers and actors.

“CayFilm is an exciting event for everyone on the island, but it provides a really unique opportunity for students who are thinking about exploring a career in the film industry,” said Keith Jernigan, The Security Centre’s country manager.

He said there is much talent among local students and without exposure to events like CayFilm, it risks going unnoticed.

CayFilm Director Tony Mark said everyone is welcome to attend the workshops.

“One of the things we are really big on is education … the next stage is to try and build a film school in Cayman,” said Mr. Mark.

“We have reached out to the high schools to find the kids that think they do want a future in filmmaking, and by providing them passes, we are hoping that they can get to explore, witness and see a little bit more of what the world entails and see if it’s for them,” he added.

Some 200 films from 50 countries and 20 local films will be shown at the film festival, organizers said.

Oscar and Grammy winners are scheduled to take part, teaching filmmaking, acting and photography. Local and international filmmakers will also attend.

“Not only will you get to see films but you can also ask questions, talk and interact with them. We find that it does make the event really special … you are not just sitting in a theater watching a movie, but actually getting to be part of the experience with the film maker,” Mr. Mark said.

“We are really trying to showcase to the world that Cayman is a good filming destination and we are also exposing Cayman filmmakers to the world,” he added. CayFilm has also created the Cayman Media Academy, a program designed to educate interested students all about the realm of cinema and how to create their own films.

During the festival, films will be shown in various venues around Grand Cayman, including The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, the Harquail Theatre and the National Gallery.

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