Cayman’s top youth filmmakers showcase works

Eight young filmmakers were chosen as finalists out of 30 contestants who participated in the Young Image Makers competition, presented by the Cayman National Cultural Foundation. The outstanding performance of the finalists in Cultural Foundation’s filmmaking workshop offered them the opportunity to compete for the grand prize of a free summer camp at the New York Film Academy.

Red carpet night

On Saturday at 6 p.m., the Harquail Theatre will present the films of the finalists from the Young Image Makers competition at a special movie night event geared towards youth. The Young Image Makers Movie Night will also feature guest performances by Jaedyn Hanna and the Dream Chasers dance company, movie trivia for spot prizes, previews of upcoming blockbuster movie trailers and a concession stand fully stocked with cinema-style treats on sale.

“CNCF received an overwhelming response of applicants this year, however, due to limited space, only 30 students from 11 schools were successful in receiving placement in the YIM program,” says programs manager Patrice Beersingh. “The students endured an intense workshop, where they learned the basic principles of film production and were tested in hopes of winning one of eight finalist spots.

“We recognize that the process was not easy for the students, so CNCF is presenting this movie night to celebrate the accomplishments of our eight finalists and the 30 contestants with the public, all while giving them a fun platform to showcase their film works of art.”

Prior to the films being made, 45 students registered to participate in 18 hours of filmmaking training, led by film industry professionals Judy Singh, April Cummings and Diana Willington. Out of 30 contestants who entered the short film competition, Culainn Lynch, Ethan Almeida, Nathan Alston and Sahil Jyoti won the top four Junior (ages 10-13) category spots and Aiden Hew, Beth Walton, David Steen and Mariah Ashby won the top four Senior (ages 14 -17) category spots, forming the coveted “Top 8.”

Senior Workshop Facilitator, April Cummings comments, “The Young Image Makers program provides a creative outlet for young storytellers and it was a pleasure to assist them on their creative journey.

“The students in the program were all extremely talented and diverse and the work they did truly reflected their unique personalities and interests. In many respects, we learned as much from them as they did from us and it was certainly enriching.

“I hope to see more from these young filmmakers in the years to come.”

Judging

An additional workshop for the finalists was conducted on May 20 to fine tune their short films before submission to an all-star judging panel comprised of acclaimed director Frank E. Flowers; Tony Mark of the CayFilm Festival; Tonie Chisholm of Hurley’s Media; and young aspiring director/artist Josh ‘Josh Pearl’ Hydes.

Junior category finalist Sahil Jyoti adds, “I think this competition has been so thrilling for me for many reasons including, but not limited to, the learning experience and the amazing prize.

“The Young Image Makers workshop inspired me to do so much more in film than I have ever done before. I had an amazing experience there. There is no doubt that I will go back next year.

“It was perfect, because we got enough time to relax and do work. We were never bored or tired; I loved how we always started with theory and learning, then we moved into the practical to use that knowledge and theory in real life.

“Even if I don’t win, I’m still happy with myself for my film, because of the fun I had making it and simply the fact that I personally think that I did very well. ”

The finalists are looking forward to showcasing their hard work to their friends, family and the general public at the Young Image Makers Movie Night, taking place at the Harquail Theatre on Saturday at 6 p.m. General admission is $5.

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