Top young filmmakers recognised

| 05/07/2016
CNS Local Life

Junior winner Ethan Spencer with actor Reno Wilson

(CNS): The Cayman National Cultural Foundation recently hosted an awards evening at the Harquail Theatre for 11 young filmmakers who had their final short films screened at the 2016 Youth Film Festival, with Grace Ruby and Ethan Spencer taking top honours. The event, held Thursday, 30 June, was the culmination of the Young Image Makers and the Cayman Through My Eyes competitions. Caymanian writer/director Frank E. Flowers and Reno Wilson of US television show Mike & Molly were on hand for the awards, along with the student filmmakers from Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac.

The Young Image Makers programme provides participants aged 10-17 an opportunity to sharpen their technical skills and explore their creativity through filmmaking.

Finalists participated in workshops where they learned about the craft. Judy Singh-Hurlston, an award-winning documentary filmmaker, took the lead on workshops this year, which included time for peer critiques of films.

After the workshops, the filmmakers reworked their original short films. The shorts were judged by a panel of industry professionals including Frank E. Flowers, Tony Mark, Sean Bodden, Josh ‘Josh Pearl’ Hydes, Delisa Hernandez and Judy Singh-Hurlston.

For the first time ever, finalists were given a surprise challenge: create a second short film for the Department of Tourism’s Cayman Through My Eyes for another shot at an all-expenses paid trip to the New York Film Academy.

The red carpet event, which kick-started the CayFilm festival, was hosted by Miss Cayman Islands 2016 Monyque Brooks and Rundown actor and radio host Jevaughnie Ebanks.

CNS Local Life

Senior winner Grace Ruby took home two awards

Ethan, 10, won in the junior category for his short film Dinosaur Rage. The stop motion film, featuring Lego figures, tells the story of one man’s attempt to save the day when a velociraptor eats a dinosaur egg and turns into a T-Rex. He has been making video since he was 5 years old, and has a YouTube channel that features him and his younger siblings cooking, crafting and playing.

Grace took home two prizes, one for the senior category with her film Crossroads, which illustrates the different paths a teenager can take, and the importance of making the right choice.

She also clinched top honours in the “Cayman Through My Eyes” challenge. After winning the award, Grace said, “I’m over the moon. This is what I want to do when I older and to win an award for it, it makes me very certain for my future.”

Both young people have won a trip to a filmmaking summer camp at the New York Film Academy, courtesy of the Department of Tourism (DoT).

Isaac Tibbetts took home the People’s Choice Award for gaining the most online votes from the public, winning a waterproof camera. His film featured the story of a foiled robbery.

The winning students also received limestone and Caymanite handcrafted trophies by local artist Horacio Esteban, sponsored by the Department of Commerce and Investment, DoT and CayFilm.

Layman E. Scott Senior High School was also recognised for having the most entries in the final round of the competition, also winning a waterproof camera. Patrice Beersingh, programmes manager of the Cayman National Cultural Foundation, said of the competition, “The greatest reward for us was to see the positive growth and development of the finalists from inception of the programme to their successful completion. To witness young talent truly dedicate time to learn, improve and respect the craft that they are truly passionate about, is all that we really ask for to see through the next generation of local filmmakers.”

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Category: Film

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