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23 young people to benefit Young Filmmaker Lab

—Published on 2nd Mar, 2023.

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PORT OF SPAIN, TRINIDAD, 02 March, 2023 — FILMCO: The Filmmakers Collaborative of Trinidad and Tobago, is kicking off its first ever Young Filmmaker Lab (YFL) by offering 23 young people the opportunity to take a deep dive into the world of film production through an immersive, three-month introductory programme. 

The Young Filmmaker Lab is a new training and development programme targeted at at-risk youth between the ages of 16 and 21, who may be in danger of falling through the cracks due to a lack of access to opportunities and resources. By taking this step now, FILMCO hopes to create a positive, pivotal moment in their lives. The film industry can offer creative and employment opportunities to individuals from all walks of life. With the initiation of this programme the filmmaker organisation is providing a solution that may otherwise seem out of reach to this underserved group of young people, creating a path to potential future careers.

YFL’s innovative twelve week programme is led by a number of expert practitioners from the local film industry and takes participants through all aspects of the film development, production and post-production process. Upon completion of the programme, the cohort will have the knowledge necessary to enter the film/ television industry in junior roles – expanding their employment options as they move on to the next stage of their lives.

Speaking on behalf of the JB Fernandes Memorial Trust 1 (YFL’s primary funder) Le Anne Alexander notes, “The Trust is a proud partner of FILMCO and values collaborating with an organisation that supports the creativity and expression of young people, while teaching them lucrative skills that help them unlock career pathways in the creative and film industry. The Trust firmly believes in the direct relationship between early exposure to the arts and improved socioeconomic outcomes of young people. The Trust congratulates FILMCO for its support of young people to expand their imaginations and be a part of a vibrant, creative community of storytellers.”

FILMCO has worked through three community partners, The Heroes Foundation, Servol and the St James Police Youth Club, to select participants who have expressed an interest in creative production and will therefore reap the most benefit from the YFL. 

Lawrence Arjoon, CEO of The Heroes Foundation, comments: “The Young Filmmaker Lab is an opportunity to equip young people with skills and tools to start building sustainable livelihoods in film. It also enables them to tell their stories and the stories of people in Trinidad and Tobago in creative ways. Our stories are important, valuable, and powerful, and the voices of young people must be heard loudly and clearly in all parts of our society to build a sustainable future. Congratulations to FILMCO for the excellent undertaking.” 

The Young Filmmakers Lab has been made possible through the financial support of the JB Fernandes Memorial Trust 1, with additional support from National Lotteries Control Board and Massy Foundation. The programme runs from 04 March to the end of May 2023 and will culminate in a screening of the films made during the Lab.

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