by Marissa Lindsay
More than 250 jobs could be created for filmmakers in Barbados when the production series Bajan Heat gets underway.
This disclosure was made by tutor of the Youth Mainstreaming Programme, Rahmat Jean-Pierre during a two-hour long Digital Media Film Project presentation and showcase held on Friday at the Ministry’s Sky Mall office in Haggatt Hall, St Michael.
“There is currently a series that we are doing called Bajan Heat from a United Kingdom company called Upstream Entertainment, which was shot late last year. They decided to film this movie…ten of our students got the opportunity to work on it and I had a meeting with them last month and they are now turning it into a full movie for us. They say they would be able to hire 250 Barbadian workers for this movie,” he said.
The announcement was greeted with loud applause from those present, including Minister of Youth,
Culture and Sports, Stephen Lashley; Director of Youth, Cleviston Hunte; and Youth Projects Coordinator and Officer-in-Charge of the Youth Mainstreaming Programme, David Denny.
Jean-Pierre explained that opportunities for filmmakers are endless.
He said they would soon start work on a television series called Examination that would be based on the lives of children in secondary school.
“We approached the Lodge school and we received positive feedback from the board of management giving us permission to shoot at the school which I find is a fantastic opportunity, not because up there is quiet and perfect for filming, but it shows that schools want a difference for our youth in society…We are going to be focusing a lot on issues like bullying, peer pressure, teenage pregnancy and what really has me buzzing as a filmmaker is not only the films but the workshops to follow.
“Out of the films I want to do a series of workshops with students, making students express more, talk more, be involved in film because the casting that we did was phenomenal. We went into the schools, we cast students and their acting skills were nothing short of amazing and I can’t wait to start on this project,” Jean- Pierre said.
He added that while they have partnered with the Caribbean Media Corporation to televise the series, they are still seeking sponsorship.
During the presentation and showcase the documentary Class 2012 to 2014 that was created by former student Lee Trotman was shown along with the movie Joe Hustler done by the class of 2013 and a musical movie thriller All for Fame that was produced by current students.
In his remarks, the culture minister said infrastructure must be put in place to create the environment to support young creators and aid in their development.
“Animation, which is a part of the programme is a major money earner globally and I believe this is an area that you should take maximum advantage of,” Lashley said as he urged participants to always aim to be the best.
The Digital Media Film Project would run for four months with a brief introduction to film, cinematography, lighting for film, sound, script writing and editing.