More than 250 jobs could be created for film-makers in Barbados when the production series Bajan Heat gets under way. This disclosure from Youth Mainstreaming Programme tutor Rahmat Jean-Pierre, during a recent Digital Media Film Project Presentation And Showcase at the Ministry of Youth, Culture and Sports.
“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 . . . . Twenty 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,” Jean-Pierre said.
The announcement was greeted with loud applause from those present, including Minister of Culture Stephen Lashley, Director of Youth Cleviston Hunte, and Youth Projects coordinator and officer-in-charge of the Youth Mainstreaming Programme, David Denny. Jean-Pierre said that opportunities for film-makers were endless. He disclosed that work would soon start on a television series called Examination that would be based on the lives of secondary school children.
“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 film-maker 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 the Youth Mainstreaming Programme had partnered with the Caribbean Media Corporation to televise the series, it was still seeking sponsorship. The Digital Media Film Project will run for four months with a brief introduction to film, cinematography, lighting for film, sound, scriptwriting and editing.