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Caribbean teens win film awards

rhondathompson, [email protected]

Caribbean teens win film awards

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TWO Caribbean youths have copped two of the three top spots in an adolescent video-production initiative featuring short films from across the globe.
Seventeen-year-old Carlon Knight of Antigua and Ruth Henry, also 17,  of Barbados won top honours for their films, which were ranked the best among hundreds of videos produced by adolescents from across the world during OneMinutesJr workshops organised by the One Minutes Foundation and UNICEF.
Knight’s one-minute video entitled Dear Dad won in the (Self) Portrait category while Henry, with a film entitled I Am Alone Now, won the Inside-Out category.
The other winner was Tolib Homitov of Tajikistan, who won the One Minute Of Freedom Award with a film entitled On the Last Drop.
There were five finalists in each of the three categories and two other Caribbean adolescents, Nikita Wade of Barbados and Ryan Forde of Guyana, were among the nominees based on the films they produced during the Caribbean OneMinutesJr workshop at the UNICEF Office for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean last year.
During the workshops, the adolescents had access to experienced resource people but were given full rein to express themselves in their own ways.
For example, Knight said his film, which features a poem written by a boy about his father, was inspired by his own life experiences.
“I myself have grown up without a father, and it’s something I’ve struggled with my entire life,” he noted.
“Being able to share my story . . . and the story of a number of individuals like myself – it had a very significant impact on me, and I hope the message was really clear,” said Knight, now a first-year student at the University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus.
Award-winner Henry also sought to express visually what many teenagers in her community were going through: the feeling of being alone, of not fitting in. She wrote the poem that serves as the narration for her video, which uses a jungle-like atmosphere to show
a place where it is easy to get lost.
For Knight, being nominated for the award was humbling.
“When I made the video, I wasn’t expecting to be nominated,” he said. “It was more about the opportunity to expose an issue I felt passionate about in a very personal and emotional way.
“When you see all the videos made from around the world, I’m very touched that my message was one that resonated with others.”
UNICEF representative for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Tom Olsen, said he was happy that Caribbean adolescents featured so prominently among the winners.
“More importantly, I’m happy that they had  a chance to express themselves so powerfully though the medium of film. I hope this serves as an inspiration for other adolescents in the region to be active participants in their communities and countries as they address the many social issues confronting them,” he added.
The winners will receive a JVC Handcam along with their awards.
The One Minutes Foundation, UNICEF and the European Cultural Foundation launched the OneMinutesJr. project in 2002. This international, arts-based initiative gives young people aged 12 to 20 an opportunity to share their ideas, dreams, anxieties and viewpoints with the world. (PR)