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Jan 31, 2003

Film festival offers study opportunities

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Since the film festival currently under way at the Princess Cinema is the first in the nation’s history, we’re not really sure what to expect. But one thing we do know is that we like to go to the movies. And as Jacqueline Woods found out this morning, Belizeans may one day get the opportunity to make our own.

Jacqueline Woods, Reporting

The press conference was called to introduce to the media and students to two film schools that are involved in Belize’s first international film festival.

Suzette Zayden, Festival Director

“We are looking at two film schools in the Caribbean where people from Belize, students, young people especially who are interested in a career in film or a career in video, they could hear what these two schools have to offer.”

(Clip of Clinic of Misery)

Clinic of Misery is a seven-minute drama production done by students of Cuba’s Film School. The school, which produces about twenty films a year, is now offering students from the English speaking Caribbean, including Belize, a chance to develop their creative talent. Twenty students from throughout the region will be attending a special one-month documentary workshop. Past graduate and festival director, Suzette Zayden, will coordinate the programme.

Suzette Zayden

“The workshop that they are offering, I have settled on July being the date for the workshop, because it is summer and young people who can spare a month, because more or less it will be students, not working people. It’s very hard for working people to spare a month and take off. Whoever is interested would have to find their own money to reach Cuba. The workshop scholarship covers your tuition, room and food; there is a communal dining room. You have to take extra money if you want anything else, but they’ll give you your three meals a day and they’ll give you a room with your own bath, and you’ll have your class, but you’ll also have access to everybody else who is there.”

There may have been only a handful of people at this morning’s briefing, but those who attended embraced the benefits that such training can have on countries looking to establish their own film industry.

Peter Carter, Participant

“I think it is an inspiration for young people who want to get into the film industry and I think that Hollywood has somewhat kind of burnt out with ideas, so they tend to look to a lot of independent film makers to come up with better movies and better answers. Because to me they are kind of burnt out, because if you watch what Hollywood is producing is like things over and over that most of the things are flopping at the box market.”

Trinidad, which produced one of the festival’s entries, Secrets of the Shell, is home to the University of the West Indies’ Centre for Creative and Festival Arts. That is another institution where Belizeans can receive training. This weekend, representatives of both schools will be at the Princess Hotel to speak to prospective students. Jacqueline Woods for News 5.

In addition to award winning films showing all weekend, there are seminars being held Saturday at ten a.m. and two p.m. and Sunday morning at ten. All take place at the Princess and are open to the public.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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