Wed | Aug 16, 2017

UWI Film Project Extends Reach With JSIF Partnership

Published:Tuesday | January 31, 2017 | 1:00 AMSyranno Baines

A film project that was established in 2012, with the primary aim of stimulating productive community involvement within Greater August Town, has since evolved into a catalyst for change for many troubled youngsters elsewhere.

Seven inner-city communities are beneficiaries of a partnership forged in June last year between the University of the West Indies Community Film Project (UWICFP) and the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF).

The goal of the union is to expand the success of the UWICFP into other areas experiencing social disorder.

"Not one of the persons trained in the programme has returned to engage in any sort of negative activity that may have plagued them prior to entering. It's an opportunity, not rehabilitation. Many of them have grasped the opportunity and gone on to work in the field and excelled as videographers, editors, in the animation field and even outside of media," Professor Ian Boxill, founder of UWICFP, and dean, Faculty of Social Sciences at University of the West Indies, Mona, said at the Gleaner Editors' Forum last Wednesday.

UWICFP is a unique film-making and video production initiative by the Centre for Tourism and Policy Research in collaboration with the Mona Social Services/University.

It is geared towards the direct involvement of youths in innovative storytelling and film-making around important community and national issues.

The partnership, funded by the World Bank to the tune of $1.3 million, falls under the JSIF implemented Integrated Community Development Project.

It saw 18 participants undertake summer youth camp and internship from June through August last year.

JSIF to benefit from new skills

Mona Sue-Ho, social development manager at Jamaica Social Investment Fund, said that the organisation is set to benefit greatly from the developed skill sets.

She told The Gleaner: "JSIF will be utilising the skills of these film-makers in a number of initiatives, including to support social marketing campaigns related to solid waste management, electricity and water regularisation, and birth certificate registration, as well as general public education and awareness on project-related matters."

"There's a willingness to continue with this collaboration, so we will do so in June. We want to develop all areas of film, especially the technical areas. The film industry is very high-tech and we want to take it beyond the normal level of film making," said Professor Ian Boxhill.

The University of the West Indies Community Film Project is set to provide internal media coverage for UWI Research Day, which runs from February 1-3.

The seven communities that benefit from the partnership are Rema, Rose Town, Greenwich Town, Hannah Town, Denham Town, Majesty Gardens and Maxfield Park.

syranno.baines@gleanerjm.com