August Town Resident Maximising Film Talents
"I've always wanted a career in media, and this project gave me the know-how and has transformed me into a people person."
Thirty-one-year-old Ricaldo Donaldson hails from the community of August Town, the initial location which catapulted the University of the West Indies Community Film Project (UWICFP) to an oversubscribed success story.
UWICFP started in 2012. Donaldson was introduced to it by a friend in 2015. He graduated the same year.
"I just started a production team out of the UWICFP. We do short films, photography, videography and graphic designing. I have a part-time job where I work in the mornings. So in the evenings or on weekends, I do some freelancing to earn additional income. However, there are times when I would get extra duty at work and have to give it up due to the filming, but what I understand in life is that if you want something, you have to go at it," Donaldson told The Gleaner.
He added: "What I'm doing now with my day job is to work and invest in some equipment because I really want this and I see the market out there."
Donaldson expressed his delight that a project of such a positive nature has zeroed in on inner city communities with the aim of providing life-altering opportunities.
He told The Gleaner: "This is a good project and I'm glad it's open to youths in the inner city. It's a great opportunity for them to advance from the position they were at before entering the project. A lot of persons who came on board weren't confident it would have gone anywhere and I've seen where many of them have gone a far way, so it gives persons a lot of hope. Just the other day, I introduced two youths who are a part of my team to the programme."
On the topic of transformation in his native community of August Town, which recorded zero murders last year, Donaldson is optimistic that with more projects such as the UWICFP, the social disorder that plagues the Jamaican society will become a thing of the past.