UWI film project a push for west Kingston youngster
"Life was rough back then. I was home not doing much and not focused. It's better now, as I'm more developed as a person and I now have a reliable lifelong skill," are words best delivered from the lips of 21-year-old Denham Town Resident Allan Powell.
Powell enrolled in the University of the West Indies Community Film Project (UWICFP) in September of last year and graduated in the same calendar.
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.
The outspoken young man has heaped praises on the five-year-old programme geared towards the direct involvement of youths in innovative storytelling and film-making around local issues. The aim is to pave for them a path towards productivity.
"It brings you to a different point in life. You can have your own studio and earn from it by editing videos, images, rhythms, etc. That's what this film production gives you - a lot of opportunities - so if you don't have any formal education, this can be your avenue. I've had scriptwriting and even make-up classes in the programme. I didn't even know males used make-up before I started film. I've acquired a camera now, so I do private work. Persons hosting a party, a wake, or church service will call me to video and take pictures and I'll edit it for them. During Halloween, parents will asks me to put masks on their children or (paint) wounds, knowing that I can do make-up as well," Powell told The Gleaner.
One of the more memorable moments for Powell is being able to work alongside renowned film producer Franklyn Joseph-Marie St Juste, known more popularly as 'Chappie'.
"He taught us the role of a director, the role of production, how you go about promoting your film. It was amazing."
Powell is waiting with bated breath for the April 2017 premiere of the Children of the Incursion documentary, another product of the UWICFP. As a west Kingston resident, he said, "I'm proud to be a part of it."