I am fed up of some elders who insist on spouting nonsense
like, Young people today good for nutting! This
years Secondary Schools Short Film Competition
dismisses that tired label.
Now in its fourth year, the competition, a self styled positive
outlet for creativity, encouraged 22 group entries
from 18 secondary schools.
From conflict to resolution in the spate of five minutes,
the three winning entries explored this years theme,
Dispelling the Stereotypes.
Woodbrook Government Secondary placed first with its film,
Cant (Conspire against negative thinking.)
Second place went to past winners, San Juan Secondary Comprehensive
with Painted Black, and Holy Faith Convent, Couva, who copped
third place with their entry, Erasing the Limits of the
Rammed in the middle of an audience of rambunctious students,
I sat back and thoroughly enjoyed all the entries presented.
Although many of films drew full bellied laughs from the
audience who smirked at the basic camera technique and improvised
special effects, all the entries interpreted the theme in
their own individual way.
Cant, the cleverly titled film by HollyWoodbrook Productions,
starts with a street scene in Laventille with fellahs
liming on de block.
The protagonist aspires to be a politician. His own mother
deflates his dream, telling him to get a real wuk
Although everyone around him seem to conspire for his failure,
he succeeds four years later, when he is sworn in at the
Minister of Social Development, Amery Browne, even makes
a cameo appearance, welcoming the new MP. At certain points,
the sound quality dipped but with $10,000 in audio visual
equipment, I am sure this years winners will be well
placed to improve their art for next year.
San Juan Secondary Comprehensives entry, Painted Black,
starts with the main character, Amanda, class valedictorian,
on the way to her graduation ceremony.
The scene flashes back five years earlier. Amandas
mother slaps her (so hard you can see her handprint a
special effect which drew appreciative whoops from the audience)
because her daughter passed for a wutless secondary
Although initially discouraged, Amanda resolves to go
book and come out better than people like you (prestige
Erasing the Limits of the Mind by Holy Faith Convent, Couva
students starts with a long cricket scene, with vintage
kaiso playing in the background. The plot follows a stereotypical
line when someone hits the ball in some old womans
New girl is instructed to retrieve it. She meets the soucouyant
who relates her tragic story.
A microphone boom peeked in one of the scenes, much to the
eagle eyed audiences delight.
filmmakers show great potential
their acting was okay, more to generate laughs than tears.
Films from ASJA Girls College and Bishop Anstey High
School both earned nods from the judges for merit.
The latter caused an eruption of screams from the audience,
predominantly composed of members of the Bishops species.
Dat Bishop girl, shot in a documentary style, detailed the
filmmaker going undercover to observe the aggressive
ASJA Girls very topical Jihad, the Muslim Struggle,
examined the prejudice Muslims today suffer, especially
in international airports.
Together with the Secondary Schools Drama Festival,
the future for the arts in T&T remains bright.
Although many of the films proposed idealistic solutions
to current issues adolescents face, they should be praised
for sacrificing their July/August vacation to produces these
Overall, the talent and creativity of our young filmmakers
is raw, but pregnant with great potential.
With the right guidance and mentoring, these youngsters
can explore different film techniques and document the untold
stories of their generation and the people of T&T.