October 21, 2021

Cayman Islands young filmmakers shine on the red carpet

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YIM 1The Cayman National Cultural Foundation hosted an evening of glitz and glamour at The Harquail Theatre for eleven young filmmakers who had their final short films screened at the 2016 Youth Film Festival, a finale culmination of the Young Image Makers and the Cayman Through My Eyes Competitions last night (Thursday 30 June).

It was a red carpet affair for all involved, with a fully stocked concession stand of sweet and salty treats, fancy mocktails, a shiny step-and-repeat for fabulous picture taking, ‘the paparazzi’ with flashing cameras, celebrities like Caymanian writer/director Frank E. Flowers and Mike & Molly’s Reno Wilson of and of course, the student filmmakers from Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac.

The Young Image Makers is a programme that provides participants aged 10 – 17 an opportunity to sharpen their technical skills and explore their creativity through filmmaking.

Finalists participated in workshops where they learned about the craft. Judy Singh-Hurlston, an award-winning documentary filmmaker took the lead on workshops this year, which included time for peer critiques of films.

YIM 2After the workshops, the filmmakers reworked their original short films. The shorts were judged by a panel of industry professionals including Frank E. Flowers, Tony Mark Sean Bodden, Josh ‘Josh Pearl’ Hydes, Delisa Hernandez and Judy Singh-Hurlston. For the first time ever, finalists were given a surprise challenge: create a second short film for the Department of Tourism’s “Cayman Through My Eyes” for another shot at an all-expenses paid trip to New York Film Academy.

The red carpet event, which kick-started the CayFilm festival, was hosted by Miss Cayman Islands 2016 Monyque Brooks and “Rundown” actor and radio host Jevaughnie Ebanks.

Ethan Spencer won in the junior category for his short film Dinosaur Rage. The stop motion film, featuring Lego figures, tells the story of one man’s attempt to save the day when a velociraptor eats a dinosaur egg and turns into a T-Rex. Ethan is no stranger to creating films. The 10 year old has been making video since he was five years old, and has a YouTube channel that features him and his younger siblings cooking, crafting and playing. He says winning the award

Grace Ruby took home two prizes, one for the senior category with her film Crossroads, which illustrates the different paths a teenager can take, and the important of making the right choice. She clinches the top honours in the “Cayman Through My Eyes Video Challenge”. After winning the award Miss Ruby excitedly said “I’m over the moon. This is what I want to do when I older and to win an award for it, it makes me very certain for my future.”

YIM 3Both Grace and Ethan have won a trip to a filmmaking summer camp at the New York Film Academy, courtesy of the Department of Tourism.

Taking home the People’s Choice Award was Isaac Tibbetts; his film featured the story of a foiled robbery. The People’s Choice awardee received a Ricoh WG-4 GPS shockproof, waterproof camera with a 16GB memory card courtesy Cathy Church’s Photo Center. The student with the most online votes from the public wins this award each year.

The winning students also received limestone and Caymanite handcrafted trophies by local artist Horacio Esteban, sponsored by DCI, DoT and CayFilm.

One school was also recognised for having the most entries in the final round of the competition – Layman E. Scott Senior High School. They received an Olympus TG-860 shockproof, waterproof camera and an 8GB memory card also courtesy Cathy Church Photo Center.

“The greatest reward for us was to see the positive growth and development of the finalists from inception of the programme to their successful completion. To witness young talent truly dedicate time to learn, improve and respect the craft that they are truly passionate about, is all that we really ask for to see through the next generation of local filmmakers.,” says Patrice Beersingh, Programmes Manager of the Cayman National Cultural YIM 4Foundation.

The 11 finalists of the programme are: Abijith Anu, Cassidy Connor, Katherine Delgado-Macias, Lovane Douglas, Elijah Ebanks, Lemuel Ebanks, Aiden Powery, Grace Ruby, Ethan Spencer, Dilan Tatum and Isaac Tibbetts.


Photo caption: Edlyn Ruiz (GIS)

  1. Finalists of the Young Image Makers alongside film director Frank E. Flower, actor Reno Wilson, and CayFilm director Tony Mark.
  2. Ruby Grace is all smiles after winning two awards
  3. Ethan Spencer, winner of the junior category, stops for a photo with actor Reno Wilson
  4. Isaac Tibbetts with the People’s Choice Award is presented with the People’s Choice Award.
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