Student films to tackle social issues

More than 450 secondary school students and youth group members turned out last Tuesday at MovieTowne, Port-of-Spain to participate in the Orientation Session of the 2012 Secondary Schools Short Film Festival (SSSFF).

According to officials, participation in this year’s festival, which is staged by in partnership with the Trinidad and Tobago Film Company (TTFC), the Ministry of Education, the Division of Education of the Tobago House of Assembly, MovieTowne and the trinidad+tobago film festival (ttff), has grown by some 68 percent.

This year, the students will vie for 16 awards for their productions, which will be based on one of the themes – The Environment: “Making a Cleaner, Better Future”; Peace/ Social change: “Fixing TT”; National Identity: “My Islands, What it means to be Trinbagonian.” In this a landmark year in the growth of the nation, on of the festival’s themes will pay tribute to the country’s 50th Anniversary of Independence – Cultural Traditions/Preservation: “50 years of Culture: Preserving the TT Legacy”.

Making a return to the competition is last year’s winner, Holy Name Convent, which hopes to sucessfully defend it’s title against new entrants such as Holy Cross College and Cowen Hamilton Secondary, as well as 2010’s winner Rio Claro East Secondary, among others.

During the orientation students had an opportunity to meet their mentors who will work with them on various aspects on filmmaking which will begin during the Easter vacation and will continue in full during the July/August vacation at various schools. Training will be completed in July after which the students will have to produce their own films.

Students were shown an inspiring video message from Trinidad born Shaun Escayg, who has been the mastermind behind sequences of the Bumble Bee character from the Transformers movie, among others. Students were the first to see his newest show reel and Escayg recommended various books including The Visual Story to help develop them into successful filmmakers.

Students were encouraged to put their best “film-foot” forward as it is hoped that Guadeloupe and the Dominican Republic will join the programme as part of the evolution of the Festival. In this way, there will be opportunities for members from winning schools to travel to Caribbean islands and work with other young persons to express their unifying stories through film.

For more information on the SSSFF, write to


"Student films to tackle social issues"

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