Twenty-five young Jamaicans have been selected to compete in the final round of the EU in Jamaica Short Film Competition, 2019. The top prize of a trip to Europe for a film course is up for grabs. The participants are now preparing for a mandatory workshop this Saturday, 19 October, which will feature sessions on cinematography, storytelling, editing, and post-production, led by experts in the respective fields.

The workshop will take place at the Terra Nova Hotel in St Andrew from 8:00 am – 5:30 pm. The experts are Gabrielle Blackwood, a Jamaican director, and cinematographer; script consultant Blanca Escoda and film editor Cedric Zoenen, from Europe.

Blackwood, the co-convenor of Women in Film Jamaica, has written, directed and shot short films, documentaries and commercials in both Jamaica and New Zealand.

Escoda is from Spain and works as a script reader for Filmarket Hub and scriptwriting tutor for Cineuropa. Through her script consultancy, she reads and edits scripts for freelance writers and production companies, mostly across Spain, the UK and Latin America.She has worked as an adjudicator at The European Independent Film Festival (Paris) and as a speaker at the New York Independent Film Festival.

Zoenen, Belgian, has been working as a film editor for almost two decades. Since 2016, he has been doing part-time teaching at the Institut des Arts de Diffusion, one of the main cinema schools in Belgium, supervising editing works for students in the 1st or 3rd year.

“This will be an intensive one-day workshop. For us, it’s a key value-added because we are not just about the competition but building skills and providing exposure, too. The participants will be introduced to a range of film production techniques and good practices in the industry in a very practical manner. This is also why we targeted young and aspiring Jamaican filmmakers who could benefit from basic but fundamental exposure needed to create quality films,” Malgorzata Wasilewska, the EU Ambassador to Jamaica.

Danielle Mullings, one of the shortlisted candidates said she entered the competition to support her passion for documentary making. “I entered the competition because I see it as a good way to hone my craft whilst getting valuable insights from leaders in the field like Gabrielle Blackwood. I am also excited to meet fellow filmmakers and content creators around my age.”

Following the workshop, the participants will have up to November 16, to submit their 3-5 minute films on the theme: ‘My Environment: a heritage to be protected’.

The winners will be announced onDecember 12, 2019. The competition for Jamaicans aged 18 – 25, started on September 9.