The future of Barbados’ film and theatre industry gathered at the Barbados Community College, Howell’s Cross Road institution to benefit from the knowledge and advice from British Academy Film Award winner, Hollywood actress Sigourney Weaver and her husband actor-director Jim Simpson.
Students from the University of West Indies and the Barbados Community College engaged in an hour and a half workshop sponsored by the Barbados Independent Film Festival (BIFF), where they were taught about the workings of the international film industry and given advice on how to perfect their craft. From January 11 to 29 the works of filmmakers, producers and actors from around the world will be highlighted with directors such as Lone Scherfig also in attendance.
Known for her performances as Ripley in the Alien series, Dian Fossey in Gorillas in the Mist, Avatar, Marvel’s Netflix series The Defenders, Weaver’s A Monster Calls and A Map of The World will be featured during the film festival and she is slated to receive the BIFF Founder’s Award for iconic filmography.
About the new accolade, Weaver told Barbados TODAY she was surprised and pleased by the award.
“ I am thrilled and really grateful having the experience I am having . . . It helps me remember what I have done . . . when I begin a role I forget everything I have done and it reminds me that I have done some good work and it is very encouraging,” said the seven-time Golden Globe nominee.
Co-ordinator and founder of the BIFF, Jennifer Smith-Bent highlighted that the interactive workshop was a great opportunity for filmmakers to see “the shining lights in Barbados’ future”.
Smith-Bent noted that there was an abundance of talent in Barbados, however opportunities, work ethic and institutionalization would contribute to the success of the local industry.
“It is all about perseverance and taking on as many roles as possible and ultimately then being able to select the ones you would like to be in but it is about getting the foundation.
“You have to have the infrastructure in place in order to have those opportunities,” Smith-Bent commented.
She suggested that local filmmakers use social media as an avenue to expose their works to international audiences. Smith-Bent also advised that actors, producers and directors not stray from their basics and always be willing to learn from the experiences of others.
“It is always great to follow in the footsteps and seek the advice of people who have gone before because there is always something to learn. You might strike your own path and go in a different direction but it is always about the fundamentals and the more information you can get the better.”
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