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Youth Film Workshop

Bahamas International Film Festival Youth Film Workshop 2013

Annually, Bahamas International Film Festival (BIFF) takes filmmaking into the schools with a program designed to introduce the youth to the art of filmmaking.


During these sessions, students selected from private and public schools were given instructions in the art of making films. Instructions in the history of filmmaking, genres, formats were presented. Students were taught how to produce a film from an initial idea, to a script and finally to the screen. To assist in this process, students discussed their favorite films and actors, studied short films and clips from the previous BIFF Youth Film Workshops and analyzed the acclaimed winning Youth Film of the 2012 Festival: “25 Years Of Junior Junkanoo.”


This educational program also known as "Filmmaking In A Day” was structured as  follows:

  • lectures on the history and art of filmmaking.
  • instructions on selecting a theme for a movie
  • Film script writing
  • casting and character selection
  • shooting a  film and elements of cinematography
  • Film editing and presentation.


A total of 65 students from schools in New Providence and schools in Spanish Wells, Harbour Island and Governors Harbour, Eleuthera  were selected to participate in this year’s program . Leslie Vanderpool Founder & Executive Director of the Bahamas International Film Festival and Neville Smith CEO of Settlers Cove LTD Digital Cinema & Television provided their expertise for the Filmmaking In-A-Day Program. They instructed the participants in the fundamentals of what is needed to make a film, what types of films exist, and the number of persons it takes to make a film and their roles in the filmmaking process. Students learned how to operate film equipment, write a screenplay and storyboard, act, direct and operate other areas of filmmaking. Each school that participated designed the format for their film, based on the subject: "The Bahamas Through My Eyes." Students developed the story line, wrote the script, performed as actors, directors, writers or crew.


Schools participating in the 2013 program were:


1. L.W. Young

2. Garvin Tynes School

3. Harbour Island All Age School

4. Spanish Wells School

5. Central Eleuthera High School


Great talent was discovered among the students. Excellent playwriting and cinematographic skills were displayed and several budding actors with great theatrical potential were identified. The winning films and clips from this program will be shown during the 2013 Festival, December 5 – 8 in Nassau and December 9 – 13 in Eleuthera.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

L.W. Young Junior High School                           

15 students from Grade 8 learned to make a film in one day. BIFF showed these students the nuts and bolts of filmmaking, taught them the history of film and showed short films and behind the scenes footage to prepare them on using the equipment and fulfilling the roles of all involved in the film process. Students were provided with the format and technique to make the film on their own. At this school there were 10 Actors, 3 Directors, 2 Writer, 1 Boom Operator and 1 Slate Operator. The students produced a brilliant and exciting thriller entitled THE CHICKCHARNEY. They developed the storyline and dialogue for the narrative. The Chickcharney is a mythical creature similar to the Loch Ness Monster, Big Foot, The Abominable Snowman,  and the legendary monster that is reported to be found in Andros.


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Garvin Tynes School         

17 students from this School for autistic children learned to make a film in one day. BIFF showed the students the fundamentals of filmmaking, taught the history of film and showed a few short films with behind the scenes footage to prepare them in the use of film equipment and the importance of teamwork in the filmmaking process. Students were provided with the format and technique to make the film on their own. There were a total of 12 Actors, 2 Director, 1 Writer, 1 Boom Operator, and 1 Slate Operator. The story the students created was “Junkanoo” using drums to portray the rhythm of The Bahamas.


Monday, November 4, 2013

Spanish Wells All Age School                              

18 students learned to make a film in one day. BIFF showed the students the basic elements of filmmaking; taught the history of Film and showed Short Films with behind the scenes footage to demonstrate technique and teamwork necessary for a successful film production. Students were provided with the formats and equipment to make a film on their own. They as were given roles as 11 Actors, 3 Directors, 2 Writers, 1 Boom Operator, and 1 Slate Operator. These students created an outstanding thriller called THE AWAKENING OF THE DREAM KILLER incorporating a ghost and the Barefoot Bandit, Colton Harris-Moore  the American criminal and former fugitive who was charged with the thefts of small aircraft, a boat, and two cars and in the burglaries of at least 100 private residences in various locations around the the United States and Canada. He fled to The Bahamas on July 4, 2010, allegedly in a plane stolen. He was indicted on July 6, 2010, in the US. Harris-Moore was arrested in Harbour Island, Bahamas on July 11, 2010, after police shot out the engine of the boat in which he was attempting to flee. Harris-Moore was sentenced to more than seven years in prison for dozens of consolidated charges brought against him from three different counties. On January 27, 2012, he was sentenced to six and a half years for related federal crimes


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Harbour Island All Age School                

15 students came together to make the film “Messin With My Head”. A insightful story about tourists coming to the island to experience the food and culture of Harbour Island. They portrayed the negative and positive encounters of the Bahamians.


Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Central Eleuthera High School                            

16 students took part in making the film “Hidden Paradise”. This wonderful story is about a bus of international students who are exploring the island of Eleuthera and want to get off the hot bus and explore the island. They get lost and come across the unique terrain, beauty and music of The Bahamas.


The experience of the 2013 Bahamas International Film Festival Youth Film Program was like no other, as we discovered new talents in Nassau and Eleuthera. Students and teachers saw the immediate impact of a new opportunity that will lead to creating careers in the Film Industry.

 We wish to thank BTC powered by Lime for their foresight in partnering with the Bahamas International Film Festival on this meaningful and exciting journey.


Quote from Leslie Vanderpool:
The Bahamas International Film Festival Youth Film Workshop is a favorite program of mine, as it provides hands on experience in making a film, teaches the benefits of collaboration and teamwork and allows children to realize their innate abilities and exercise their imaginations. The rewards of teaching 600 students since this outreach program was started in schools around Nassau and adding Eleuthera to this list, are immeasurable. Testimonies of students now in colleges pursuing theatre arts, media and filmmaking as a result of this introductory exposure speak to the importance and value of this program. This is the beauty of bringing Hollywood to The Bahamas and conducting invaluable programs that the Bahamas International Film Festival offers throughout the year.


Quote from Neville Smith

“It was encouraging to see young people excited about a profession that they watch everyday but had never participated. In class, we challenged the students to make short films by whatever means they had: there level of creativity was astounding!  I hope to see films coming from their respective schools in the near future."    

Quotes from 5 Participating Schools of 2013 Youth Film Workshop


Mrs. Galanis, Principal
Central Eleuthera High School

'We appreciate the opportunity given to our students to participate in the Bahamas International Film Youth One-day Workshop held on our campus. It provided an invaluable opportunity for them to widen their horizons and consider greater possibilities. As you observed, our students are a very talented group who we believe will benefit greatly from your contribution. We look forward to the Film Festival in December and another opportunity next year for more students to participate in the workshop.' Thank you. Thank you.


Mr. Y. Sands, Principal

Harbour Island All Age School

The experience was very rewarding for our students. Many of them were inspired to go as far as having career in the field of acting or movie production. Through out the day and on the breaks I could here them talking about the experience, which left them very excited. The adult supervisors also felt like the activity was worthwhile and that it is the type of experience which our children need. I am sure that such exposure was good for our students. As a result we will continue to expose our children to these types of activities. We look forward to including this type of action and interaction in our future career fairs.


Mrs. Carolyn Wright-Mitchell, Principal

Garvin Tynes School

"I am so grateful to the Bahamas International Film Festival for bringing awareness to Autism and the Center for Autism and for providing the students from The Center with an incredible opportunity to explore their gifts and talents; the pulsating sound of the junkanoo beat provided an overwhelming experience for the students. They had a fun-filled time with the production instruments and crew.  They had a blast!  The moment was simply unforgettable!!" 


Ms. Trivea Culmer & Grade 8L1 Students

LW. Young Junior High School

Ms. Vanderpool, I salute you on your tremendous efforts to inspire, motivate and create a forum for the young children of our nation to dream big! The experience was indeed an awesome one. My students are now raving about becoming future film makers, actors, directors and writers. They have been inspired. I have seen a great difference in their public speaking skills and their overall demeanour. The experience was by far a meaningful one that will propel them forward into their future endeavours. Thanks a million!!!


Ms. Daisry Higgs, Principal

Spanish Wells All Age School

The students of the Spanish Wells All Age School thoroughly enjoyed the filmmaking day.  They expressed that they were unaware of the preparation needed to make a short film and have a greater appreciation for filmmaking.  It is a moment that they will treasure as this is the first time they have been exposed to such a wonderful and eye opening experience. It is our hope that the students of the Spanish Wells All Age School will continue to be exposed to such activities as this and that the Bahamas International Film Festival continue to partner with us.

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