SINT MAARTEN (BELAIR) - On Friday, April 6, 2018, five (5) films will be premiered at the Belair Community Center as the highlight of an awareness campaign that has been more than two months long.
This campaign is a creative way to engage teachers, parents, students, and the community to learn more about child rights. The six-step process includes a local premiere which will determine which school will go to the Curacao for the largest children’s film festival in the region and compete against the other Dutch Caribbean islands.
The process included the training of teachers and school coordinators about child rights and ways they can communicate that to their students. The students were then asked to make a drawing of the right that they identified with the most and thereafter was an exhibition held at the schools.
The winning drawing, which was voted for by the children only, was then used as the basis for creating a script and filming took place. The film coach Anderson Percival, a videographer, helped with the scripting, filming, and editing of the films. The films feature the children only and reflects their thoughts.
The Department of Youth and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth, and Sports have been instrumental in facilitating this project. Afternoon school programs and community schools include Oranje School, Methodist Agogic Center, Belvedere Community School, Youth Council, No Kidding with Our Kids Foundation, and Asha Stevens Christian Hillside School. Teachers and school coordinators have been quite active in going through this entire process. There are more than 100 children between the ages of 9-13 that took part in this process.
On the evening of the premiere, all participating schools, teachers, and members of the public will be able to see the films which are each 5 minutes long. There will be entertainment from Breakthrough Talent winners and judges are from a variety of industries on the island.
Winners at the premiere will leave the following week to Curacao to take part in the regional film festival where the regional winner will be announced. This will take place on April 14.
UNICEF piloted this program in St. Eustatius last year as it has been doing this film festival in the Netherlands for the past five (5) years. Due to its enormous success, all six islands of the Dutch Caribbean are participating in the Regional Competition this year. This is said to be the largest children’s film festival in the Caribbean.