Child rights films premiere Friday

Methodist Agogic Centre pupils voting for their favourite drawing.

BELAIR–Five films will be premiered at the Belair Community Centre on Friday, April 6, 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 that will determine which school will go to Curaçao 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 with which they identified the most and thereafter an exhibition was 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. Film coach Anderson Percival, a videographer, helped with the scripting, filming, and editing of the films. The films feature the children only and reflect their thoughts.

The Department of Youth and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth, and Sports have been instrumental in facilitating this project. Afternoon school programmes and community schools include Oranje School, Methodist Agogic Centre, Belvedere Community School, Youth Council, No Kidding with Our Kids Foundation and Christian Hillside Schools Asha Stevens campus.

Teachers and school coordinators have been quite active in going through this entire process in which more than 100 children ages of 9-13 took part.

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 five 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 go to Curaçao the following week to take part in the regional film festival where the regional winner will be announced on April 14.

UNICEF piloted this programme in St. Eustatius last year, as it has been doing this film festival in the Netherlands for the past five 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.

There is no entrance fee and the public are encouraged to come with families to experience St. Maarten’s young talent. Seating is limited, so those who would like to attend are asked to e-mail the project coordinator at .

Source: The Daily Herald