Thu | Jul 2, 2020

European Union launches short film competition

Published:Sunday | September 15, 2019 | 12:00 AM

A trip to Europe for film training and key filming equipment is on offer for young, amateur and aspiring Jamaican filmmakers being encouraged to participate in the European Union (EU) in Jamaica Short Film Competition.

The project was launched on September 9 and is targeting youth living in Jamaica, ages 18-25 years old. The EU, in line with Jamaican priorities, is using the competition to build environmental awareness.

“Ensuring a viable environment now is an investment in the future, and who best to give the spotlight than our young people who will inherit the earth and hold its resources in trust for future generations? We’re using the competition to increase awareness while giving the Jamaican youth a platform to raise their voices in defence of the environment,” said Malgorzata Wasilewska, the EU Ambassador to Jamaica.

According to EU, the strategic importance of the competition is multifold – to foster interest in Jamaica’s film industry while developing the capacities and skill sets of creatives to meaningfully contribute to economic development. JAMPRO has said the creative sector is the third largest contributor to Jamaica’s GDP. Crucially, the competition is engaging Jamaican youth on environmental protection.

Gabrielle Blackwood, director of the award-winning Jamaican short film Flight, will join international film experts to lead a mandatory training workshop for participants. Blackwood will deliver a session on cinematography.


The competition is open to Jamaican filmmakers residing in Jamaica aged between 18 and 25. The application period: September 9 – October 4, 2019. It will be structured into two parts. Part one will involve strategic targeting of approximately 50 persons who will be further shortlisted based on the established criteria and their video articulation of a response to the question, ‘Why is environmental protection important, and how can communication technologies, like film/video, help in improving environmental awareness?’

Part two involves shortlisting 20 candidates for participation in a capacity-building workshop on October 19: the EU Short Film Competition Workshop. This training is designed to build the capacity of young storytellers to write and produce short videos; provide a basic introduction to videography and share creative post-production techniques. Participants will be inspired to tell exciting stories through the medium of video/film, utilising a camera or even a smartphone in three to five minutes. Films can be in any format– including animation, drama, mini-documentary, music video or personal story. After the training, participants will create their films by responding to: ‘My Environment: a heritage to be protected’.

Films submitted by the November 16 deadline will be judged by a panel comprised of European Union officials, industry experts in creative video/film production and project partners. Entrants will then be judged on adherence to the submission rules, quality and content, which should be research-based, inspiring and creative. All submissions must identify solutions to the issues. The judges will choose four winners. The decisions of the judges are final. The winners will be announced on December 12, 2019.


Awards will be given for the following categories:

- Best overall film

- Best writing/best storytelling

- Best videography

- Best editing

Awards will include the following:

- trip to Europe to participate in a reputable training workshop (Best Film)

- Three sectional prizes that include:

- Tablet

- Computer

- Digital camera

All participants will receive a certificate of participation.

Top four films will be posted on the Delegation’s website.

The Delegation is being supported by the Service for Foreign Policy Instrument (FPI), that will provide trainers for the workshop which will cover topics including storytelling and post production editing. The Office of the Film Commissioner, noted Jamaican film producer Justine Henzell, and Frame of Reference Post Production Company are advisers on the project.

Details on the competition, including how to submit applications, are available on the Delegation’s website: