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Professor Gladstone Yearwood - Director of The Errol Barrow Center For Creative Imagination (UWI)
This narrative is the first feature-length film of the director, Gladstone Yearwood and the trinidad + tobago film festival is its world premiere.
"The film is about loss in Barbadian society," Yearwood said. "I was looking at the displacement of the people of Emmerton to build a sewerage plant and also about the loss of Sweet Bottom. Sweet Bottom was a historical place and the name has also changed." Yearwood is known for his writings on black film aesthetics. He received a PhD and M.A. from Ohio University, Athens, and a B.F.A from New York University Institute of Film-Television. He is a Professor of Film and Creative Arts and Director of the Errol Barrow Centre for Creative Imagination, The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus and was instrumental in establishing the UWI Film Programme. Yearwood does a fair job of commenting on the prejudiced US system, marrying a fiction story with actual statistics and portraying the mindsets of lawmakers. I felt that Yearwood did a fine job of establishing the character's desperate state; the fact that he is displaced both internally and externally. I was behind him when he managed to land a job at a restaurant, I felt proud when he did volunteer work and also found a good girlfriend. I saw that he was really trying to do the right thing. "Trauma is important but I think we need to look beneath the surface at what trauma does as opposed to graphically portraying and exploiting the violence," Yearwood commented. "Displacement is interesting because in Barbados there was never a revolution…and there is a perception that it had a very smooth history but there is a lot of trauma and I wanted to explore the impact of that turmoil on those persons whose history has been broken by displacement." One very interesting facet of the film is the amount of help that it received from the Cuban film community. According to Yearwood, all of the heads of department were Cuban and they gave generously of their knowledge to the Barbadian students and filmmakers who worked with them on the film. Also very encouraging is that the young people who worked on the film were part of an anti-poverty programme called the "Motion Picture Arts" impact programme where they trained in the art of filmmaking for six months before working on the project. The audience was told that several of these young people went on to work in commercials and other productions. In terms of casting, Yearwood shared that most of the actors were not professional actors. "I think the lead actor has never done film, he was a person who had lived in the US and came back," he said. Yearwood acknowledges that there is still work to be done to raise the quality of Barbadian film and believes that the world will begin to see more content within 5-10 years. "We have the film programme at UWI and the Barbados Film and Video Association," he said.
Professor Gladstone Yearwood, Director, Errol Barrow Centre for Creative Imagination, University of the West Indies
Previous juries have included Trinidadian film and video producer Bruce Paddington and animator Camille Selvon-Abraham, as well as such esteemed regional moviemakers as Brian St Juste, president of the Jamaica Film and Video Producers Association; Jamaican scriptwriter Amba Chevannes; and Prof Gladstone Yearwood, director of the Errol Barrow Centre for Creative Imagination, UWI, Cave Hill.
Lecture: Professor Gladstone Yearwood- Director of the Errol Barrow Centre for Creative Imagination
Presentation of Papers EBCCI
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