ST. MICHAEL, Barbados (Thursday, March 18, 2021) — The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has awarded US$50,000 in grant funding to two film and animation entities in St. Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago for projects, which aim to increase cultural collaboration and empower at-risk youth.
The successful recipients are St. Lucia’s Malfini Film and Animation Studio Inc. and Trinidad and Tobago’s Forward Ever Foundation, and the awards came under the Improving Competitiveness of Creative MSMEs Grant, issued by the CDB’s Cultural and Creative Industries Innovation Fund (CIIF).
The CIIF was established, by CDB in 2018, to support the development of the creative industries (CI) sector in the Caribbean.
This grant targeted the audio-visual sector, with a focus on film. CIIF received 21 applications from across CDB’s 19 Borrowing Member Countries, and projects were selected, based on their potential to provide resources and benefits to a wide cross-section of CI stakeholders, across the region.
“I am delighted to see the level of collaboration across countries in the projects proposed by the awardees which is required to not only bolster regional audio-visual content, foster regional talent and develop regional creative capabilities but most importantly, reduce fragmentation in the audio-visual sub-sector,” Lisa Harding, Coordinator of MSME Development at CDB stated.
Malfini Film and Animation Studio Inc., which provides training and development in animation and video production, intends to use its US$25,000 grant to develop the collaborative capacity of participating studios in Jamaica, Martinique and St. Lucia.
These studios will benefit from a training program that incorporates virtual classroom software and associated hardware infrastructure, and broadband technologies with traditional classroom instruction.
Training and certification will be provided in 2D and 3D animation and videography, and the project fosters collaboration in the usually competitive animation and film sector and promotes synchronous learning for the participating studios.
Managing Director of Malfinis Film and Animation Studio Inc., Milton Edison Branford, in expressing gratitude for the award, noted: “This grant takes our studios a step forward, so we may take the many young, aspiring, regional creatives, yearning to learn and grow in the film and animation industry, on this innovative journey with us.”
The second grant, also in the sum of US$ 25,000, was awarded to Forward Ever Foundation, located in Trinidad and Tobago. The Foundation, which focuses on film production plans to use the funds to develop a CI Incubator to improve the socio-economic status of at-risk and marginalised youth.
Participants will be recruited from Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and St. Lucia, and will benefit from capacity-building in audio-visual production. The goal of the incubator is to increase the employability, skills, and film industry exposure of up to 100 of the trainees in the first iteration of the project.
Producer/Co-Founder, Christopher Anthony Din Chong, said “The Forward Ever Foundation is honoured and extremely grateful to be one of the responsible recipients of the grant, which will be instrumental in assisting us to make a tremendous difference in the areas of movie production, animation and music in the region; our sincerest gratitude for this funding.”
CIIF’s Improving Competitiveness of Creative MSMEs Grant is geared towards collaborative projects that have partners from at least three countries that are CDB Borrowing Member Countries. Projects must also be sustainable and innovative, while promoting sub-sectoral linkages between CIs.