UWI program in Antigua may benefit aspiring Dominican filmmakers

(L-r) Ambassador Yohan Hesse, Ambassador Dario Item, Education Minister Daryll Mathew, film producer Andrea Lervolino,  and UWI Chancellor Professor Justin Robinson

The film production industry is about to witness a new era of progress and growth in the Caribbean region. Thanks to the visionary efforts of Italian film producer Andrea Lervolino, aspiring filmmakers in Dominica, and those around the region,  and the world will have the opportunity to receive advanced training and gain valuable experience in the field.

This new program, which will be offered by the University of the West Indies Five Islands Campus in St Johns, holds great promise for the future of the film industry in the Caribbean and beyond. It’s an inspiring collaboration that will help unleash the potential of budding filmmakers and pave the way for a brighter future in this dynamic field.

The initiative was made possible by the efforts of Dr. Dario Item, the esteemed Ambassador to Spain in the Principality of Monaco, and the Principality of Liechtenstein, who introduced Lervolino to Antigua and Barbuda.  At a recent meeting, aimed at exploring the prospect of a new program, Lervolino, who holds Antigua and Barbuda citizenship through investment, discussed the matter with Justin Robinson, the chancellor of UWI Five Island.

The meeting proved fruitful and the new project has shown immense potential. During the discussion, Lervolino expressed his eagerness to commence the project and promised to personally engage with students with an interest in the field.

He also proposed to offer a select few students the opportunity to visit Italy to gain hands-on experience in filmmaking.

In his words, “I believe we must teach the students to produce a movie from scratch. I would like them to be part of a crew and put them on set so they have the experience…we can donate cameras to them…this is easy. The possibilities are endless. We can get them to do documentaries in the first instance…this is how you teach people.”

Currently, there is a film section at the University of the West Indies’ Mona Campus. However, the hope is that the newly established UWI Five Islands campus will become the leading university in the region in terms of film studies.

Meantime Item said, Lervolino is considered the most suitable person to facilitate the entry of North American and European businesses into Antigua and Barbuda. He said that Lervolino possesses the necessary expertise and skillset to pave the way for these businesses to explore and expand their operations in the key growth sectors of the region.

During the meeting, internships and the possibility of incorporating digital animation into the program in the future were also discussed. According to Lervolino, establishing a reliable infrastructure for digital animation would require the creation of a multi-million-dollar company, which would require significant resources and investment.

However, if the government provides the necessary infrastructure, such as equipment and other amenities, setting up a digital animation operation would be much simpler.

Professor Robinson mentioned that the University of West Indies (UWI) does not strongly emphasize filmmaking and producing. Therefore, the proposed venture would be a suitable addition to the university’s offerings. Additionally, since the UWI campus is predominantly female, there is a constant search for activities that might appeal to male students.

The Education Minister, Daryll Matthew, is excited about the proposed venture and agrees that it will cater to those interested in the field. He stated, “There is no development in this country, certainly in the last 40 years, that will impact the national development of Antigua and Barbuda, like this Five Islands Campus of UWI. And so, as we continue to build out the physical infrastructure of the campus, we have to build out attractive programs.”

Lervolino has not only introduced himself but also contributed USD$100,000.00 to the UWIFIC, which reflects his commitment to positively impacting the local community. This contribution was made at the request of Dr. Item, indicating Lervolino’s willingness to collaborate for a noble cause.

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  1. Genq
    March 27, 2024

    Dominica is an Art wasteland.. Art is not pushed in Dominica in any substantial capacity.

    Start holding workshops, galleries, artist in residences. We dont even have a history musuem , much less for an art museum. The Country so hard that arts is not even a thought when you have to struggle to feed yourself.

  2. Roger Burnett
    March 26, 2024

    Film is a facet of the visual arts, and hence all the more reason why all aspects of the creative arts should have high priority in our secondary schools and State College.

  3. If we knew better
    March 26, 2024

    Man this is awesome news. The Caribbean has sooooo many stories that need to be told. From before colonial times to now.

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