Signal Hill Secondary school will be participating in this year’s Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival from September 19 with an 11min/24sec film, “Centre Stitch”, that deals with the obsession of a male student with his brand of shoes instead of schoolwork.
Centre Stitch will show at Tobago Movie Towne on September 20 from 8pm.
The production was directed by past student Celoi Carr, and written by the group, The Beacon Initiative – which was created by the school’s Performing and Theatre Arts teacher, Garth Lawrence, in 2015.
The Beacon Initiative focus is to address social issues that affect students across TT. Its main objective involves training students in the area of script writing, video editing, videography and performing and theatre arts.
On the film, Carr explains:
“The entire film is shot from the feet go down because we tried to take it from a different perspective. Other productions would usually show a body and face so people are able to understand the production clearly but we are trying to show the viewers that students are focussed on different styles of shoes, and in school, instead of getting a proper education.”
“In the production, you will see different types of shoes are matched with different attitudes of students towards learning. In 2015 (when the film was shot), Clarks was a popular brand and you can see the main actor wearing the Clarks (shoes), focusing on keeping it clean and when someone stepped on it, he made him clean it.
“He got thrown out of class but was favoured by the students because of the brands he wore. The production is relevant even up to today as it shows that young people allow style to distract them from education.”
Centre Stitch is, of course, not only about an obsession with shoes. There’s illegal drugs (no surprise,) betrayal, girls,
bullying and school delinquency and indiscipline, and the good and bad of technology.
“Again just like fashion brands, it (technology) is distracting students from focusing on working toward achieving success in school. They are now focused on what photo should I post on Instagram and what filter am I going to use. You see a lot of them focusing more on how they look in school than what they can learn,” said Carr.
The themes aside, Carr said the main challenge in producing the film was the audio but she does believe the message comes across clearly.
“It’s good that our hard work and message can now be seen by a larger group that can maybe change the lives and mindset of young people who view it,” she said.
Lawrence said over 20 persons participated in the production. “The students came together and created this play to highlight the social issues and problems in the schools and the ones students face on a daily basis. We did about two or three training sessions and we came up with some topics on how to plan and to
understand updated techniques in making a production in Tobago,” he said, adding that the former students were excited that their production was selected for this year’s TT Film Festival.
“It’s the culture that comes along with guys who tend to wear this type of shoe. Centre Stitch is shown from a perspective that young men can make their whole life based on this stigma of what it is to be a boy wearing Clarks,” he said.
Lawrence said this was Beacon’s second submission to the Film Festival.
Last year, the Festival featured a 15-minute, three-part series titled Redman, produced by writer, director and actor Jared Prima. In 2016, Kryon Reid also showed Connected, a short film on Tobago’s mud mas, filmed with popular mud band, Modern Mud.