Rae Wiltshire, a local filmmaker, aims to help develop Guyana’s film industry, not just one film at a time, but by working with other local creatives to create the Georgetown film festival next year.
Wiltshire has been making short films for a few years now but in 2020, he participated in the Commonwealth Shorts, Caribbean Voices film workshops. Soon after, he was the only Guyanese filmmaker and one of nine Caribbean filmmakers to receive a grant that would fund the creation of a short film.
The film he has been producing is known as ‘Eating papaw on the seashore’, a story of queer love in Guyana. And the film, Wiltshire said, has already attracted international interest.
But the local filmmaker says that his intention is not only to create films. He wants to do that while also helping other Guyanese filmmakers or aspiring filmmakers create their own films.
As such, Wiltshire recently hosted a film workshop, through support from the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport’s Cultural and Creative Industries grant, that allowed 18 participants to immerse themselves in the intricacies of filmmaking, be it screenwriting, directing, cinematography or alike.
And from that workshop, Wiltshire and the group will be creating 18 short films that will be used to initiate the Georgetown film festival next year.
“There’s not a lot of Caribbean films and there’s not a lot of Guyanese films and even if they do have Guyanese films, they don’t live up to a particular quality and this project would like to change that.
“And I feel it’s really important that Guyanese people see themselves on screen because it helps to see our culture,” Wiltshire told the News Room during a recent interview.
The films that will be produced vary from drama to fantasy, and the intention is to take the upcoming festival to all of Guyana’s regions. Wiltshire also believes that there are regional and international markets for Guyanese films.
Though marketing the films and the festival at large is key, Wiltshire emphasised that his overarching goal is to help build the local film industry.
“Filmmaking is a collaborative process. You need to collaborate with multiple people and gel together.
“… I want to build that community and I want people to feel like they have a voice,” he said.
Already, Wiltshire and the filmmakers have started the process of creating the films. The first film that will be produced, he teased, focuses on dementia- but “not like a typical drama.”
With this process started, however, the filmmaker said that much support is needed.
An MMG account via the number 615-8413 has been set up. Interested sponsors can also contact Wiltshire on his number: 626-3139.