Curaçaoan, Rovendley Welvaart, has won the PlayGo Emerge Film Competition as the region's best filmmaker. After more than three months of calls for entries, judging and public voting, his film Tahit won, capturing the prize for the Drama category, the People’s Choice Award, and the Grand Prize.
The PlayGo Emerge Film Competition was held in celebration of the diverse cultures and similarities that bind us together as a region, and encouraged creators to submit short form videos under the theme Celebrate the National Pride of your Country.
Rovendley's film was about a child whose adoptive mother is struggling financially, but he is motivated to make a better life for his mother, and through the film, Rovendley intended to illustrate that while life isn't always fair, there is always hope. This competition provided him with the chance to demonstrate that, despite the fact that Curaçao is a little island, there are a lot of individuals with a lot of talent who achieve huge goals all over the world.
Other winners includes: Denique Homer from Trinidad & Tobago for Animation; Tony Coco-Viloin from the French West Indies for Comedy; Destiny Raphaela from Curaçao, Kendall Barthelmy from St Lucia and Akley Olton from St Vincent for Documentary; Rovendley Welvaart from Curaçao and Jonathan Gift from Trinidad & Tobago for Drama; Jo’Ardin Richardson from Anguilla and Anastasia Duncan from Guyana for Photo Essay; and Alisha Mohammed from Trinidad & Tobago and Cornelius Grant from Jamaica for Science Fiction.
Prizes range from US$500 to US$1000, with select winners additionally receiving a chance to be featured on PlayGo, Amazon gift cards, and a subscription to Adobe Premiere Pro. The main prize winner earned US$2,500 in cash, Revolt TV mentoring, a four-day all-expenses-paid trip to Los Angeles, and all-access passes to the American Film Market.
The PlayGo app is available to download for free in the Google Play Store and Apple App Store and offers users TV anytime, anywhere, so they can watch live sports, regional events, local news, shows, movies and kids programming from their device, right in the palm of their hand. And, for those on a Digicel Prime Bundle, the experience is even better with dedicated PlayGo data. With a goal of highlighting more local and regional content, and helping to develop the industry, the PlayGo Emerge competition provided creators with a platform and an audience for their content.