LegendizeU - Testimonials
2012 - 2016
LegendizeU is a call for stories of one's place.
Our first call in 2012 was a short story competition open to 11 - 19 year olds.
Over the years, the call has been broadened to include entries in written, audio and video formats.
In 2015, some of these stories were adapted to film in Legends Revisited (2016), Forever Young by Lorissa George (3rd picture) and Tales from Aripero by O'Neil Lima (4th picture).
In 2016, Legends Revisited premiered at the Cannes Pan African Film Festival with a 100% cast of inexperienced actors ranging in ages from 11 - 21 and a 21 year old co-director, Ka'en Haynes. The cast comprised primary, secondary and tertiary students. LegendizeU joined forces with Naparima Girls' High school to script and shoot a story of school interest. With support from Teacher, Naomi Adonis Woodsley, students got the opportunity to script and shoot their own film, which has not been edited to date, due to budgetary constraints.
In 2016 -2017, LegendizeU joined forces with Tabaquite Secondary. With support from Librarian, Jori Daniel, the call for stories was well received and three winners were chosen: Antonio Barath (video - Knolly's Tunnel), Quinson Andall ( spoken word - Crime Time) and Lakshana Ramasar (written research - Tracking Train History). LegendizeU concluded at Tabaquite Secondary with a grand prize-giving and the sharing of all entries with the school body and the Tabaquite community.
We Legendizing De Ting
It’s been 8 years since I participated in this competition, I’m twenty now. The LegendizeU project showed me what I could do at that young age. It was a joyful and memorable experience.
I used to write poetry but never really got an outlet to express it, with the film, Legends Revisited, I got to write my own material with a little bit of editing from Ms Haynes. So that project just gave us that outlet …to be free.
JAVID SIDDIQUE ALI
I did all the illustrations and the cover of Sapotee Soil, and I had to read the stories before I illustrated them. Reading them wasn’t tedious, some scared me and some made me laugh, all made me think and imagine. When I co-directed Legends Revisited, it opened something in me. Directing people who were my age and who like me, had no experience, was daunting and thrilling and like the actors, the stories inspired me beyond the work into a whole world of telling our Trinidadian stories. Legends Revisited inspired me forever, now my life dream is to make my own movie.
I see the film, the book, Sapotee Soil, as the telling of truth, the truth of imagination, the truth of many voices, many stories, many people, given a space to BE.
The short story competition inspired me, it gave me chance to tell about my place [Aripero Village] in my style [Dramatic Monologue]. When my story was selected to be turned into a short for Legends Revisited it was awesome. And I got to act the role of the story teller. This whole experience gave me confidence to not be afraid to talk to people, before this experience I used to be shy. Although I'm not pursuing anything to do with drama again I believe that the experience I had at sixteen years old, with the writing competition and the film, helped me with what I am doing now which is psychology, as I’m not afraid to talk to people anymore and I have the patience to deal with them.
O’NEIL LIMA SAMLAL
The writing competition introduced me to Trinbagonian folktales and helped me gain a greater appreciation for that part of my culture. I remember doing a lot of research on the topic in order to gather inspiration, and coming across such fascinating stories that still resonate with me today. Additionally, I was inspired to pursue my love for creative writing and it gave me a greater confidence in my skill and ability. It most definitely had a lasting impact, so much so that I pursued Literature at both CSEC and CAPE exams. Even though I rarely engage in creative writing now, the effect of the competition lives on in my new passions which are traditional and digital art and editing.
Seeing my story turned into a film was genuinely one of the best experiences. I still remember pieces of it very vividly. Getting to witness that was almost more rewarding than the actual prizes from the competition.
I wasn't aware of the history of San Fernando Hill. As lead actor in the film on San Fernando hill, the experience was very educational, because working with Joanne, it wasn't just about acting, it was about learning. I have a deeper appreciation now for San Fernando hill, I see it not just as a landmark but as a spiritual site.
LegendizeU is an excellent project, this is the kind connectivity and creativity we need to reach our students and connect them with their history and identity. Ms. Haynes commented that one of my history students commented she learnt things from the film she hadn't learnt in history books.
NAOMI ADONIS WOODSLEY
The multi layered approach of the project, with film screenings, readings and story telling and following discussions, as well as the creative freedom to submit entires in various formats, contributed to its success. Of all the projects I had done at the school, LegendizeU was the most well-received and the most participated with students from ages 11 to 17 getting involved, with teachers from various departments supporting students’ efforts and with even Library staff asking if they could submit. LegendizeU has great value - the differentiated approach to teaching and learning is revolutionary, practical and appropriate to satisfy the needs of todays C21st learner.
All round The LegendizeU project is innovative and excellent. It has so many positives - it gives students a chance to showcase their talents, builds self esteem among participants, motivates others to be involved next time, brings all age groups together and shows appreciation for our elders. I hope to see it continued.
SHERRY ANN BOODRAM