January 19, 2023: PROVIDENCIALES, TURKS & CAICOS—The 2022 Turks and Caicos International Film Festival (TCIFF) Poster, designed by 10-year-old Janiya Harris of the Oseta Jolly Primary School, was recently named one of the world's best film festival posters by FestivalinLA.com.
The international platform created by film critic José Alberto Hermosillo promotes the talent of the most prestigious festivals worldwide, and the organization selects the most creative, colorful, and inventive film festival posters each year.
This is the platform's second year recognizing a TCIFF poster. In 2021, Janella Forbes' masterpiece "Mother Earth" marked the debut of the festival and its supporting art on the site.
Karen Whitt, Chairman of TCIFF, said that this is truly a win not just for the young artists but also for the film festival and the Turks and Caicos Islands as a whole.
"We are so proud of this accomplishment and so proud of the work that both Janella and Janiya have done to put this beautiful country on the international film festival stage among so many other creatives."
She continued, "Turks and Caicos is home to some incredible talent, and year after year we are raising the bar on the poster designs for the festival, and we are happy that these designs are being featured among the best in the world."
According to the FestivalinLA website, the organization curated every featured piece based on concept, originality, and supporting components, all conjoined to their respective festival’s theme and harmonious style. The final line-up is a collection of wonderful gems that help the public recognize the cultural identity and beauty of each festival and its designated city or country.
Patrina Pollard-Harris, mother of Janiya Harris, said that she was excited when she saw the feature on her daughter’s work and that it doesn’t matter how young you are, there is always an opportunity to make a difference, you just have to be ready to apply yourself when that opportunity comes.
"We are all so proud of our Janiya, and we are even more excited to see that her design was included with so many international posters," she said. "It’s been non-stop excitement for her. This goes to show that you are never too young to make a difference, and no matter the age, a dream can still come true."
Young Harris was one of over 40 children from the Edward Gartland Youth Centre who participated in the 2022 poster competition. The 2022 competition focused on artificial intelligence (AI) and allowed children with artistic vision to bring their designs to life with the aid of a finely tuned computer program. The event was curated with the help of London-based creative company Once Upon A Time. Their Creative Director, Jolyon Meldrum, commented, “I was so impressed with Janiya’s final result, and how easily she took to using generative AI. The beauty of what we are seeing here, is that technology has removed a barrier. This now allows a younger generation to express themselves in a completely different and unique way”.
Harris created her poster by describing the picture in her mind to the AI program with phrases such as kids playing, flamingos, seashells, blue fish, crystal clear waters, flowers, and a clean beach. After fine tuning her descriptive phrases and tweaking the program’s results, she arrived at the final winning piece that has risen to international acclaim.
Her winning piece was a playful and inviting take on the beaches that the Turks and Caicos Islands are known for. It features crystal-clear waters, sand, shells, and a flamingo, all created in a style reminiscent of an afternoon arts-and-craft session.
"From featuring the art of world-renowned local artist Bradley Theodore for our inaugural poster to highlighting the incredibly talented youth of these islands in subsequent years, our posters not only represent the festival to the world, but also this incredible country," said Whitt. Speaking on the upcoming poster competition for the 2023 festival, she continued, "For 2023, we will once again host a competition for the country’s youth, and we encourage all our amazing, young local creatives to get involved. This year, we invite our youth interested in photography to join in on the fun. As always, the theme of the festival, ‘oceans and environment’, should be the central focus of any entry, but how that is demonstrated through photography is entirely up to the artists submitting their work."
Festival organizers are asking that all interested parties visit their social media pages and website, www.tciff.org, for more information.
This year, 2023, marks the fifth anniversary of the Turks and Caicos International Film Festival, and the organizers will be making some exciting announcements soon about this year’s festivities. The main event is scheduled for November, and it will once again be a multi-day event that combines the glitz and glamor of Hollywood with impact and purpose. The festival will also celebrate the best of filmmaking with a focus on safeguarding our oceans and environmental conservation.
For more information on the Turks and Caicos International Film Festival, and the upcoming poster competition, interested persons are encouraged to visit their website at www.tciff.org or the social media pages.