DEXTER COPELAND

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– A name to remember

‘THE Buzz Magazine’ focuses primarily on Arts and Entertainment, hence we cannot turn a blind eye to the fact that Guyana is making significant strides in that industry. What is even more commendable is that these strides are being undertaken by our youths.

Last week, a 21-year-old Lindener hit the news with a big win. Dexter Copeland copped the first prize in the Digicel Pan Caribbean Film Competition.

In a sit down with this young prodigy, we discovered that he is a multifaceted individual, having been a dancer, Junior Soca Monarch winner, photographer, videographer, and now script writer, actor and filmmaker.

What is even more admirable is that at just 21, Copeland has his own studio in Linden.
The young man said that from his winnings, he was able to travel to the Turks and Caicos Island, where his mind was exposed to a whole lot more knowledge in filmmaking.

“Over the three days I was there, there were three master classes and a wide scope of knowledge being shared on directing, screening, acting, colour correction, all the stuff dealing with cinematography. So I took notes and small classes within that, and widened my knowledge in this field, so I can come back now and teach younger filmmakers,” Copeland said.

This, he said, will commence in Linden and that he hopes to make it countrywide as time goes by.

“In Guyana, a lot of our youths are prone to crime, and a lot of them are talented. But if you attack what they like and give them the opportunities to express that, you will see a decrease in a lot of things,” he posited.

Copeland said that his film that was submitted was titled ‘Journey’ and was based on how acts of kindness, honesty and compassion can take you a far way. This, he said, is what needs to be instilled in our society today.

The film highlighted a story of a homeless man whose honesty, in response to an act of kindness, transformed his life. Copeland said he likes bringing real-life stories to light. “A lot of homeless people line the streets every day; a lot of them have stories and families, and a random act of kindness from people around them can change their lives and change the world,” the young Lindener said.

He said that what people can expect from him now is a lot more films.

“Films that will be touching things that happen every day; things like Domestic Violence. I’m also doing a film based on the origin and back story of Mashramani to commemorate the 50th Anniversary. It will also highlight the story behind Linden,” he disclosed.

His advice to young people is: “The term or phrase, ‘Just do it’ goes a far way, because, for me, if I didn’t ‘just do it’, I wouldn’t have reached to Turks and Caicos. If I didn’t ‘just do it’ at Soca Monarch, I would not have known I had the ability to win. So don’t limit yourself; opportunities are out there; seize each and every one. Don’t go in with the mentality that someone is better than you; the least-expected person comes out on top. So just stay focused, and ‘just do it’.”