A crew of local secondary students and one teacher will win the chance to visit the set of one of US Actor, Will Smith's next movies, as part of the ongoing action at this weekend's fifth annual Republic Bank Decibel Arts and Entertainment Festival.
Screams, questions and creative inspiration filled the Queen's Hall Auditorium yesterday, as over 700 secondary students from schools around the country assembled for the Republic Bank Decibel Entertainment Conference, which kicked off the four-day festival. US Actors, Avan Jogia and Dylan Sprayberry thrilled the mostly teenaged audience as they delivered informative and motivational presentations and answered questions from students. Meanwhile, backstage both actors confessed to "having heard a lot about" and wanting to try local "doubles". Jogia who is Canadian, admitted that he has eaten roti already, but added that he would still "want to try one from Trinidad".
Jogia shared details of his rise to prominence, as well as what drives him to continue to work in the industry, while Sprayberry spoke of his evolution from a child actor and model to his breakout role on Teen Wolf. Moderated by Andrew "Fries" Friday and Laura Dowrich respectively, the interactive panels ran for approximately 45 minutes each and were punctuated by competitive and interactive sessions centered around music, fashion and dance.
World-famous actor and Grammy Award winning rapper, Will Smith did not show up to surprise the audience this year, but according to Festival Directors, Simon Baptiste and Scot Sardinha the global superstar and longstanding supporter of the Decibel initiative will still make an impact and hopefully inspire participants later this year.
"We said there were no surprises this year," said Baptiste, "but we kinda lied about that... The surprise is this: there is a competition starting today and open only for those students who attended the conference today - nobody else - and what we are prepared to do via the Dream Big Foundation is to take a contingent of students and a teacher to visit the set of one of Will Smith's next films. Scot just mentioned that he's currently working on BB3, which I believe is Bad Boys 3, so were going to try for that one and we want all the teachers present today to contact us next week for the details."
The final panel for the day featured testimonials from social media stars, Roxy and Paris (YouTube vloggers), Rodell "Ro'dey" Cumberbatch (comedian/radio personality) and Aruna Maharaj (Beauty Educator and Make Up Artist) on the power of social media and its influence on modern business enterprises. All panelists answered questions from moderator, Jared "Major" Penny as well as from students themselves.
The Republic Bank Decibel Arts and Entertainment Festival continues at Queen's Hall tonight (Friday) with the Talent Factory presentation of dancer, Solomon Lee and the thrilling "Hit The Floor" dance competition hosted by Briana Evigan. Saturday's highlights will include: autograph signings by Avan Jogia and Dylan Sprayberry, Magic Nights featuring Kess The Illusionist and Fandom Breakout Stars, Jimmy October and company, in addition to the daily attractions: RBL Captain T&T, Bmobile Zombie Island, RBL Gamers Republic, Bmobile Escape Room and Ninja Lazer.
Sunday's action will feature: Kids Cosplay, Lip Sync Wars, Magic Nights and Fandom presents Cosplay, which will see the winner of the intense competition take home the grand prize of a scholarship to the Cinema Makeup School in Los Angeles, California.