Born on the 25th of March, 1968 in St Joseph, Trinidad, Camille Selvon Abrahams grew up in a small village called La Seiva. She was raised by a foster family where her childhood was characterized by the absence of television up to the age of 14. This absence of TV, coupled with constant storytelling from her father are some of the factors that contributed to her creativity. Interestingly, her father did not just tell stories for the sake of it. It is as if he was indirectly preparing her for her future role as a creative director in her adulthood. He used to tell her stories of Anansi and Bret Rabbit.
For primary and secondary education, she went to Maracas RC Primary School and St Joseph’s Convent respectively, in Trinidad. She later continued her studies in the UK, where she attended the Goldsmiths University of London to pursue her BA in Media and Communications.
While in the UK, she worked with household names in the creative industry including, but not limited to Erica Russell, the British animator who was nominated for an Oscar on ‘Triangle’, as an assistant and also Osbert (Ossie) Parker as his assistant. Ossie has been nominated multiple times for a British Academy Award, earning nominations for ‘FILM NOIR’ and ‘YOURS TRULY’. Now you can understand when we say Camille gathered enough skills to bring back to the creative industry in Trinidad and Tobago.
Having been in the UK for a long time, Camille took all of the knowledge and skills she has earned over the years and brought them back home and founded the Caribbean’s first outsourcing animation studio, Full Circle Animation Studio. She is the founding director of the NGO Animae Caribe Animation Festival and currently sits as the Programme Coordinator for Animation Studies in the University of Trinidad and Tobago’s Digital Media Department, where she is able to build the next generation of talent from the Caribbean.
A primary focus for Camille is to embed her work under what she has termed ‘Digital Activism’. In an NGO she runs in collaboration with CARICOM called “The Shift Project”, Camille and her team use digital technology to nurture, develop and inspire ‘at risk’ teens.
Camille won the Royal Television Society Student Award in 2000 for her short-animated film “The MasterPEACE”, which was her final year project at university. The film made it to the international scene, being shown at the Miami Webfest, London’s Women in Animation Festival and the Animation Festival in Hiroshima.
Back home, the Trinidad and Tobago Film Company commissioned Miss Abrahams’ film “The Vegetarian Super Machine”. Further afield in Taiwan she also won the Best International Participant award at the Bridging the Digital Divide Conference in 2008.
Despite the numerous achievements, Camille Selvon Abrahams remains humble and focused to keep improving the creative industry in Trinidad and Tobago. She calls upon the young people to choose careers wisely and avoid ending up with a career they don’t not love.