NOW nearing the end of its annual two-week run, the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival 2017 has once again brought to light more than 100 fabulous works of the creativity and the artistry of Caribbean peoples on screen, demonstrating the great capacity for story-telling across this region.Trinidad Express Newspapers_ Editorial _ Film festival treasury
Among this year’s offerings were three features on the importance, the relevance and the meaning of this country’s national instrument, the steelpan, to communities where they exist.
To Be A Renegade, a documentary directed by film-maker James O’Connor and produced with significant sponsorship and involvement of bpTT, is a story about the birth, the beginnings and the endurance of the band, known for decades now as BP Renegades.
From its birth in the heartland of the depressed East Port of Spain district, the band grew into a compelling force for positivity, headquartered on upper Charlotte Street.
Great focus was placed in this story, on the work of the band in nurturing young talent, with the existence of a junior band, which has captured the Junior Panorama title on four successive occasions.
It is the band management’s philosophy in action, of playing its part in coming between the energy of the area’s youth, and the possibility of falling into the society’s social cracks.
The members and the leadership of this “young Renegades” outfit tell their own tales, in their own words, about acknowledging the challenges, and equally about helping to provide alternatives for their peers. They learn the elements of leadership, of organisation, of social structure and of focus and discipline.