22–28 Sept 2021
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Participants announced for RBC Focus: Filmmakers’ Immersion at ttff/14


The participants for the RBC Focus: Filmmakers’ Immersion have been selected, the trinidad+tobago film festival (ttff) announced today.

Now in its fourth year, RBC Focus: Filmmakers’ Immersion is an intensive development programme for ten selected emerging filmmakers from the Caribbean and its diaspora.

The Immersion takes place from 23–26 September, during the ttff/14, which runs from 16–30 September. The facilitator will be Canadian-Jamaican filmmaker Clement Virgo.

The ten selected participants for the Immersion are:
Vashti Anderson, T&T/USA
Darisha Beresford, T&T
Raisa Bonnet, Puerto Rico
Cristian Carretero, Puerto Rico
Miquel Galofré, T&T
Carlos Lechuga, Cuba
Davina Lee, St Lucia
Teneille Newallo, T&T
Nile Saulter, Jamaica
Gabriel Valencia, Dominican Republic

The participants were chosen after an open call for applications. They will enter the Immersion with a concept for a feature film, which they will develop into a full treatment. At the end of the Immersion the participants will all be given a chance to pitch their project to a jury. The participant with the best project and pitch, as determined by the jury, will win a cash prize of TT$20,000.

The winner of last year’s Immersion pitch, Shakirah Bourne of Barbados, went on to release her pitch-winning film, the psychological thriller Two Smart, earlier this year.

Image: The RBC Focus: Filmmakers’ Immersion 2013 participants, with facilitator Julia Solomonoff of Argentina (third from left)

Clement Virgo announced as RBC Focus: Filmmakers’ Immersion coordinator


Acclaimed Canadian writer, director and producer Clement Virgo will be the facilitator for the RBC Focus: Filmmakers’ Immersion, to be held at the trinidad+tobago film festival (ttff) 2014.

Born in Jamaica, Virgo migrated to Canada at age eleven. He is the director of four feature films, including the boxing drama Poor Boy’s Game, starring Danny Glover, which world-premiered at the 2007 Berlin International Film Festival and was a ttff/08 selection. He has also directed a made-for-television movie and episodes of The Wire, The L Word and Soul Food.

In early 2014 Virgo directed a screen adaptation of the bestselling novel The Book of Negroes. The six-part miniseries, which stars Lou Gossett Jr and Cuba Gooding Jr among others, will air in the USA and Canada in early 2015.

Since 2010, Virgo has also presented a series of intimate annual talks to celebrate Black History Month in Toronto with such notable guests as Lee Daniels, Spike Lee, Pam Grier, John Singleton and Chris Rock.

Now in its fourth year, RBC Focus: Filmmakers’ Immersion is an intensive development programme for ten selected emerging filmmakers from the Caribbean and its diaspora.

Each filmmaker enters the programme with a concept for a feature-length narrative film, from which they will be expected to develop a detailed treatment.

At the end of Focus, the top five participants as decided by the facilitators will be chosen. These five participants will be given an opportunity during the ttff/13 to pitch their project to a jury.

The participant with the best project and pitch, as determined by the jury, will win a cash prize of TT$20,000.

Focus takes place from 23–26 September. The ttff/14 runs from 16–30 September.

Film festival seeks jury applicants for bpTT Youth Jury Prize

In an effort to stimulate interest in and a critical appreciation of film among young people, the trinidad+tobago film festival (ttff) has joined forces with leading sponsor bpTT to establish a prize to be adjudicated by a youth jury at this year’s Festival.

The bpTT Youth Jury Prize will be awarded to the best film at the ttff as decided by a jury of young people. The inaugural prize will be handed out at the ttff/14, which runs from September 16–30.

The Festival is now looking for five (5) young people from T&T to be members of the jury. We are seeking young women and men from the ages of 16 to 21 (inclusive) who love all kinds of movies. You must be enthusiastic about watching movies with a critical eye, with a view to gaining a better appreciation of the artform.

Prospective jury members should submit an application stating their name, date of birth, sex and school or occupation. You must also submit an essay—with a 250 word limit—saying what your favourite movie is and why.

Selected jurors will meet at the ttff/14. Under the guidance of an experienced film critic, the jury will watch a selection of Caribbean and international feature-length fiction films with young-adult protagonists, films that deal with themes and issues affecting young people.

After the jury has viewed all the films in competition, it will choose the winning film. The director of this film will receive a trophy plus a cash award of TT$5,000, to be presented by the jury at the ttff/14 awards ceremony on 28 September at the Central Bank Auditorium.

For being a participant, each jury member will receive a ttff/14 pass (which provides free entry to all film screenings), invitations to the opening gala, awards ceremony and closing-night film, and invitations to selected social events during the Festival.

To be considered for the youth jury, please e-mail the stipulated information to submit@ttfilmfestival.com (subject line: Youth Jury Application) no later than Monday 01 September. Successful jury members will be notified by Friday 05 September.

Image: A still from ttff/13 prizewinning selection 3 Kids (Jonas d’Adesky, Haiti)

Call for submissions for bpTT Film in Development Award


If you’re the Caribbean producer of a narrative feature film or creative documentary in pre-production, then the trinidad+tobago film festival (ttff) in interested in you!

For the third year running, the Festival is making a call for submissions for its Film in Development Award, sponsored by bpTT. The award, which is for a narrative or creative documentary feature-length film in pre-production (at least 72 minutes long), is a place at the Rotterdam Lab for producers at the prestigious International Film Festival Rotterdam in January 2015.

The Rotterdam Lab—of which the ttff is a nominating partner—is designed to provide emerging film producers with assistance in getting their film projects completed and brought to audiences around the world. The lab includes panel discussions organised on different topics, like development, production, sales, financing, distribution, promotion and television.

In these panels, experts from the international film industry provide producers tools on how to present their projects and how to build up a useful international network.

In addition to the organised Lab programme, selected producers are encouraged to take advantage of their time in Rotterdam as much as possible by strengthening their network and participate in other events, like networking lunches, cocktails and other panels.

To be eligible for the Film in Development Award, you must be a citizen or permanent resident of a Caribbean country producing a film in the region. You must provide:

• A producer’s statement
• A treatment between five and ten pages long
• An estimated budget
• A list of key production members

In addition to a place on the Lab, the chosen producer will be provided with five nights’ accommodation in Rotterdam. The producer will be expected to provide his or her own airfare and expenses.

Send your submission to submit@ttfilmfestival.com (subject line: Film in Development Award) no later than Monday 01 September. Shortlisted candidates will be notified by 14 September and the awardee will be announced at the ttff/13 awards ceremony on 28 September.

Image: The 2012 Film in Development Award went to Deresha Beresford and Teneille Newallo for their film,The Cutlass

Documentary on legendary musician Fela Kuti to screen for Emancipation

Nigeria’s Fela Anikulapo-Kuti (1938–1997) is arguably the greatest musician to come out of Africa in the twentieth century, the inventor of the groundbreaking sound known as Afrobeat.

On Wednesday 30 July, the trinidad+tobago film festival, in collaboration with the Emancipation Support Committee and with technical services from North Eleven, will present Finding Fela (2014), a documentary on the life of this towering figure of music and resistance.

The screening takes place ahead of a live performance by Fela’s son, Seun Kuti, and his band Egypt 80, at the Queen’s Park Savannah the following evening, 31 July.

Venue for the screening of the film—which is 119 minutes long—is the VIP Room of the Grand Stand at the Queen’s Park Savannah. (The VIP Room is upstairs at the back of the Grand Stand. There will be ushers to guide audience members, and ttff branding.)

The film begins at 7pm. Seun Kuti will be present at the end to engage in a Q&A session with the audience.

Admission is free and open to everyone.

Directed by Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney, Finding Fela is a sweeping portrait of the artist as guerrilla warrior. Set to the insistent groove of Fela’s revolutionary Afrobeat sound, the remarkable story of one man’s courageous stand against a corrupt and dictatorial government gives testament to the transformative power of music as a force for social and political change.

Fela’s influence spanned the globe as his soaring music and unstoppable spirit transported audiences in the Americas, Europe and, most importantly, throughout Africa. His defiantly vocal opposition to the military regimes destroying his people made him the voice of the oppressed masses—and a target of brutal government retaliation.

Finding Fela features recently rediscovered archival footage of the legendary musician in performance, in interviews and in unguarded private moments, as well as new interviews with family, colleagues and friends for a glimpse of the audacious and dangerous life of a contradictory iconoclast who defined African political thought for more than two decades.

Simultaneously, the film goes behind the scenes to observe the evolution of Fela!—the hit Broadway musical based on Fela’s life and work. As the two parallel tales intertwine and merge, they form a nuanced commentary on the crucial role of art in our global society.

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Call for volunteers for ttff/14


The trinidad+tobago film festival (ttff) wants you!

We are looking for volunteers for the ninth edition of the Festival, which takes place from 16-30 September 2014.

We welcome people of all ages who love movies and who share a commitment to supporting the growth of a vibrant film culture here in Trinidad and Tobago.

As a volunteer, you will receive an official Festival pass that gives you free access to film screenings, an official T-shirt and as much verbal appreciation as we can muster.

You’ll also get the chance to meet filmmakers and other film industry professionals from the region and around the world.

In short, we can promise you an exciting experience you won’t soon forget.

If all this sounds like something you’d love to be a part of, then fill out the online application form here.

We can’t wait to welcome you to our team!

Amnesty International and ttff establish new human rights prize


In an effort to support the promotion of human rights in Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean, Amnesty International (AI) and the trinidad+tobago film festival (ttff) have established a human rights film prize.

The Amnesty International Human Rights Prize will be awarded annually to the maker of the Caribbean film screened at ttff which best highlights a human rights issue. The inaugural prize will be handed out at the ttff/14, which takes place from 16 to 30 September this year.

“Talking about human rights issues, whether through films or other creative arts, is an important way to build a culture of respect for rights and encourage greater activism in the defense of rights,” said Chiara Sangiorgio, Campaigner, Global Thematic Programming at Amnesty International.

“We are delighted at the opportunity of partnering with the ttff, whose work in developing the film industry in the region we have been following with great admiration.”

Both fiction and documentary feature-length films will be considered for the prize. The winner will be chosen, by a jury, from a shortlist.

In addition to receiving a trophy, the winning filmmaker will also be given a cash prize of TT$5000. The ttff and AI will also seek to assist the winning film in getting screened as widely as possible throughout the region.

“We are honoured that Amnesty International has chosen to partner with us in spreading the message of human rights in the Caribbean,” said Jonathan Ali, the ttff’s Editorial Director. “Film is a powerful tool, and used effectively can positively influence the way people see and think about the world they live in.”

Amnesty International is a global movement of more than three million supporters, members and activists in over 150 countries and territories. The organisation exposes human rights violations and campaigns for justice around the world. It is independent of any government, political ideology, economic interest or religion, and is funded mainly by its membership and public donations.

The ttff is an annual celebration of films from and about Trinidad and Tobago, the Caribbean and its diaspora. The Festival seeks to facilitate the growth of the region’s film industry by hosting workshops, panel discussions, seminars, conferences and networking opportunities.

Photo caption: From left: James Burke, Caribbean Team Researcher, Amnesty International; Jonathan Ali, Editorial Director, ttff; and Chiara Sangiorgio, Campaigner – Global Thematic Programme, Amnesty International share a joke at the ttff’s offices while signing the memorandum of agreement to establish the Amnesty International Human Rights Prize

Participants announced for RBC Focus: Filmmakers’ Immersion at ttff/14

Clement Virgo announced as RBC Focus: Filmmakers’ Immersion coordinator

Film festival seeks jury applicants for bpTT Youth Jury Prize

Documentary on legendary musician Fela Kuti to screen for Emancipation

Call for volunteers for ttff/14

Amnesty International and ttff establish new human rights prize

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