22–28 Sept 2021
Save the Date

Panels, Presentations and Workshops at ttff/14

In addition to screening films, the ttff seeks to facilitate the growth of the Caribbean film industry by hosting workshops, panel discussions, seminars and networking opportunities. Here is a list of industry initiatives taking place at the ttff/14.

FRIDAY 19 SEPTEMBER

Hyatt Regency Trinidad
9.00am–12noon
Distribution for Film and Television
Sponsored and presented by the Trinidad and Tobago Film Company
This workshop on distribution will be especially focused on film and television outlets. Lorène Gaudet, founder and president of Cap Programmes, will lead the workshop. She will review French-language markets and platforms suitable for Trinidad and Tobago film and television content, and discuss the kinds of programmes suitable for different channels and platforms, the range of fees available, and the possibility for co-productions, among other topics.

Facilitator
Lorène Gaudet has 30 years’ experience in the global television industry. Her company, Cap Programmes, advises media corporations on production, acquisition and distribution of television shows. She was formerly Editorial Director of Canal+ France.
$300.00 per session. Pre-registration required. Call the TTFC office at 625.3456 to register.

Drink Lounge & Bistro
5.00pm–6.00pm
FILMMAKERS’ PANEL 1
Every year, the Festival provides a public platform for local and visiting filmmakers to discuss their craft, from the creative idea to production to the business of financing, marketing and, ultimately, distribution of films. The Filmmakers’ Panels provide an opportunity for local, regional and international filmmakers to come together to discuss the shared experience of making films within an independent industry context.
Free and open to the public.

 

SATURDAY 20 SEPTEMBER

Hyatt Regency Trinidad
9.00am–12noon
Directing Workshop
Sponsored and presented by the Trinidad and Tobago Film Company
In this workshop, Jérôme Guiot—director of the opening night film Pan! Our Music Odyssey—will cover the technical basics of filmmaking, the international production process, the main tasks of the director, and the importance of a good team in making a good film. He will also talk about his experience on various projects, including Pan! Our Music Odyssey.

Facilitator
Born in Belgium, Director Jérôme Guiot studied editing and directing at the National Institute of Radio Engineering and Cinematography (INRACI). He has directed several music videos for the Belgian pop artist Stromae, including “Alors on danse”, “Allez vous faire” and “Tous les mêmes”. He also directed the short film Retour simple (2009), and has directed web documentaries and commercials.

$300.00 per session. Pre-registration required. Call the TTFC office at 625.3456 to register.

9.00am–12noon
Film appreciation workshop
It takes a variety of talents and interests to foster a healthy and thriving film industry. This workshop targets film enthusiasts—people who may not be interested in making films, but are fascinated by questions of cinema, and image-making and meaning in general. The workshop will encourage a culture of appreciating film by equipping participants to think and talk about themes, motifs, styles, psychological and historical references, and more.

Facilitator
Kaleem Aftab is the author of Spike Lee’s authorised biography, Spike Lee: That’s My Story and I’m Sticking To It. He is a film writer for the Independent and National newspapers and Filmmaker magazine; Film Editor of VS magazine; Contributing Editor of Interview magazine; and Editor-at-Large of www.thetalks.com.
Free and open to the public. Pre-registration recommended. Call the ttff office at 621.0709 to register.

1.00pm–4.00pm
Producing workshop
Sponsored and presented by the Trinidad and Tobago Film Company
This workshop will be led by Barthélémy Fougea, producer of Pan! Our Music Odyssey. Some of the topics he will cover include the job of the producer, the different kinds of documentary films, budgeting and distribution.

Facilitator
Barthélémy Fougea is a French documentary film producer with over 25 years’ experience. He has produced some 30 documentaries for cinema and television, which have screened and been broadcast all over the world. He is the producer of On the Way to School, which received the César, the French equivalent of the Oscar, for best documentary in 2014.
$300.00 per session. Pre-registration required. Call the TTFC office at 625.3456 to register.

4.00pm–5.00pm
The National Registry of Artists and Cultural Workers: Let’s talk taxes

Hosted by the Ministry of the Arts and Multiculturalism, this workshop will address certification of film and how this can benefit business owners within the film community. The focus will be film production companies and clarifying how claims can be made for their own productions by accessing the Art and Culture Allowance of the Corporation Tax Act. Be sure to attend this session for information on how your registry certificate can work for you.
Free and open to the public.

 

SATURDAY 20 + SUNDAY 21 SEPTEMBER

University of the West Indies, Film Programme building
10.00am–4.00pm
Documentary masterclass
The documentary masterclass will address topics such as how to develop a documentary treatment, the differences between creative, traditional and reportage documentaries and deciding what form the project should take, how documentary sales differ from narrative film distribution, the subjective nature of the documentary form, using archive footage, research and scripting.

Facilitator
Filmmaker Stevan Riley studied modern history at Oxford University, which was also the setting for his first documentary feature, Blue Blood (2006), on the Varsity boxing rivalry. Fire in Babylon (ttff/11), about the all-conquering West Indies cricket team of the 1970s and 80s, collected a prestigious Grierson award, among others. Stevan then directed Everything or Nothing: The Untold Story of 007 (2012; ttff/14), to mark the 50th anniversary of the James Bond film franchise. He is currently helming a film on Marlon Brando for NBC Universal and Showtime.
Prerequisite: Participants must have made at least one short or feature-length documentary. Pre-registration required. Call the ttff office at 621.0709 to register. $300 for both days; includes lunch.

University of Trinidad and Tobago, APA building
10.00am–4.00pm
Acting workshop
In this workshop, actors will gain a strong understanding of how valuable a tool writing can be when looking to reveal a character’s truth with clarity and conviction, and directors will have an opportunity to work with their talent to collaboratively tell a story. Participants will have their work heard, developed and brought to life in a safe, collaborative environment, and will gain a better grasp on how to communicate in order to work effectively.

Facilitator
Kirk Baltz has been a working actor in film, theatre and television for 25 years and has worked with such noted directors as Warren Beatty, Oliver Stone, John Woo, Kevin Costner and Quentin Tarantino.
Prerequisite: Participants must have made or acted in at least one short or feature-length film. Pre-registration required. Call the ttff office at 621.0709 to register. $600 for both days; includes lunch.

 

MONDAY 22 SEPTEMBER

Hyatt Regency Trinidad
9.30am–1.00pm
EAVE script session
Clare Downs (Script Consultant, UK) will introduce the main script development tools to strengthen the participants’ understanding of narrative principles, in order to enable them to assist their writers in the process from the “white-hot first draft” to the final version of the script. In the workshop, principles of the script analysis will also be applied through the study of a selected film.
Free and open to the public. Pre-registration recommended. Call the ttff office at 621.0709 to register.

 

TUESDAY 23 SEPTEMBER

University of the West Indies, Film Programme building
6.00pm
Raoul Peck’s cinema from below
As an internationally renowned filmmaker of Haitian origin, Raoul Peck has spoken about how his consciousness of being from the “third world” while coming of age in a largely first world environment gave him insight into the nature of power. It was during his formative years that he made the decision to align himself with those who are disenfranchised by historical and contemporary systems of power in various “third world” contexts, including the Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, and Haiti.

Presenter
Toni Pressley-Sanon is a graduate of Hamilton College (BA), The New School for Social Research (MA) and the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where she earned her MA and PhD in African Languages and Literature with a minor in Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian Studies. She has conducted extensive research in Benin Republic, West Africa and Haiti. Her work focuses on memory, history and cultural production in Africa and its diaspora.
Free and open to the public.

 

FRIDAY 26 SEPTEMBER

Hyatt Regency Trinidad
Pre-registration required. Call the ttff at 621.0709 to register.
Prerequisite: Participants must have made at least one short or feature-length film.

9.00am–10.30am
How the global film industry works
This presentation will address the evolution of film festivals, the diversification of the market, the role of sales agents, the variety of distribution models, crowdfunding, new patterns of content consumption and emerging opportunities in digital distribution.

Facilitator
Lucius Barre focuses his expertise on strategic planning and management of promotional campaigns for new films, filmmakers and companies. He was the first crossover international publicist for Pedro Almódovar (Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown), Shinji Aoyama (Eureka), Luc & Jean-Pierre Dardenne (La Promesse), Atom Egoyan (Exotica), Zacharias Kunuk (Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner) and Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run). In recent years, he has served on the organising teams of the Locarno and Rotterdam film festivals, and has represented films from 19 countries at key festivals and markets and promotional screenings in New York.

10.45am–12.15pm
EAVE pitch training
This presentation will address the tools of script development and pitching, presented by EAVE (European Audiovisual Entrepreneurs), the continent’s leading training, development and networking organisation for producers. Founded in 1988, their objectives are to provide professional training opportunities and to bring producers from different regions of the world together with the aim of facilitating co-production relationships. EAVE’s unique international network comprises over 1,300 producers and key decision makers (funders, sales agents, distributors and commissioning editors).

Facilitators
Diana Elbaum has produced a wide range of award-winning films since becoming a producer in 1989. Her films span all genres and cultures and have received worldwide critical acclaim. In 2009 she received the Eurimages Award, a prize given to producers playing an active role in European co-productions.

Clare Downs has been a member of the EAVE script analysis team since 1989. She is a script consultant and scriptwriter, and visiting lecturer at the National Film and Television School (UK) and the MA Screenwriting Department at De Montfort University.

Tobias Pausinger is co-founder of ART:FILM, an initiative designed to enhance and nurture artistic cinema and visual arts. He is also the co-founder of ChakaPro, a B2B social network and cloud office for international film production and co-financing.

1.15pm–2.45pm
World Cinema Fund
The World Cinema Fund (WCF) is an initiative of the Berlin International Film Festival, the German Federal Cultural Foundation, and the Goethe Institute. The WCF supports films that could not be made without additional funding: films that stand out with an unconventional aesthetic approach, that tell powerful stories and transmit an authentic image of their cultural roots. This presentation will give an overview of the WCF as well as address co-productions, and how they have impacted the global filmmaking landscape.

Facilitator
Marjorie Bendeck Regalado is a consultant for the Creative Europe Film Development Fund (European Union) and on the Project Evaluation Committee for the World Cinema Fund. She worked on the Selection Committee and as the Participants Coordinator for the Berlinale Talent Campus (Berlin International Film Festival) from 2003 to 2012. Marjorie is also a film producer and attended a graduate course in film production at the International Film and Television School of San Antonio de los Baños (EICTV), Cuba.

3.00pm–4.30pm
Group speed dating
Lucius Barre, International Publicist
Sydney Levine, Indiewire
John Lee, Tribeca Film Institute
Marjorie Bendeck Regalado, World
Cinema Fund
Paula Madison, Television Executive / Journalist

Drink Lounge & Bistro
5.00pm–6.00pm
Filmmakers’ Panel 2
Free and open to the public.

SATURDAY 27 SEPTEMBER
Hyatt Regency Trinidad
Free and open to the public. Registration recommended.
Call the ttff office at 621.0709 to register.

9.00am–10.00am
ACP Cultures + Projects: Caribbean Film Mart + Regional Film Database
The Caribbean Film Mart + Regional Film Database will be launched in 2015 and are intended to strengthen the production and distribution of Caribbean films through two main actions: the implementation of a film market through the framework of the annual ttff, and the development of an online database of regional films and filmmakers. This presentation will give an overview of the projects and provide filmmakers with information on how to apply for the Caribbean Film Mart.
Facilitators: ttff Creative Director, Emilie Upczak / Art Director, Melanie Archer / External Relations Director, Nneka Luke

10.15am–11.15am
Tribeca Film Institute
To cultivate exceptional and under-the-radar talent, Tribeca Film Institute (TFI) has established a strong presence in film festivals and industry markets throughout Latin America, hosting workshops in Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Chile. The TFI champions storytellers to be catalysts for change in their communities and around the world. Through over US$2.2 million in annual grants and professional development programmes, TFI supports a diverse, exceptional group of filmmakers and media artists, providing them with resources to fully realise their stories and connect with audiences.

Facilitator
John Lee, Manager, Feature Programming at TFI, is a graduate of New York Institute of Technology with a BA in Communication Arts. John manages TFI programmes, Tribeca All Access® and Sloan Filmmaker Fund, among other things. He has held positions at Paramount Pictures in distribution, Rogers & Cowan in publicity, and Nickelodeon in marketing. Prior to joining TFI, he worked in the film festival world with seasonal positions at Sundance Film Festival, Independent Filmmaker Project, Hamptons Film Festival and the Tribeca Film Festival.

11.30am–12.30pm
Film collectives
Filmmaker Keith Miller, a member of the Brooklyn Filmmakers’ Collective, will discuss participating in an association of filmmakers and the various forms this might take. Topics will include forming a collective, keeping it together, workshopping scripts, rough cuts and fine cuts, as well as how best to think about outreach and sharing information and production resources.

Facilitator
Keith Miller is a filmmaker and painter who made his first short film in 2004. His first feature was Welcome to Pine Hill (2012; ttff/13). Five Star (2014), his most recent film, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and is a ttff/14 selection.

1.30pm–4.00pm
Web series, music videos and short-form content
This presentation will explore creative approaches to the writing, directing, producing and positioning of short-form web content. Facilitator Terence Nance will address viable options for monetising web content and how to parlay the web space into television and feature films.

Facilitators
Terence Nance was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. He studied visual art, and in addition to being an artist and filmmaker, he makes music under the name Terence Etc. An Oversimplification of Her Beauty, his first film, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2012. He is at work on his second feature, The Lobbyist.

Chanelle Aponte Pearson is a visual artist, filmmaker, and photographer. Most recently, Chanelle produced the critically acclaimed feature An Oversimplification of Her Beauty. Chanelle is making her directorial debut on a narrative web series called 195 Lewis, about four queer women living in Brooklyn, and is also producing a feature-length documentary on the global practice of skin bleaching.

Watch now! Official ttff/14 trailer is here

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The official ttff/14 trailer has been released.

The trailer is made up of clips from a number of the almost 150 feature-length, short and experimental films screening at this year’s Festival.

LAZAbeam (Keshav Chandradath Singh), a Trinidadian producer, composed the trailer’s original music. He is one half of the production duo Jus Now, who in 2013 had a global hit with the song “Tun Up”, featuring Bunji Garlin and Stylo G.

Hybrid Spyder Studios edited the minute-long video.

“We are excited to unveil the ttff/14 trailer,” said Nneka Luke, the Festival’s External Relations Director. “The energy it exudes will help to build momentum and anticipation as we gear up for the start of the Festival, now under a month away.”

The trailer will air on various channels on Flow, the ttff’s presenting sponsor, in the run-up to and during the Festival. It will also be shown during the Festival at the various screening venues.

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Acknowledging the sponsors and partners of the trinidad+tobago film festival

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As the ninth edition of the exciting and action-packed trinidad+tobago film festival (ttff) approaches, we are pleased to have the opportunity to acknowledge our sponsors and partners—many of whom we can count as constant supporters over the years, and some who are new to the ttff fold.

We acknowledge Flow as one of those constant supporters. 2014 will make it seven years running that Flow has been Presenting Sponsor of the Festival, underlining that support with a second three-year contract that was signed in 2013. Through Flow’s Video-on-Demand service you will be able to see selected short films after the Festival, and Flow will also present some of the ttff/14’s top prizes.

The Trinidad and Tobago Film Company (TTFC) and bpTT continue to be our Leading Sponsors. The TTFC have been involved with the Festival since its inception, and with their role in the creation of policy and infrastructure, continue to be a natural partner in the development of the local film industry.

The ttff has been incorporated into bpTT’s extensive support for arts and culture in T&T, a commitment sealed with a three-year contract and direct support for prizes that give filmmakers incentives. BPTT also supports a new initiative this year, the inaugural youth jury and prize.

Two of our Supporting Sponsors, the National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago Limited and RBC Royal Bank, have also been involved and supported the growth of the Festival over several years. The NGC provides valuable prizes, and RBC Royal Bank once again sponsors the RBC Focus: Filmmakers’ Immersion, a three-day workshop for Caribbean and diaspora filmmakers, which culminates in a pitch competition with a prize valued at TT$20,000.

The Ministry of the Arts and Multiculturalism, our third Supporting Sponsor, has also recommitted for a second year, with a special focus on the National Registry for Creative and Cultural workers, and the benefits for creative people and companies alike.

Our fourth Supporting Sponsor this year is a brand new addition: the Embassy of the United States of America in Port of Spain, who are generously assisting with bringing in guest filmmakers and industry professionals from the USA. We are indeed pleased to have them on board.

Our partners provide generous concessions and in-kind support, working with us to add excitement to our events and activities. For the second year, we are pleased to be back at the Hyatt Regency Trinidad, the official Festival hotel, the base for our Secretariat and the location for most of our industry programme. SCRIP-J and BOSS continue to provide us with excellent printing and and stationery services, respectively, while Drink Lounge & Bistro will be the spot for our pre-Festival limes, the Filmmakers’ Lounge and general merriment.

Since its inception in 2006, the University of the West Indies’ Film Programme has been an invaluable partner of the film festival. This year, the Film Programme’s building at 12 Carmody Street, St Augustine will again be a venue for free screenings, presentations and industry training activities.

North Eleven have been our projection partners for several years, bringing their professionalism and innovation to many of our events with inflatable screens, excellent service and attention to detail. For the second consecutive year they are also chief collaborators with the New Media exhibition team, providing top support to convert the audiovisual artists’ visions to reality.

Also for the second consecutive year, you’ll have a chance to spot the ttff MINIs on the road, as we will be provided with vehicles from Oxford Motors. And what was a first year of support from the T&T Guardian has expanded in 2014 to incorporate radio and television in an upgraded partnership with Guardian Media Limited, who have signed on to be the official media partner of ttff/14.

Finally, we are excited to announce three new partners. Brydens Trinidad and Tobago will be providing professional bar service at ttff/14 events, and serving up Hardy’s wines. We also welcome Caribbean Airlines into the fold, providing tickets for some our guests. And Digimedia Photo and Cinema will be the official photographers of ttff/14. We look forward to building as fruitful a relationship with them as we have with our other sponsors and partners.

Along with our sponsors and partners, including our venue partners—MovieTowne POS and Tobago, Little Carib Theatre, Medulla Art Gallery, University of Trinidad and Tobago, Alice Yard—ttff/14 is looking good!

Film festival and National Gas Company celebrate Independence with free film screenings

The trinidad+tobago film festival (ttff) is presenting a series of film screenings to commemorate the 52nd anniversary of the country’s independence, sponsored by The National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago Limited.

The screenings take place over three days in San Fernando, Port of Spain and Tobago, respectively. All screenings are free and open to the public.

The first screening takes place on Thursday 28 August, in the observatory at the San Fernando Hill Recreational Centre, from 7.00pm. The films to be screened are the documentaries Julia & Joyce (Sonja Dumas/2010/60’), the story of two pioneers of dance in T&T, Julia Edwards and Joyce Kirton; and The Strange Luck of VS Naipaul (Adam Low/2008/78’), a portrait of the Nobel Prize-winning author.

Then on Friday 29 August from 7.00pm, at the audiovisual room at NALIS in Port of Spain, there will be a screening of Fire in Babylon (Stevan Riley/2011/87’), the inspiring story of the all-conquering West Indies cricket team of the late 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s.

Finally, on Sunday 31 August at 3.00pm at MovieTowne, Tobago, two films will be screened: The Audacity of the Creole Imagination (Kim Johnson/2010/13’) and
‘70: Remembering a Revolution (Alex de Verteuil, Elizabeth Cadiz-Topp/2011/120’). The first film looks at milestones in the history of the creation of the steelpan, while ’70 is a thoroughgoing account of the black power uprising of 1970.

Doors for the first two screenings open at 6.00pm. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Technical services will be provided by North Eleven, the ttff’s official screening partner.

Image: A still from Fire in Babylon

Announcement of Panorama films completes 2014 film festival lineup

Twnety-eight films from contemporary world cinema will screen at the 2014 trinidad+tobago film festival (ttff/14).

This announcement of the Panorama section of films rounds out the ttff/14 lineup. It completes an already impressive roster of films, which comprises three other sections: feature-length Caribbean films, short and medium length films, and the New Media section of experimental films, video art and interactive works.

In all almost 150 films will be screened at the ttff/14, which runs from September 16–30.

The Panorama section is made up of narrative films and documentaries from around the world, including Trinidad and Tobago’s “heritage” countries and regions, which include India, France, the UK and countries in Africa. There will also be films from Latin America, Canada, USA and—for the first time—the Middle East, another heritage region.

Many of these films had their premiere at such prestigious film festivals as Cannes, Sundance and the Toronto International Film Festival. Some are also films chosen by their respective countries to vie for Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards.

One of the films to be screened in the Panorama section is the much-anticipated British drama Belle, directed by Amma Asante. Based on true events, it tells the story of an 18th-century noblewoman, Dido Belle Lindsay, who was born to a white father and black enslaved mother.

Other films in this section include Omar, directed by Hany Abu-Assad, an acclaimed thriller from Palestine; The Liberator, directed by Venezuela’s Alberto Arvelo, a sweeping biographical portrait of the freedom fighter Simón Bolívar; and, out of India, Ritesh Batra’s The Lunchbox, a romantic drama starring Irrfan Khan (Slumdog Millionaire, Life of Pi) that has had great global success.

“While the Festival’s focus is on films from T&T and the Caribbean, it has always made room for films from world cinema in its lineup,” said Emilie Upczak, the ttff’s Creative Director.

“The purpose of this is two-fold. One, we like to present our audiences with as much of a variety of films as possible. But we also want to give local filmmakers exposure to the kinds of films their peers from around the world—who are working in an independent context as well—are making.”

The full schedule of ttff/14 screening dates, times and venues will be released soon. To see the full selection of Panorama films showing at the ttff/14, go here.

A still from Belle (Amma Asante/UK/2013)

New Media lineup announced for trinidad+tobago film festival/14

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We are pleased to announce the ttff/14 New Media programme of experimental films, video art and interactive works.

New Media is a collection of works by artists from the Caribbean and its diaspora that explore a range of themes and issues, while pushing and blurring the boundary between film and art.

The programme, which is presented in collaboration with ARC Magazine, will take place from 19–30 September. The ttff/14 takes place from 16–30 September.

Medulla Art Gallery in Woodbrook will be the main venue for New Media, which opens on 19 September at 7.00pm at Medulla with Good Stock on the Dimensional Floor: An Opera, a re-imagining of the traditional opera. Created by the HowDoYouSayYaminAfrican artists’ collective, Good Stock… contains a spoken, chanted, sung and screamed libretto exploring the consequences of centuries of global racial strife thrust upon those of African descent. Dawn Lundy Martin, a member of the Yams Collective, will be present for the launch. The regular programme will run daily at Medulla, 20–30 September from 12.00pm–6.00pm.

In the evenings there will be a number of special New Media events. On Saturday 20 September from 5.00pm at Little Carib Theatre in Woodbrook there will be a package of short films, Black Radical Imagination, out of the USA. Erin Christovale and Amir George, the curators of this collection of short films that deal with Afro-futurism, will be present for a Q+A.

This will be followed on Tuesday 23 September at 7.00pm by Interactive Yard, a showcase of interactive and experiential works by the Martiniquan artist David Gumbs, at Alice Yard, also in Woodbrook.

The following day, Wednesday 24 September, there will be a New Media artists’ talk at Medulla from 3.00pm. Then on Thursday 25 September the University of the West Indies at St Augustine will host New Media, and present its main programme, along with Otherness, a multiple-screen video installation by Jamaica’s Olivia McGilchrist.

All New Media events at Medulla, Alice Yard and UWI are free of charge and open to the public.

Additionally, for the second year running, there will be a New Media prize of TT$5,000, which will be awarded to the best work in the programme, as decided by a jury. Technical support for New Media is provided by North Eleven, an official partner of the ttff/14.

For the full lineup of New Media works go here.

Caption: A still from Otherness (Olivia McGilchrist, Jamaica, 2014)

Dominican Republic drama Cristo Rey to close ttff/14

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Cristo Rey, a drama from the Dominican Republic, will close this year’s edition of the trinidad+tobago film festival (ttff) on Tuesday 30 September.

Written and directed by Leticias Tonos Paniagua, Cristo Rey had its world premiere in September 2013 at the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), the only Caribbean film selected for TIFF last year.

The film is Paniagua’s second feature. Her first, Love Child, was a selection of the ttff in 2012. That film went on to be the Dominican Republic’s entry to the Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film.

Inspired by Romeo and Juliet, Cristo Rey focuses on the status of the Haitian-descended population in the Dominican Republic. It tells the story of Janvier, a young man living in the town of Cristo Rey (Christ the Redeemer) in the Dominican Republic.

The son of a Haitian mother and Dominican father, Janvier, like so many Haitian-Dominicans, is the constant target of casual discrimination and police harassment. After his mother is deported to Haiti, he is desperate to reunite with her in Port-au-Prince.

Reluctantly he takes a job with a gang leader, El Bacá, as a bodyguard to Jocelyn, El Bacá’s sister. Soon the youngsters are in the grip of a clandestine love affair. As Janvier becomes more entwined with both Jocelyn and El Bacá, he is forced to make a difficult, dangerous decision.

“I’m really looking forward to our film closing the ttff,” said Leticia Tonos Paniagua, who will be present for the screening. Of the film itself she noted, “Haitians and Dominicans have been living side by side for a long time, yet we really don’t know each other. Prejudice and fear come from ignorance. I think art can go where politics has failed to go.”

The screening of Cristo Rey takes place on Tuesday 30 September at MovieTowne, Port of Spain, from 6.30pm. Tickets are $30 and will be available from the MovieTowne box office from Wednesday 17 September.

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Lineup of short and medium-length films for 2014 film festival revealed

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The short and medium-length films that will screen at this year’s trinidad+tobago film festival (ttff) have been announced.

This section is traditionally the largest of the annual ttff’s lineup, and 2014 is no exception. Sixty-eight short and medium-length films—all from the Caribbean—will be shown at the ttff/14, which runs from September 16–30.

The 68 films represent 18 countries in the Caribbean and the diaspora. Twenty-five of the films are from T&T or its diaspora.

“Short films are often seen as the younger, less glamorous siblings of feature films. But to make a great short takes as much skill as a feature, and the best short films are no less enjoyable and memorable,” said Jonathan Ali, the ttff’s Editorial Director.

“This year we have a diverse lineup of both fiction and documentary short films. Some have been programmed to screen with feature films, while others have been grouped together in curated packages. Either way, we feel confident we have a selection of films that will engage, amuse, surprise, move and even challenge our audiences.”

A total of 23 of the films will compete for various jury prizes, and all the films will be eligible for the people’s choice award for best short or medium-length film.

To see the full selection of short and medium-length films playing at the ttff/14 and to read their synopses, go here.

Image: A still from Flying the Coup (Ryan Lee, T+T, 2014), which will have its world premiere at the ttff/14

Call for submissions for European Audiovisual Entrepreneurs producers’ lab

The trinidad+tobago film festival (ttff) has announced an open call for submissions for a producers’ lab to be hosted by European Audiovisual Entrepreneurs (EAVE), from 22–26 September, during the ttff/14, which runs from 16–30 September.

This call is for individual film producers in Trinidad and Tobago with feature-length narrative projects in development.

EAVE is Europe’s leading training, development and networking organisation for producers. The network is involved in a variety of programmes worldwide.

The lab is a five-day intensive event. It will help develop participants’ skills in scriptwriting and script development, production and co-production financing, budgeting and financial management, marketing and audience awareness, sales and distribution, and communication skills and pitching.

Submission requirements:

• A completed script or a developed treatment (minimum ten pages)
• An estimated budget
• A director attached to the project (can be the same person as the producer)

Please email your submission to: submit@ttfilmfestival.com. (Subject line: Producers’ Lab)

The deadline for submissions is Tuesday 26 August 2014. Successful applicants will be notified by Thursday 28 August 2014.

Image: a still from ttff/13 selection Gloria (Sebastián Lelio, Chile), produced by an EAVE graduate

Lineup of Caribbean feature films announced for ttff/14

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The trinidad+tobago film festival (ttff) announced the first section of its programme of films for its 2014 edition, the Caribbean features section, today. Twenty feature-length films—ten fiction films and ten documentaries—will screen in this section at the ttff/14, which runs from 16–30 September.

The 20 films come from eight Caribbean countries: Barbados, Cuba, Curaçao, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico and Trinidad and Tobago. They reflect a range of genres and thematic concerns.

“Our Caribbean section this year seems stronger and more diverse in subject and style than ever,” said Annabelle Alcazar, ttff Programme Director. “We feel it represents a true reflection of our region.”

Eleven of the films will be in official competition, for one or more of three awards: Best Narrative Feature, Best Documentary Feature and Best T&T Feature. Several will also compete for the inaugural Amnesty International Human Rights Prize.

Still to be announced are the closing night film, the section of Caribbean short and medium-length films, the panorama section of feature-length films (films from world cinema), and the experimental films playing in the New Media section. Already announced as the opening film is Pan! Our Music Odyssey, a T&T docudrama, which will have its world premiere.

The full lineup of Caribbean features follows. Films marked with an asterisk (*) are in competition.

Narrative selections
200 Cartas Bruno Irizarry, Puerto Rico, 2013, T&T premiere
Behaviour Ernesto Daranas Serrano, Cuba, 2014, T&T premiere*
Cows Wearing Glasses Alex Santiago Pérez, Puerto Rico, 2014, Caribbean premiere*
Giraffes Kiki Álvarez, Cuba, 2013, T&T premiere*
Haiti Bride Robert Yao Ramesar, T&T/Haiti, 2014, world premiere*
Keeping Up with the Joneses Rommel Hall, Barbados, 2014, T&T premiere
Sensei Redemption German Gruber, Curaçao, 2014, international premiere*
A Story About Wendy 2 Sean Hodgkinson, T&T, 2014, Caribbean premiere
Two Smart Shakirah Bourne and Ricky Redman, Barbados, 2014, international premiere
Wake José María Cabral, Dominican Republic, 2013, T&T premiere

Documentary selections
The Abominable Crime Micah Fink, 2013, Jamaica/USA*
Art Connect Miquel Galofré, 2014, T&T, world premiere*
Blanco Melvin Durán, Dominican Republic, 2014, T&T premiere*
Hotel Nueva Isla Irene Gutiérrez Torres and Javier Labrador Deulofeu, Cuba, 2014, Caribbean premiere*
Legends of Ska: Cool & Copasetic Brad Klein, Jamaica/USA, 2014, T&T premiere
Mala Mala Dan Sickles and Antonio Santini, Puerto Rico, 2014, Caribbean premiere*
The Mountain Tabaré Blanchard and Iván Herrera, Dominican Republic, 2013, T&T premiere*
The Price of Memory Karen Marks Mafundikwa, Jamaica, 2014, T&T premiere*
They Are We Emma Christopher, Cuba/Sierra Leone/Australia, 2014, Caribbean premiere
You and Me, Natalia Cabral and Oriol Estrada Dominican Republic, 2013, Caribbean premiere*

Image: A still from Behaviour, Ernesto Daranas Serrano, Cuba, 2014

Panels, Presentations and Workshops at ttff/14

Watch now! Official ttff/14 trailer is here

Acknowledging the sponsors and partners of the trinidad+tobago film festival

Film festival and National Gas Company celebrate Independence with free film screenings

Announcement of Panorama films completes 2014 film festival lineup

New Media lineup announced for trinidad+tobago film festival/14

Dominican Republic drama Cristo Rey to close ttff/14

Lineup of short and medium-length films for 2014 film festival revealed

Lineup of Caribbean feature films announced for ttff/14

View the #filmmakerfriday Playlist on Youtube

ttff/21 Merchandise

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Invitation to submit your film to ttff/21.

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