22–28 Sept 2021
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Fugees’ Pras Michel to attend ttff opening for premiere of Sweet Micky for President

Pras Michel of hip-hop legends the Fugees will attend the September 15 opening night gala at the 2015 trinidad+tobago film festival (ttff), where the documentary Sweet Micky for President will have its Caribbean premiere.

The remarkable story of Michel Martelly’s run to become President of Haiti, Sweet Micky for President won both the Audience and Jury Prizes for Best Documentary at the Slamdance Film Festival, where it had its world premiere. The film also screened at Hot Docs in Canada.

Pras, who is of Haitian descent, is one of the film’s producers as well as its narrator.

“We are thrilled to be hosting the regional premiere of Sweet Micky for President,” said Bruce Paddington, ttff Founder and Festival Director. “This is a brilliantly made, rousing film that affords us the opportunity to acknowledge Haiti and its importance in the shaping of the Caribbean’s history.

“It also affords us the opportunity to welcome Pras Michel, an accomplished son of the Caribbean diaspora, to Trinidad and Tobago and the ttff, as we celebrate our tenth anniversary.”

Directed by Ben Patterson, who will also be in attendance, Sweet Micky for President follows Pras as he visits Haiti after the January 2010 earthquake. With no experience or money, he mobilises a presidential campaign for the unlikeliest of candidates: Michel Martelly, aka Sweet Micky, Haiti’s most popular and controversial pop star.

The politically innocent pair set out to triumph against a corrupt government, civil unrest and a rigged election. When Pras’ former bandmate, superstar Wyclef Jean, also enters the presidential race, their chances seem further doomed.

Sweet Micky for President brilliantly captures an important—and improbable—moment in Haiti’s history, as a fledgling democracy battles to produce a government worthy of the country’s status as the world’s first black republic.

The ttff/15 opening night gala will take place at Queen’s Hall in Port of Spain. Tickets for the gala will go on sale soon.

The rest of the lineup for the ttff/15, which runs from September 15–29, will be announced in the upcoming weeks.

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Christina Lazaridi to lead RBC Focus: Filmmakers’ Immersion at ttff/15

Academy Award nominee Christina Lazaridi has been announced as the facilitator for this year’s RBC Focus: Filmmakers’ Immersion at the tenth annual trinidad+tobago film festival (ttff), taking place September 15–29.

Lazaridi was nominated for an Academy Award for her work on the WWII short drama One Day Crossing (2001). Her latest feature film is Coming Up Roses (2011), starring Bernadette Peters and Peter Friedman, and directed by Lisa Albright.

She has consulted on projects developed for New Line and Bruckheimer Productions and has worked with producers Eva Kolodner, Anne Chaisson, Lester Persky Productions and Academy Award-winning documentarian Richard Kaplan. Her screenplays have won multiple European Media Development Awards, a Student Academy Award, a Euroscript Development Award and a Chris Kazan Memorial Award.

Lazaridi holds a BA in Comparative Literature and Creative Writing (Honours) from Princeton University and an MFA in Screenwriting (Honours) from Columbia University School of the Arts.

She freelances as a script consultant and teaches screenwriting at Columbia University School of the Arts and Princeton University. She has also mentored screenwriters across the globe.

In its fifth 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 fiction film, from which they will be expected to develop a detailed treatment.

At the end of Focus, the ten participants will be given an opportunity during the ttff/15 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 participants for Focus, which takes place takes place from 22–25 September, will be announced soon.

Participating projects announced for first Caribbean Film Mart

Fifteen feature-film projects from ten countries will participate in the inaugural Caribbean Film Mart (CFM), taking place at the 2015 trinidad+tobago film festival (ttff) in September, it was announced today.

The CFM will give the 15 selected filmmakers with Caribbean films in development and pre-production the opportunity to meet with 30 international film producers, sales agents and film funds, with the aim of creating professional relationships and partnerships that will enable the production and distribution of the participating projects.

Over 100 projects were submitted to the CFM, from which the participating 15 were chosen. Eleven are fiction projects, while four are documentaries.

“We are pleased that a number of the projects are from ttff alumni, some of whom have gone through our RBC Focus: Filmmakers’ Immersion, and others the EAVE Producers’ training initiative which took place at ttff/14,” said Emilie Upczak, ttff Creative Director.

The selected projects were adjudicated by the ttff, the Global Foundation of Democracy and Development from the Dominican Republic, the Association for the Development of Art Cinema and Practice from Guadeloupe, the Foundation of New Latin American Cinema in Cuba, and the Regional and International Festival of Cinema of Guadeloupe.

The project is co-financed by the ACP Cultures+ Programme (ACP Group of States), funded by the European Union (European Development Fund), and implemented by the ACP Group of States.

The CFM will be held from 24-27 September at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Port of Spain, Trinidad. The ttff/15 takes place from 15-29 September.

The 15 selected CFM projects are:

Beauty Kingdom
Country: Dominican Republic
Directors: Laura Amelia Guzmán, Israel Cárdenas
Producers: Laura Amelia Guzmán, Israel Cárdenas, Mónica De Moya

Country: Bahamas
Director: Kareem Mortimer
Producers: Trevite Willis, Alexander Younis

Country: Curaçao
Director: German Gruber
Producer: German Gruber

Doubles with Slight Pepper
Countries: Trinidad and Tobago, USA
Director: Ian Harnarine
Producer: Ryan Silbert

The Dragon
Country: Trinidad and Tobago
Director: Asha Lovelace
Producer: Asha Lovelace

The Extraordinary Journey of Celeste Garcia
Country: Cuba
Director: Arturo Infante
Producers: Claudia Calviño, Alejandro Tovar

The Fisherman’s Son
Country: Puerto Rico, Colombia
Director: Edgar Deluque
Producer: Annabelle Mullen

Green Days by the River
Country: Trinidad and Tobago
Director: Michael Mooleedhar
Producer: Christian James

Hello Nicki
Country: Trinidad and Tobago
Director: Miquel Galofré
Producer: Jean-Michel Gibert

Kidnapping Inc.
Country: Haiti
Director: Bruno Mourral
Producers: Gaethan Chancy, Bruno Mourral, Raoul Peck

Papa Machete
Countries: Haiti, Barbados, USA
Director: Jonathan David Kane
Producers: Jason Fitzroy Jeffers, Keisha Rae Witherspoon

Potomitans: Women Pillars in Revolt
Country: Guadeloupe
Director: Bouchera Azzouz
Producers: Nina Vilus, Laurence Lascary

Country: Jamaica
Director: Storm Saulter
Producer: Donald Ranvaud

The Seawall
Countries: Guyana, USA
Director: Mason Richards
Producer: Sohini Sengupta

Wind Rush
Countries: Trinidad and Tobago, USA
Director: Vashti Harrison
Producer: Vashti Harrison

ttff celebrates ten years with ten classic Caribbean films

The trinidad+tobago film festival (ttff) today unveiled the first selections for this year’s edition of the Festival with the announcement that ten classic Caribbean films will form part of the 2015 lineup.

These ten films will screen in a special sidebar to the main programme, in honour of the ttff’s tenth anniversary. The Festival takes place from September 15–29.

“Many people are unaware that there has been a Caribbean film industry for quite some time, or that almost every country in the region has produced feature films,” said Bruce Paddington, ttff Founder and Festival Director. “We are therefore very proud to present ten of the very best classic films from the Caribbean that will help one to appreciate and enjoy the rich diversity of the region.”

Comprising films from nine different countries, the sidebar ranges across the English-, Spanish-, French- and Dutch-speaking sections of the region.

The lineup includes the Jamaican classic, The Harder They Come, and Bim, from T&T.

Memories of Underdevelopment, the oldest film in the lineup, is from 1968, while the most recent, Strawberry and Chocolate, was released in 1993. Both of those films hail from Cuba.

The full slate of films is as follows:

Memories of Underdevelopment (Tomás Gutiérrez Alea, Cuba, 1968)
The Harder They Come (Perry Henzell, Jamaica, 1972)
Bim (Hugh A. Robertson, Trinidad and Tobago, 1974)
One People (Pim de la Parra, Suriname, 1976)
Sugar Cane Alley (Euzhan Palcy, Martinique, 1983)
One Way Ticket (Agliberto Menéndez, Dominican Republic, 1988)
What Happened to Santiago (Jacobo Morales, Puerto Rico, 1989)
Ava and Gabriel: A Love Story (Felix de Rooy, Curaçao, 1990)
The Man on the Shore (Raoul Peck, Haiti, 1993)
Strawberry and Chocolate (Tomás Gutiérrez Alea and Juan Carlos Tabío, Cuba, 1993)

In addition to screening in honour of the Festival’s tenth anniversary, the classics also screen in recognition of the launch of the Caribbean Film Database, an online resource which, in the first instance, will present information on over 600 independent feature-length films made in and about the Caribbean. The database is co-financed by the ACP Cultures+ Programme (ACP Group of States), funded by the European Union (European Development Fund) and implemented by the ACP Group of States.

The rest of the lineup for the ttff/15 will be unveiled over the upcoming months.

Caption: A still from The Harder They Come

Fugees’ Pras Michel to attend ttff opening for premiere of Sweet Micky for President

Christina Lazaridi to lead RBC Focus: Filmmakers’ Immersion at ttff/15

Participating projects announced for first Caribbean Film Mart

ttff celebrates ten years with ten classic Caribbean films

View the #filmmakerfriday Playlist on Youtube

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