Films Vie for Amnesty International Human Rights Prize at ttff/16
Amnesty International will again award a Human Rights Prize at the trinidad+tobago film festival (ttff), which runs from 20–27 September.
Established in an effort to support the promotion of human rights in Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean, the Amnesty International Human Rights Prize will be awarded to the maker of the feature-length Caribbean film screening at ttff/16 which best highlights a human rights issue.
“Caribbean filmmakers continue to speak out about issue impacting gender equality, indigenous people’s rights, the treatment of children, discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, the situation of Haitian migrants and Dominicans of Haitian descent and so much more, empowering many who remain voiceless, through their medium. As long as human rights violations continue to exist, there will always be a need for films that speak so eloquently about the issues,” said Chiara Sangiorgio, thematic adviser at Amnesty International.
According to Annabelle Alcazar, programme director at the ttff: “Caribbean filmmakers and writers have always been fearless in addressing issues that affect and impact the region, and the medium of film remains a powerful vehicle in the struggle for justice, equality and peace. As a showcase for the best in Caribbean cinema, the trinidad+tobago film festival remains committed to providing a space for such important work.”
This year the three films in competition for the Amnesty International prize are:
The winning film will be chosen by a three-person jury. This year’s jury comprises Sunity Maharaj, a media consultant and trainer, and the Managing Director of the Lloyd Best Institute of the West Indies; Folade Mutota, a Social Development Advisor and Lobbyist and the founder of the Women’s Institute for Alternative Development (WINAD), an organization whose ground-breaking work in the area of women, gender, gun violence and peacemaking has received regional and international recognition; and Chiara Sangiorgio, Amnesty International’s London-based coordinator of the campaign for the abolition of the death penalty.
In addition to receiving a trophy, the winning filmmaker will also be given a cash prize of TT$5000.
Amnesty International is a global movement of more than three million members, supporters and activists in over 150 countries and territories. The organisation exposes human rights violations and campaigns for their full enjoyment for everyone 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 celebrates films from and about the Caribbean and its diaspora, as well as world cinema, through an annual festival and year-round screenings. In addition, the ttff seeks to facilitate the growth of Caribbean cinema by offering a wide-ranging industry programme and networking opportunities. Visit ttfilmfestival.com for more information.
Still from ‘Se Bondye vie Yuli’.
Still from ‘Antes que Cante el Callo’.
Top: Still from ‘El Acompañante’.
Lineup of Internationally Acclaimed Films for ttff/16
The Academy Awards-nominated film, Embrace of the Serpent is among the lineup of internationally-acclaimed films to be screened at this year’s trinidad+tobago film festival (ttff), under its Panorama section. The film is one of three from Colombia, which is the country of focus at this year’s Festival.
Also in the lineup are documentaries on the lives of CLR James and Maya Angelou, the biographical film Miles Ahead, about Miles Davis, starring and directed by Don Cheadle; and Bear Story, from Chile, which won best short animated film at the 2015 Academy Awards.
The 11-minute Bear Story was the first Chilean work to be nominated in the category. It tells of a bear who builds an elaborate mechanical diorama in an attempt to remember his past life before he was ripped from his home and sent to a circus. The story is an allegory of what happened to many Chilean families during the murderous reign of the 1970s Pinochet regime.
In Miles Ahead, the jazz artist, in the midst of a prolific career, disappears from public view for five years in the late 1970s, living in isolation while dealing with chronic pain from a deteriorating hip, a musical voice inhibited by drugs and painkillers, and traumatic memories of his past. A music reporter, Dave Braden, forces his way into Davis’ house and, over the next couple of days, the two men unwittingly embark on an adventure to recover a stolen tape recording of the musician’s most recent compositions.
Other films in the lineup include:
Dheepan directed by Jacques Audiard, a moving film about three Tamil refugees – a former soldier, a young woman and a little girl, who pose as a family in the dire aftermath of Sri Lanka’s devastating civil war. Together these complete strangers try to build a life in a dangerous, hostile housing project outside Paris. The film won the prestigious Cannes 2015 Palme d’Or Award.
Ninth Floor, a documentary directed by Mina Shum, looks at the 1969 riot at the Sir George Williams University, when six Caribbean students mounted a protest against institutional racism. Their standoff snowballed into 14-days of chaos, with riot police storming the occupied ninth floor, and a hail of computer cards raining into the streets below. Among the students were Trinidadians Paul Keens Douglas and Bukka Rennie.
Ixcanul directed by Jayro Bustamante, focuses on the plight of María, a 17 year old Mayan girl who lives and works with her parents on a coffee plantation on the foothills of an active volcano in Guatemala. Although Maria dreams of going to the big city, her condition as an indigenous woman trapped by an imminent arranged marriage, does not permit her to change her destiny. In a life threatening twist, she is forced to go out into the modern world where her life is saved, but at a devastating price. Ixcanul was Guatemala’s first ever nomination for the Academy Awards (2015) for Best Foreign Film.
Top: Film still from ‘Miles Ahead’.
Above: Film still from ‘El Abrazo Del Serpiente / Embrace of the Serpent’.
Caribbean Film Mart Draws Top Names to ttff/16
Some of the best talent in contemporary Caribbean filmmaking will meet top professionals in the global film industry, at the second annual Caribbean Film Mart (CFM), to be held from 24–25 September 2016, in Port of Spain, as part of the trinidad+tobago film festival.
The industry professionals include Catherine Buresi who has worked for more than 20 years in the European and international film industry with a focus on festivals, markets, European co-productions and financing of films from the South; and Steven Markovitz who has been producing fiction and documentaries for 20 years, with an extensive network in production and distribution across Africa. His fiction work has screened at Cannes, Berlinale, Toronto and Sundance, and received an Oscar nomination.
Also facilitating presentations will be Sydney Levine, who has over 35 years experience in the entertainment industry and is a writer at Indiewire, a leading news, information, and networking site about the international film business. She also engages in professional education, strategic planning and consulting for individuals, companies and countries seeking to improve their position in the international film market.
Moderating the panel will be Perrine Ledan, Audiovisual and cinema expert, ACPCultures+ Programme, which is implemented by the Secretariat of the African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States and financed by the European Union.
The Caribbean Film Mart seeks to foster direct relationships between the Caribbean and the international film industry, by stimulating and facilitating viable cinematic productions and co-productions.There will be presentations on international appeal and visibility of local films, co-productions, strategies for marketing films in different territories, distribution and the role of sales agents. The filmmakers will have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with facilitators, and to pitch their projects to them.
The 10 participating filmmakers and their projects will be announced soon.
Strong Lineup of Caribbean Films Announced for TT Film Festival 2016
Four fiction features from Trinidad and Tobago are among this year’s lineup of Caribbean films at the 2016 trinidad+tobago film festival (ttff), which takes place from 20-27 September. The films are part of a strong programme of critically acclaimed and award-winning features and shorts from some of the Caribbean’s finest filmmakers.
The T+T feature films include: Sanskara by Christopher Din Chong, a chilling tale in which the veneer of ordinary family life is unmasked to reveal something far more sinister; Tomb, a sci-fi adventure by Nicholas Attin. Set in outer space in 2025, when the T+T commander of a space vessel receives a distress call, he must risk all he holds dear to find and rescue his friend and fellow countryman; and The Cutlass by Darisha Beresford. Inspired by true events, The Cutlass tells the story of a young woman’s physical and mental journey into the abyss, where, pitted against a sociopath, she is forced to muster all her emotional and mental prowess to survive.
Over seventy fiction features, documentaries and short films from filmmakers across the English, French, Spanish and Dutch speaking Caribbean will screen at venues in Port of Spain, Arima, Chaguanas and San Fernando, and at MovieTowne Tobago.
Amongst them is Antes Que Cante El Callo<
Still to be announced are the international films screening in the Festival’s Panorama section, and the experimental works of the New Media section. The ttff/16 opening night film Play the Devil, by Maria Govan and Abigail Hadeed, was announced last week.
The Caribbean films in competition are as follows:
Best Feature Film – Narrative
Best Feature Film – Documentary
Best T+T Feature Film
- The Cutlass – Darisha Beresford
- Tomb – Nicholas Attin
- Sanskara – Christopher Din Chong
- Play The Devil – Maria Govan
Best T+T Short Film – Narrative
- Redman – Jared Prima
- Dream Seller – Shane Lee Kit
- Sweat – Josiah Persad
Best T+T Short Film – Documentary
- The Dying Swan: Ras Nijinsky in drag as Pavlova – Christopher Laird
- How We Play with Fire – Desiree Sampson
- Living Without You – Anna-Lisa Wickham
- Who I say I Am – Amir Ali
Best Short Film – Narrative
- SO.C13.TY – Khris Burton, Martinique
- Nightmare Before Wedding – Orain-Chomaud Fabienne, Guadeloupe
- Carapazón/Shell – Joa Vidal, Cuba
- Lost Boy – Aisha Porter-Christie, Jamaica
- Rico – Lynda D’Alexis, Martinique
Best Short Film – Documentary
- Blessed Love – Kra Kouassi, Guadeloupe
- Iceberg – Juliana Gómez, Cuba
- Welcoming Arms – Rosanne Ma, Bermuda
- H20 – Clish Gittens, Barbados
United Nations T+T Award for Best Emerging Documentary Filmmaker
- Amir Ali – Who I Say I Am
- Desiree Sampson – How We Play With Fire
- Jamie Lee Loy – Super Me
- Jonathan Barcant – Small Change
- Kyle Sahadeo – The Absentee
Participants Announced for RBC Focus: Filmmakers’ Immersion at ttff/16
Ten participants from across the Caribbean have been selected for the sixth annual RBC Focus: Filmmakers’ Immersion at the trinidad+tobago film festival (ttff), it was announced today.
An intensive development programme for emerging Caribbean filmmakers, the Immersion will take place from 23–26 September, during the ttff/16, which runs from 20–27 September.
The participants were chosen after an open call for applications. They will enter the Immersion with a concept for a feature-length fiction film, which they will develop into a full treatment.
The ten selected filmmakers and their projects are:
- Dominic Koo, T+T – Ana
- Juliette McCawley, T+T – Avalon
- Kyron Jeffers, T+T – Trinity Isle -The Kingdom of the Sons
- Renaldo Matadeen, T+T – Born Again
- Kyle Sahadeo, T+T – Back to Freeport
- Kaleb d’Aguilar,Jamaica – The Fisherboy
- Damien Pinder – Nelson
- Alwin Bully, Dominica – Oseyi and the Masquerades
- Sunil Mokkestrom, Curaçao – Sunset Blossom
- Khris Burton, Martinique – Nanny
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 ttff celebrates films from and about the Caribbean and its diaspora, as well as from world cinema, through an annual festival and year-round screenings. In addition, the ttff seeks to facilitate the growth of Caribbean cinema by offering a wide-ranging industry programme and networking opportunities. The ttff is presented by Flow, given leading sponsorship by Trinidad and Tobago Film Company (FilmTT), and supporting sponsorship by RBC Royal Bank, The National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago, the Tourism Development Company and the Embassy of the United States of America.
Powerful Drama set in Paramin to Open TT Film Festival in September
Play the Devil – a powerful, coming of age drama, set in the high altitude of Trinidad’s rural Paramin, will open the 11th edition of the trinidad+tobago film festival (ttff), at the Central Bank Auditorium, on 20 September, 2016.
Making its Trinidad + Tobago premiere, the film which debuted at the Los Angeles Film Festival in June, to rave reviews, will also be screened at MovieTowne Port of Spain, as part of the Festival’s programme of films from 21 – 27 September.
Locally produced, Play the Devil tells a universal story of self-denial and dysfunctional power dynamics within individuals, families and the wider society. Feeling the pressure to achieve what no one else in his family has managed to – excel at high school, win a scholarship to study abroad, become a doctor, rise beyond his humble beginnings and most importantly, make his grandmother proud – there’s pressure building beneath 18-year-old Gregory’s gentle exterior. When he befriends the sophisticated businessman, James (played by local newcomer, Gareth Jenkins), it seems that someone finally understands him and his secret desire to become a photographer.
Though supportive of his artistic passion, James begins to push Gregory’s boundaries, fuelling a powder keg of emotions, in a cat and mouse entanglement that will reach its crescendo on Carnival Monday, amidst the frenzied dance macabre of Paramin’s famed blue devil celebrations.
Play the Devil, produced by Abigail Hadeed (T+T) and directed by Bahamian native, Maria Govan, showcases sterling performances by the UK-based actor, Petrice Jones (Gregory), and local veterans Penelope Spencer (Gregory’s grandmother) and Che Rodriguez (his father), with breath-taking shots of Paramin as its dramatic backdrop.
Govan, a self-taught filmmaker worked on sets in Hollywood, before returning home to work on documentaries. In 2004 she moved to New York and began writing her first narrative film, Rain, which premiered at the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival, screened at ttff/09 and won numerous awards internationally.
An additional screening of Play the Devil will be held at MovieTowne POS Sunday 25th September at 6.00pm, with the filmmakers present for a Q+A
The trinidad+tobago film festival (ttff) celebrates films from and about the Caribbean and its diaspora, as well as from world cinema, through an annual festival and year-round screenings. In addition, the ttff seeks to facilitate the growth of Caribbean cinema by offering a wide-ranging industry programme and networking opportunities.The ttff is presented by Flow, given leading sponsorship by the Trinidad and Tobago Film Company (FilmTT), and supporting sponsorship by RBC and The National Gas Company, the Embassy of the United States of America and the Tourism Development Company (TDC).
Call for Projects for Caribbean Film Mart
The call for submissions for the Caribbean Film Mart, which will take place from 24-25 September 2016, is now open.
The Caribbean Film Mart will be held during the 11th edition of the trinidad+tobago film festival (ttff), and is seeking Caribbean feature film projects (narrative and documentary) in development or pre-production. The Mart seeks to foster direct relationships between the Caribbean and the international film industry, by stimulating and facilitating viable cinematic productions and co-productions.
The selected filmmakers will have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with, and pitch their projects to, international film professionals in the field of production and distribution. The Mart will include presentations on international appeal and visibility of local films, co-productions, strategies for marketing films in different territories, distribution and the role of sales agents.
All applications must be for feature film projects in development or pre-production to be made in the Caribbean. Either the producer or the director must be a Caribbean citizen or resident from the following territories: the English-speaking Caribbean, the Netherlands Antilles, and Haiti .
All submissions for the Caribbean Film Mart must be made to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than 24 August 2016.
The Caribbean Film Mart will be held in English and application materials should be submitted in English.
Additional details of the Caribbean Film Mart
The 19 August deadline for all submissions will be strictly followed. Filmmakers should not submit projects that do not fulfill the stated criteria. The ttff reserves the right to determine the eligibility of the submissions. Selected projects will be notified by the end of August.
The main criteria for selection are the viability and quality of the projects and the demonstrable talent of the directors and/or producers.
Each project will be considered on its own merits.
Again, the project MUST be made in the CARIBBEAN and either the producer or the director must be a Caribbean citizen or resident.
For selected projects, one representative, either the producer or director, must be present for the duration of the Caribbean Film Mart.
Selected projects will receive industry accreditation for the Caribbean Film Mart.
You may only apply if your film is still in the development or pre-production stage. However, if you have shot a teaser or trailer, you may still be eligible to apply.
Each applicant may submit only one project.
- Title of film
- Director, producer and writer
- Notes of intention from the director and the producer
- Script (if completed)
- Financial plan including financing secured for the project if any
- Director’s CV
- Producer’s CV
- Links to work of the director and producer
The trinidad+tobago film festival (ttff) celebrates films from and about the Caribbean and its diaspora, as well as from world cinema, through an annual festival and year-round screenings. In addition, the ttff seeks to facilitate the growth of Caribbean cinema by offering a wide-ranging industry programme and networking opportunities.