22–28 Sept 2021
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The Youth Jury is In For ttff/18

In Photo ttff/15 Youth Jury

By Shiv Shaw, ttff/16 Top Future Critic.

The trinidad and tobago film festival (ttff) announces the selection of the BPTT Youth Jury for ttff//18. The ttff is once again teaming up with leading sponsor BP Trinidad and Tobago(BPTT)  to give five young people the opportunity to develop a critical appreciation of independent film. Jurors are also encouraged to lend their voices and opinions to the festival, to work together, network and be part of the growing local film industry.

Applications were received during May to July from young people between the ages 16 to 21, who were requested to submit a 250 word essay about their favourite film and why they chose it. Of the many applications received the most endearing and expressive essays were narrowed down and these five youths were successfully chosen as the jurors:

Kirstin De Lorme, 19, student of the University of the West Indies.

Kela Sunshine Roberts, 19, student of St. Joseph Convent (San Fernando)

Deja Sandy, 19, student of Naparima Girls High School.

Sudai Tafari, 18, student of Mount Hope Secondary.

Kioni Wallace, 16, student of Bishops High School (Tobago).

The young jurors will have the enlightening opportunity to work directly with renowned journalist and film critic BC Pires, who has diligently mentored the Youth Jury panels since the programme began in 2014. Under the experience and guidance of Pires, the Youth Jury will decide a winning film and its director will be presented with a trophy at the ttff/18 awards ceremony on Tuesday 25 September.

The jurors will view and critically analyse six (6) feature-length fiction films dealing with themes and issues affecting young people. This year’s films up for competition are:

Brown Girl Begins: directed by Sharon Lewis /2018/Canada

El Chata: directed by Gustavo Ramon Perales/2017/Puerto Rico

Las Hijas de Abril: directed by Michel Franco/2017/Mexico

Le Rêve Francaise: directed by Christian Faure Copie/2017/France

Looking for Zorro: directed by Wigner Duarte/2017/USA

Sprinter: directed by Storm Saulter/2018/Jamaica

The experience of being part of the Youth Jury has proven to be a life changing opportunity for past jurors, for some it has even progressed from just a love of cinema, to actively working on their own film projects or within the ttff as volunteers and/or interns.

In Photo: ttff/16 Youth Jury

Christopher Lou-Hing (pictured 2nd from left) who was on the ttff/16 Youth Jury and is now a film student at University of the West Indies (UWI) expresses how working with BC Pires and the ttff helped him to advance not only his studies but also a blossoming career in the film industry. Lou-Hing says “Being on the youth jury was my first taste of film criticism. The guidance from BC (Pires) would later prove to be really helpful in my studies by sharpening my critical eye. After participating in the youth jury I felt surer of my abilities as a critic and it helped me to appreciate film as an art form. Sitting on the jury helped me realise that I wanted to pursue a career in the film industry and opened the door for my internship with ttff”.

Nick Rampersad who served on the ttff/17 Youth Jury formed such deep friendships with some of his fellow jurors that they are now working on their own film project. Rampersad says “My experience serving on the trinidad + tobago film festival Youth Jury 2017 was a life defining experience and one that further cemented my love for filmmaking. The friendships forged on the youth jury and by extension the ttff are lasting. It’s through this special bond, two of my fellow youth jurors and I are now in the pre-production stage of our own film”. Nick is also working as an intern at this year’s festival and plans to pursue a degree in filmmaking.

In Photo: ttff/17 Youth Jury in session

It is maybe the words of mentor BC Pires, whose dedication over the last four years, best sums up how the experience of being part of the Youth Jury has guided the jurors to build friendships, strengthen cooperation and create better futures. Speaking on last year’s Youth Jury, Pires says “There are not enough superlatives to describe what a pleasure it is to be working with these young people…they rose to their task amazingly well. If our Parliament could see how they spoke to one another. They were passionate and went to their task of listening to one another with, I think, a real honesty, humility and respect for the other person’s point of view. I think they might all consider a career in dispute resolution.”

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 given leading sponsorship by BP Trinidad and Tobago, the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts; supporting sponsorship by The National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago and Republic Bank Limited; and contributing sponsorship by FilmTT and The National Lotteries Control Board (NLCB).

Caribbean Film Mart 2018 Successful Candidates Announced

In photo: Green Days By The River’s Producer Christian James and Director Michael Mooleedhar get some advice from ttff Festival Director and Founder, Bruce Paddington at CFM 2015

The 12 successful applicants for the third Caribbean Film Mart, sponsored by BP Trinidad and Tobago have been announced.The Caribbean Film Mart, which will be held from 22 – 23 September, during the trinidad+tobago film festival, seeks to foster relationships between T+T filmmakers and the international film industry, by stimulating and facilitating dialogue and sharing of expertise.

In Photo: Director Maya Cozier at One on One Session at CFM 2016

The selected  filmmakers will meet one-on-one with international film professionals specialising in production and distribution.  The Mart will include presentations on international appeal and viability of local films and funding including co-productions. Robert Maylor, producer of Sprinter,  together with director Storm Saulter who workshopped his project at CFM 2015 and which  has recently been released to wide acclaim, will present a case study.

In Photo: ACP presentation at CFM 2015

At the end of the second day, the filmmakers will ‘pitch’ their project to an international panel of judges.  The winner will be awarded a cash prize of $TT 75,000 sponsored by BP Trinidad and Tobago. A second prize of a year’s mentorship by international industry expert Joanne Butcher will also be awarded.  These winners will be announced at the ttff’s awards ceremony on September 25.

The successful participants and their projects are:

Dance the Cocoa – Juliette McCawley

 Mas Slaughter – Christopher Din Chong

The Jaguar – Ryan Khan

Virus – Michael Rochford

Steel – Glenford Adams

Igual Paradise – Shea Best

Wishing for Wings – Kim Johnson

Silk Road – Janine – Mendes-Franco

Trinidad’s Missing – Reynald Seydass

Hey Handsome – Roderick de Weever

Fairway – Kafi Kareem Farrell

Right and Left – Sonja Dumas

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 given leading sponsorship by BP Trinidad and Tobago, the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts; supporting sponsorship by The National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago and Republic Bank Limited; and contributing sponsorship by FilmTT and The National Lotteries Control Board (NLCB).

Hero to Open ttff/18

UPDATE: TICKETS  ON SALE FROM MONDAY AUGUST 27 at NAPA BOX OFFICE- 11am-6pm DAILY + AT ttff’s OFFICE-9:30am – 1:30PM MONDAY to FRIDAY

HERO:Inspired by The Extraordinary Life & Times of Mr. Ulric Cross will officially open the 13th edition of  trinidad+tobago film festival . The screening will be part of ttff/18’s  opening ceremony and gala on Tuesday 18 September at the National Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA), Port of Spain.

Photo: Director-Producer Frances-Anne Solomon

Hero, directed by Frances-Anne Solomon was inspired by the life and times of Trinidadian Ulric Cross Cross whose distinguished international career as a soldier, jurist and diplomat spanned key events of the 20th Century when independent African and Caribbean nations came of age. Out of this, a new brand of Black leadership was born and post-colonial societies emerged to find their place today on the world’s stage.

The film expertly uses archival material and dramatic reconstruction to recite a tale of opposition and triumph in this important historic chapter in Ulric Cross’ extraordinary life. It focuses on Cross’ contribution to the Pan African movement and his relationships with Tanzania’s first president Julius Nyerere and Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s first prime minister and president.

Republic Bank Limited is the Title Sponsor of Hero , which was produced by Trinidad and Tobago nationals and filmed in Ghana, United Kingdom and Trinidad and Tobago.  Nikolai Salcedo conveys a mesmerizing characterizationof Ulric Cross. The cast also includes acclaimed British actor Joseph Marcell as CLR James, noted Trinidadian actor Rudolph Walker and a number of leading Ghanaian actors.

Photo: Hero Team

Director Frances-Anne Solomon, who also produced the film, notes that “Hero explores not just the life, but also the dynamic and transformative times that Ulric Cross was born into. Ultimately, the film is about us, who we are as Caribbean people.”Photo: Executive Producer, Lisa Wickham

Lisa Wickham Executive Producer of Hero reiterates, “This film has international and diplomatic significance for Trinidad and Tobago and its relationships with Africa and the United Kingdom as it signifies the role that it has played and continues to play in international affairs.”

Hero is one of three T+T feature length films starring at this year’s festival. Dr. Bruce Paddington, Festival Founder and Director of the trinidad+tobago film festival expressed his delight in the selection of a T+T film opening the festival for a third consecutive year, We are once again proud to screen a film from Trinidad and Tobago as our opening film and especially pleased that the film is about a true hero, Ulric Cross, at a time when a country needs heroes and role models.”

ttff/18  will also feature a stellar programme of award-winning Caribbean and Panorama films plus an unprecedented number of shorts, which will be announced shortly. According to Annabelle Alcazar, Programming Director, “ We are showing over 60 T+T new shorts and it is exciting to see that, despite funding challenges, the quality and range of subjects increases every year.”

The World Premiere of Hero at NAPA, Port of Spain, will be preceded by a Cocktail Reception, sponsored by BP Trinidad and Tobago on Tuesday 18 September, at 6.00pm.The director, producers  and members of the cast and crew will be present. Further information on ticket sales and availability will be announced soon.

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 given leading sponsorship by BP Trinidad and Tobago, the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts; supporting sponsorship by The National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago and Republic Bank Limited; and contributing sponsorship by FilmTT and The National Lotteries Control Board (NLCB).

Photos courtesy Hero Film: https://www.facebook.com/HERO4ALLTIME/

Panorama films at ttff/18

The lives of the African slave trade to  the struggle of an impoverished priest form part of the line up of this year’s Panorama films. Bigger Than Africa follows the trans-Atlantic slave trade route from West Africa to six different countries – USA, Nigeria, Brazil, Republic of Benin, Trinidad and Tobago and Cuba to explore and find reasons for the survival of this particular West African Culture.  This 90 minutes Documentary Feature from Director Oluwatoyin Ibrahim Adekeye shows that the most pronounced African Culture of the Diasporas remains the culture of the Yorubas.

Sharon Lewis’s enthralling film Brown Girl Begins, based on a prequel to Nalo Hopkinson’s novel, imagines the post-apocalyptic Toronto where Ti-Jeanne, a young reluctant priestess, must resurrect ancient Caribbean spirits to save her people and survive the possession ritual that killed her mother.

Also in the ttff/18 line up is Johnny 100 Pesos, a film featuring the lead Johnny who is released from jail after serving twenty years and one day for a heist and double murder. Despite trying to turn over a new leaf he ends up participating in a kidnapping plot to recover a large ransom.

Mama, a Colombian film features Victoria who is a reserved and independent woman who enjoys her solitude. She has an unexpected visit from her long-lost daughter Sara, who asks her to take care of her 7-year-old granddaughter for a couple of days. This favour will completely change her life. After a shocking event and unforeseen news, Sara comes back home to make things right with her mother.

In the Documentary film, Run Free, a group of young men from Parade Gardens, Jamaica embark on a journey of transformation using Parkour and Joseph Campbell’s The Hero’s Journey.

The Panorama programme also features a beloved Indian classic. Director Satyajit Ray’s first film, Pather Panchali, follows impoverished priest Harihar Ray, who dreams of a better life for himself and his family and leaves his rural Bengal village in search of work. Alone, his wife looks after her rebellious daughter, Durga, and her young son, Apu, as well as Harihar’s elderly aunt Indir. The children enjoy the small pleasures of their difficult life, while their parents suffer the daily indignities heaped upon them.

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 given leading sponsorship by BP Trinidad and Tobago, the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts; supporting sponsorship by The National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago and Republic Bank Limited; and contributing sponsorship by FilmTT and The National Lotteries Control Board (NLCB).

 

 

Announcing the Caribbean Films for ttff/18

(still from Sprinter)

The ttff seeks to highlight excellence in filmmaking through the exhibition of fiction and documentary features and short films made in T&T, the Caribbean and its diaspora, as well as international filmmakers with films from or about the Caribbean or its diaspora.

The thirteenth edition of the trinidad+tobago film festival (ttff), takes place from 18 – 25 September and there will be screenings at MovieTowne Port of Spain, San Fernando and Tobago, as well as at the University of the West Indies, St Augustine. As usual, a stellar programme of Caribbean film is on offer.

In Sprinter, A Jamaican teen, burdened by an unstable father and an unruly older brother, hopes a meteoric rise in track-and-field can reunite him with his mother, who has lived illegally in the US for over a decade.

This film is one of the successful results of the ttff/15 Caribbean Film Mart. Director, Storm Saulter, called the Mart “one of the most helpful development programmes” he’s taken part in. The film received assistance at the Mart and in June 2018 won three awards at the American Black Film Festival including the Grand Jury prize for Best Narrative Feature.

 

Alberto, an evangelical gardener, returns to his hometown to attend the funeral of his father who was killed by an influential man. Cocote, a Narrative Feature in Spanish with English subtitles follows Alberto as he is forced to participate in religious celebrations that are contrary to his will and beliefs, to mourn the deceased.

In Le Reve Francais – Parts 1 + 2 (They Had a Dream by Director Christian Faure, the French Government encouraged islanders to leave the French West Indies to escape poverty that resulted from the closure of sugar mills in the 60s.Lured by the idea of a ‘dream country’, although they were citizens of France, they found that life in Europe was not what they had imagined.

The story of the notorious fugitive Winston Leroy Hall is something of almost folkloric legend in Barbados. Convicted for the murder of an elderly plantation owner, he escaped prison authorities multiple times and managed to stay on the run for nearly two decades across the Caribbean. Hall, the thrilling documentary feature by Director Rommel Hall, shows the truth behind his escapes are both elusive and bizarre.

El Chata (The Sparring Partner), follows the story of Samuel who has the potential to be a boxing champion, although he seems destined to fail. At thirty and just out of prison, he has to become a sparring partner because nobody will give him the chance at a fight. Unable to feed his family and exposed to temptation, Samuel is determined to get back in the ring and prove he has changed.

Buscando Al Zorro (Looking For Zorro), tells the story of Pablo, who raises his nine-year-old son, Rafael, without the support of his absent wife. Pablo and Rafael must go on a long journey through high mountains searching for “Zorro”, their last hope of making a living.

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 given leading sponsorship by BP Trinidad and Tobago, the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts; supporting sponsorship by The National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago and Republic Bank Limited; and contributing sponsorship by FilmTT and The National Lotteries Control Board (NLCB).

Introducing Family Matinee

We’re pleased to announce a new community film series. family matinee, sponsored by Republic Bank Limited will run from August 12 to 26 and offers a new entertainment options for families during the August vacation. Admission is free.

The inaugural film series is an extension of the ttff’s ‘community cinema’ – an essential part of ttff’s mission and objectives to use film as an agent of perception change, social transformation, education, entertainment and inspiration.

The family matinee series will present four films featuring children and young people around the world overcoming various forms of social, political and familial adversity, with inspiring conclusions.

Family Matinee Schedule:

SUN Aug 12/4pm/ Arima Town Hall

 Esteban

Drama/Spanish with English Subtitles

In this heart melting story of 9 year old Esteban, who casually discovers his love and talent for the piano. Against all odds in Havana Cuba, he perseveres towards his dream. Featuring a soundtrack by the legendary Cuban piano godfather Chucho Valdés.

Sat Aug 18/ 4pm/ The Department of Creative and Festival Arts (DCFA)

Gordon St, St. Augustine

Landfill Harmonic- A Symphony of the Human Spirit

Documentary/ Spanish with English Subtitles

This is the astounding and inspirational story of an orchestra playing music from instruments made entirely out of garbage. When a natural disaster devastates their community, the orchestra provides a source of hope for the town.

Sun Aug 19/4pm/ San Fernando City Hall

Adama

Animated Drama/ French with English Subtitles

Adama lives a traditional life in a sheltered valley in West Africa. When his older brother runs away to be a warrior, Adama goes in search of him and inexplicably encounters the French. His quest takes him as far as the Western Front in the middle of World War I.

Sun Aug 26/ 4pm/ Buccoo Community Centre, Tobago 

Lamb

Drama/ Amharic with English Subtitles    

When Ephraim is sent from his homeland in Ethiopia to live with distant relatives, he takes his beloved lamb with him. When his uncle announces his intention to sacrifice the lamb Ephraim is ready to do anything to save his only friend and return home.

Guests are welcome to bring their own snacks.

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 given leading sponsorship by BP Trinidad and Tobago, the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts; supporting sponsorship by The National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago and Republic Bank Limited; and contributing sponsorship by FilmTT.

Featuring TT Films at ttff/18

(still from Floating into Fire)

The number and quality of films produced locally has consistently continued to grow over the past few years. ttff/18 promises to continue this tradition by showcasing the best recently produced TT films.(still from Hero)

In addition to the opening night film, Hero, Inspired by the Extraordinary Life and Times of Mr. Ulric Cross the ttff will also screen the feature Unfinished Sentences, a documentary directed by Mariel Brown about the relationship between herself and her late father, writer Wayne Brown.

 

(still from Mangrove)

There will be exciting new shorts on a wide range of subjects including: Mangroves, a supernatural mystery directed by Teneille Newallo, and The Deliverer, a thriller directed and starring actor/director Paul Pryce.  (Paul Pryce in The Deliverer

Miquel Galofre’s Breaking The Cycle documents the journey of a domestic abuse survivor and  Floating Into Fire is based on the true events of a sailor lost at sea off Tobago.

(still fromFor the Love of Money)

Trini style dramas: Home Invasion, For the Love of Money, and Live Bait are all by young filmmakers and Kim Johnson and Orlando Dinchong have made visually exciting documentaries, The March of the Mokos and The Firewalkers of Kali respectively. (pictured below)

Following last year’s screenings to packed audiences and in support of National Patriotism month from 31 August–24 September, this year the ttff presents a day-long celebration of T+T through the screening of local short and feature films, followed by Q+A sessions with the filmmakers.

The screenings- Feature TT, will be held at MovieTowne Port of Spain, San Fernando and Tobago on Republic Day, Monday, September 24. This will be a day for Trinbagonians to come together to celebrate who we are, through the cinematic stories of some of the nation’s finest filmmakers, as well as those now emerging arts.

 

“ttff has a special interest in supporting the work of local filmmakers and this year we are very pleased with the number of short and medium length films from Trinidad and Tobago. The production of a short demonstrates the ability of the filmmaker to make more films and move on to feature films.” said Bruce Paddington, ttff Festival Director.

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 given leading sponsorship by BP Trinidad and Tobago, the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts; supporting sponsorship by The National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago and Republic Bank Limited; and contributing sponsorship by FilmTT and The National Lotteries Control Board (NLCB).

 

The Youth Jury is In For ttff/18

Caribbean Film Mart 2018 Successful Candidates Announced

Hero to Open ttff/18

Panorama films at ttff/18

Announcing the Caribbean Films for ttff/18

Introducing Family Matinee

Featuring TT Films at ttff/18

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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