The votes are in and audiences have spoken – the winners of ttff/19’s People’s Choice awards are as follows:
Spirit of the Caribbean: Charlie’s Records, directed by Tina Charles Best Feature: Grace and Saleem, directed by Jian Hennings Best Short: Sampson’s Heart, directed by Juliette McCawley
Warmest congratulations to the casts and crews of the winning films! Awardees receive ttff/19 carifesta edition trophies and a cash prizes sponsored by Shell and the trinidad+tobago film festival.
World Premiere of Queen of Soca
Members of the film and television fraternity, ttff/19 sponsors, supporters, movie lovers and the cast and crew of the featured film gathered at NAPA on Wednesday 21 August to celebrate the world premiere of ‘Queen of Soca’ during the trinidad+tobago film festival.
Directed by Kevin Adams and produced by Christopher Din Chong, with support from the New World Film Centre and a Take One grant from the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts, ‘Queen of Soca’ – tells the story of Olivia (Terri-Ann Lyons), a young woman with a natural gift for singing who believes her passion for Soca music can change her life – opened to an enthusiastic and appreciative audience.
Paddington Passes the ttff Baton
On Wednesday 21 August, during his usual welcome address at ttff’s signal event, the world premiere of ‘Queen of Soca’, festival founder and director, Dr. Bruce Paddington, announced that we would be leaving the film festival to pursue other projects. In so doing, he passed the baton of the festival FILMCO: the Filmmakers’ Collaborative of Trinidad and Tobago.
“Now is the time to pass the baton over to four talented and committed members of the Filmmakers collaborative who will take over the management of ttff (and in fact have been undertaking this role for much of ttff 2019),” Paddington remarked. “I will be available as a consultant or Professor Emeritus and hope to continue to co executive produce another three local feature films as part of the activities of the not for profit New World Film Centre…”
Following Paddington’s speech, the new interim director of ttff, and founding member of FILMCO, Mariel Brown, observed that, “We have huge shoes to fill! Over the fourteen years of its existence, the film festival has built a beloved and established brand that mans a great deal to very many people (including me). Thank you Bruce, for your vision and determination. Thank you to the incredible team you helped put together: Annabelle, Melvina, Emilie, Marina, Jonathan, Magella, Nneka, Melanie and so many more. I promise, we’ll do our level best to maintain and build on what you have created. And we look forward to the 15th anniversary of the festival, which we’ll celebrate in 2020!”
FILMCO will take over the management of ttff from September 2019.
FilmTT Filmmaker Networking Breakfast
Caribbean filmmakers are chatting up a storm, in between laughs and mouthfuls of a sweet-hand T+T breakfast buffet at Rituals, enjoying the first industry event for ttff/19 carifesta edition.
Caribbean filmmakers very rarely get the opportunity to meet and interact in an informal setting; at film festivals around the region, filmmakers often congregate amongst their country groups, and industry associations and groupings tend to be localised. CARIFESTA was an opportune moment to have a gathering of filmmakers from the region, as many travelled to Trinidad as part of their country’s contingent. And within the context of the CARIFESTA celebrations of regional creativity, the FilmTT Filmmaker Networking Breakfast was a welcome opportunity for filmmakers from around the Caribbean and Trinidad and Tobago to gather, meet and interact in a comfortable and relaxed setting within a structure that was designed to encourage filmmakers to meet peers whom they don’t already know, talk filmmaking, projects, and, hopefully, regional collaboration.
The Breakfast was held on 19 August, at Rituals Coffee Shop, Saddle Road, Maraval
ttff/19 industry events are sponsored in part by the Trinidad and Tobago Film Company (FilmTT).
(Photography by Marc Bain)
Ray Funk at Couva Joylanders Panyard + APA
As part of ttff/19 carifesta edition, Ray Funk will be presenting a celebration of Pan Pioneers who have passed away. This free event will focus on Ellie Mannette, Kim Loy Wong, Cliff Alexis, Pat Bishop, Ken “Professor” Philmore, Clyde Bradley and Jit Samaroo, several of who passed in 2018.
Funk’s presentation offers rare clips of interviews with these pioneers, as well as performances by Invaders, Despers, Renegades and more. It will be presented twice, on Saturday 17 August, 6.30pm at the Couva Joylanders Panyard, and Sunday 18 August, 4.30pm at the Academy for the Performing Arts (APA) Room 01, Queen’s Park South. Tickets are available at APA or online here.
This latest programme represents Funk’s desire to offer, in one event, an opportunity to let his audience hear and see these pioneers of pan talk, and look at rare clips of pan in concert, festival, and on the streets at Carnival. “I want to offer in this event rare performances of steelpan, but also let the history of pan unfold from the voices of the icons who contributed to its history.” The clips come from various films, television programmes and private sources. They are primarily from Ray Funk’s own collection with assistance from Christopher Laird of Banyan Archives and Timmy Mora of Visual Arts and Production.
Ray Funk has done a number of previous presentations for the trinidad+tobago film festival of historic film clips on Trinidad Carnival, calypso, pan and mas. A retired Alaskan trial judge, Funk has been coming to Trinidad regularly for over two decades, primarily during carnival. He has written dozens and dozens of articles for all three Trinidad daily newspapers, co-written books on Invaders and Northern Illinois Steelband, and been a Fulbright US scholar.
ttff/19 Carifesta Edition Industry Events (Day 02)
Supported in part by FilmTT
Pack the Cinema: Successful Marketing Strategies for Micro-Budget Films
With fundraising often the most challenging aspect of the filmmaking process, plans and budgets for marketing your film can end up at the bottom of the list, and ‘marketing / promotion’ is invariably the first line item to get chopped. In this workshop, we look at different strategies for marketing your micro-budget films, from leveraging traditional press relationships to winning in the social media sphere.
A structured conversation with supporting film clips, First Person Documentary Storytelling will be presented by documentary filmmakers Michael Lees (Dominica, ‘Uncivilized’) and Mariel Brown (Trinidad and Tobago, ‘Unfinished Sentences’) who will delve into the following topics:
Taking the leap (coming to terms with sharing your story on film and with audiences)
The ugly truth (challenging yourself to talk about the hard things, not just the good/ nice ones)
Is there such a thing as going too far in personal documentary storytelling?
Objective distance and how to get it when you’re making a personal film
How to get beyond “But who would want to watch a film about you?”
Film contracts and agreements protect the rights of your film and are necessary to avoid miscommunication and risk at every stage, from pre-production through production and distribution. Agreements need to be set in place with your production team, cast and crew even from before principal photography begins. And then you also have to factor in licenses for the use of creative works such as music, works of art etc. These are thorny areas that are easy to overlook or put off, but which, if not handled correctly, can have devastating repercussions for your film.
In this workshop, presented by Filmco, facilitators will speak on Intellectual Property, clearances and contracts.
ttff/19 Carifesta Edition Industry Events (Day 01)
Supported in part by FilmTT
FilmTT Filmmaker Networking Breakfast
Caribbean filmmakers very rarely get the opportunity to meet and interact in an informal setting; at film festivals around the region, filmmakers often congregate amongst their country groups, and industry associations and groupings tend to be localised. CARIFESTA is an opportune moment to have a gathering of filmmakers from the region, as many will be traveling to Trinidad as part of their country’s contingent. And within the context of the CARIFESTA celebrations of regional creativity, the FilmTT Filmmaker Networking Breakfast will be a welcome opportunity for filmmakers from around the Caribbean and Trinidad and Tobago to gather, meet and interact in a comfortable and relaxed setting within a structure that is designed to encourage filmmakers to meet peers whom they don’t already know, talk filmmaking, projects, and, hopefully, regional collaboration.
Look Within: Towards Greater Regional Co-operation and Co-productions
As a region, the Caribbean continues to focus the bulk of its creative and investment energy on trying to build markets internationally, whilst often foregoing the crucial role of the Caribbean region itself as a consumer market with a population of roughly 44,380,000 (including Spanish, French and Dutch Caribbean/ as of 2019). The end result is that, by and large, as a region, we consume products that are produced elsewhere. This is not because there is a shortage of creative people ready and eager to produce desirable things, but because of a failure of political vision and lack of industry-specific infrastructure and intra-regional agencies with a focus on supporting and developing the creation of business models and strategies that would build opportunities for vibrant regional cooperation, co-productions and distribution.
Supported by FilmTT, Look Within: Towards Greater Regional Co-operation and Co-productions is a panel discussion intended to shine a spotlight on creating opportunities to build co-productions, collaborations and conduct business within the Caribbean creative and market space.
Show Me the Money: Exploring Different Routes to Film Financing
In the Caribbean, financing film projects can be such a challenge that many first- and second-time filmmakers falter at this seemingly insurmountable hurdle, preferring to focus on making short films than features. This panel will explore the different routes available to filmmakers in the region, from crowdfunding online to accessing grants and public funds and finding/ approaching investors.