When Rain’s beloved grandmother dies she is forced to trade her simple but happy life on Ragged Island for the uncertainties of living in the capital with her mother, Glory, who abandoned her while a baby. Home becomes a two-room Nassau shack and Glory proves unfit for parental duties, being a drug addict, a prostitute, and quite possibly HIV positive. Rain seems destined for a bleak future, but for one thing: she is a promising sprinter. Her school’s track teacher, Trinidadian Ms Adams, becomes coach and mother figure to Rain, who is determined, almost literally, to outrun her fate.
Carmen and Geoffrey
The award-winning “Carmen and Geoffrey” is an intimate documentary which follows the careers of two remarkable personalities: Carmen de Lavallade and her husband Geoffrey Holder. Carmen, a dynamic dancer and choreographer from California, moved to New York with Alvin Ailey and began a legacy of modern dance in America. Geoffrey, a Trinidad-born choreographer, was also a set and costume designer, painter and man about town with productions such as The Wiz.
Rawlston Charles emigrated from Tobago to the USA in December 1967. Living in Bedford-Stuyvesant in Brooklyn, NY, Charles had a vision to promote calypso and soca music and its artists to the world through his record store, Charlie’s Calypso City, and music label, Charlie’s Records. “Charlie’s Records” reveals the American immigrant story of an unsung hero.
Brown Girl Begins
It’s 2049 and Toronto the Good has been taken over by the wealthy. A wall has been built around the city and the poor are expelled to an island off the coast, known as The Burn. The segregated Burndwellers have been forced to scrape out a living by bartering, recycling, and farming. Mami is the unspoken leader of the Burn, sharing her Caribbean herb lore and leading her followers in an ancient spiritual practice. Ti-Jeanne turns 19 and the time has come for her to succeed her grandmother and become a Priestess. When Mami tries to prepare her to take part in the same possession ritual that killed her mother, Ti-Jeanne refuses. She flees with her young love Tony to the other side of the Burn in hopes of leaving the spirit business behind. Until – out of the ashes of The Burn, a drug lord rises to take control of the remaining population and uses his right hand, Crack, to torment the Burn dwellers and prepare them for sale to mainlanders as smart slaves. When Crack begins torturing the children of the Burn, Ti-Jeanne can no longer refuse her other-worldly powers as a priestess. She is the only hope to save them. Can Ti-Jeanne handle the power of the spirits she has been so afraid of and save her people, or will her fear kill her?
Port-au-Prince by night. Doc and Zoe are just hired to deliver an unknown package. Their job comes with three essential rules: never stop the car, never roll down the windows, never open the trunk. At a crossroad, they stumble upon a dog. Each crossroad requires a sacrifice. Their decision will change their path irreversibly.
Green Days by the River
In a remote village in 1952 Trinidad, a curious boy pursues the affection of two girls. Despite his ailing father’s advice, Shell follows the compassionate Mr Gidharee to work on his plantation along the river, in hopes of attracting his daughter Rosalie, but then falls for Joan, a sweet, sensible girl from the city. From the love triangle that ensues, Shell learns bittersweet lessons of life and love that will define his manhood and future forever.
Kevin owns a battered boat, but a living from fishing won’t keep his wife and his mother, who has Alzheimer’s, or pay his mortgage and his son’s school fees. His wife’s career is over because she served jail time for his involvement in the drug trade. Now even more desperate, he puts his boat to another use: transporting equally desperate Haitians from the Bahamas on their way to enter the US illegally. He’s taken risks before — this time he must pull off the biggest one of all.
Calypso Rose: The Lioness of the Jungle
Calypso Rose, born McArtha Lewis, is the calypso queen of the world. This is her extraordinary story, a moving tale of triumph over great adversity. We follow Rose from Paris, where she is recording an album, to her native Tobago and Trinidad, then to New York where she lives, and finally to her ancestral homeland, Africa. Along the way we see many facets of Rose and come closer to understanding the woman behind the public persona.
Art Connect vividly illustrates how creative intervention changed the lives of a group of young people in Laventille, a disenfranchised and volatile community in T&T. The film documents the profound impact that painting, poetry, music and dance had on the children, who were given digital cameras to record their experiences. By allowing the viewer intimate access to their world, they reveal their hopes and fears, and we witness their lives transform.
Pan! Our Music Odyssey
Pan! Our Music Odyssey is the story of the national instrument of Trinidad and Tobago, the only new acoustic musical instrument invented in the twentieth century. The film boldly dramatises the almost mythical invention of pan in the 1940s, and then surges forward to tell the stories of people from all over the world—T+T, France, Japan, the USA—who have staked everything on their love of the instrument, and whose passion and daring draw them each year to the “world championships” of steelband, Panorama. Written by Kim Johnson, T+T’s foremost pan writer and researcher, Pan! is interlaced with dramatic re-enactments of the rags-to-riches tale of the steelband movement, which was born into poverty and violence but climbed to the highest levels of social and artistic acceptance without losing its life-or-death urgency. The result is an extraordinary global human adventure, as rousing and life-affirming as any great pan symphony.