• ttff+

    Love Caribbean Film

  • ttff/22

    Save the Date, 22–28 Sep 2022

Soca in She Samba

1986 Calypso monarch, Young King and road march champion, David Rudder, travels to Bahia in Brazil in search of the ‘Bahia Gyal’ the subject of his winning road march. The programme examines African roots and traditions shared by Brazilians, Trinidadians and Tobagonians and most New World people.

Too Young to Soca

In 1986 an eleven year old boy and his family band caught the imagination of the public with a calypso “Too Young To Soca”. While sitting the common entrance examination for Secondary School he sang in the calypso tents and won the Junior Monarch crown. He was obviously destined for great things. Banyan filmed this documentary on the young singer, Machel Montano, who today is the leading exponent of Soca music in the world and is still setting the pace for the younger artists.

Bacchanal Time

“Bacchanal Time” is a wildly hilarious Caribbean comedy set at Carnival time in Trinidad and crammed with the music of the season. The story is centered around an island wide stickfight competition on Carnival Sunday. It bubbles with the Carnival weekend excitement, culminating with the first bands on J’ouvert morning. It stars Gregory Ballantine and Kamalo Deen as stickfighters and features the acting skills of Calypso Rose, the Mighty Shadow, Crazy, Count Robin, Trinidad Rio, Mighty Wanderer, Stork St. Hill and a host of others.

The Insatiable Season

It’s January 2006 and Brian Mac Farlane’s carnival workshop is quiet and practically empty – littered with left-over costumes and a couple of hangers-on from last year’s carnival. As the days pass the atmosphere starts to change. One by one, carnival costume makers begin arriving at the workshop (mas camp) anticipating the release of designs for the 2006 band.

So we meet the characters one at a time. Bogart is grumbling about everything being so late. Robby has been in a state of sustained carnival wonder since the early 80s. Paul is jammin’ in Trinidad with Mac Farlane for the first time, lookin’ forward to the party. Jhawhan is a folk dancer with dreams of being the king of carnival. Brian is ambitious and determined and Jenette is a first-time costume maker with stars in her eyes and memories of the good old days of playing carnival.

What happens when all of these people come together is nothing short of wonderful. At times it is hilarious. At times it is nothing but stress. Always, it is suffused with the knowledge that wearable and mobile works of art are being made. And towards the end of the season, the monotony of having to produce yet another costume is starting to weigh on everyone. But into this mix comes the drive to produce a beautiful carnival king costume for Jhawhan to wear. And for a while, everyone’s energies are diverted, heightened and focused on making this magnificent king. When it comes time to perform, Jhawhan wears the costume well and everyone’s spirits are soaring, which makes the disappointment of his loss far greater.

But the news gets worse. Because everyone’s energies have been so diverted, they’ve lost sight of the need to produce the carnival band, and so it’s a mad and frantic dash to what everyone is hoping will be a stunning finish line: Carnival Tuesday.

This is Home

Carnival in Trinidad and Tobago—the greatest show on Earth. We proclaim this as an absolute. But we have to celebrate very differently this year (for obvious reasons).

Just as we did for Seasons 1 and 2 of ‘This is Home’ to commemorate NGC’s 45th Anniversary and celebrate Christmas, we invite you to celebrate our local culture and history, live vicariously and revel virtually through this beautifully curated ‘This is Home’, Carnival series.

We present ‘This is Home’, Carnival—’The Pan’ performed by Mia Gormandy.
We present ‘This is Home’, Carnival—’The Midnight Robber’ portrayed by Curtis Gross.
We present ‘This is Home’, Carnival—’The Fancy Sailor’ portrayed by Keith Simpson.
We present ‘This is Home’, Carnival—’The Fancy Indian’.
We present ‘This is Home’, Carnival—’The Jab Molassie or Blue Devil’.

Calypso at Dirty Jim’s

Calypso is the soul of Trinidad. For three centuries, Calypsonians have been the folk singers of the Creole world, the griots of the Caribbean. Outstanding improvisers, poets allergic to all censorship, Calypsonians have told the story of slavery, freedom, world wars, independence and emigration, without forgetting love with a heavy dose of humour and sex.

Lord Pretender, Lord Beginner and Lord Kitchener, many of the legendary Lords of Calypso have left us recently. But in Trinidad, some masters still exist such as Mighty Sparrow, Mighty Terror, Bomber, Calypso Rose, Lord Superior. In ‘Calypso at Dirty Jim’s’, the last great stars are still shining but a new generation is taking over: soca singers and rapso poets. ‘Calypso at Dirty Jim’s’ is the coming together of this generation of artists.

After Mas | Dying Swan | Paradise Lost

After Mas (20′)

Directed by Karen Martinez and shot in Trinidad in February 2013 during Carnival, we experience the charge of this bacchanalian drama before following the characters return to their separate lives. In the cold light of day, can these young lovers from very different backgrounds stay true to their desires?

Dying Swan (10′)

After ten years, internationally acclaimed mas artist, Peter Minshall, reinterprets Mikhail Fokine’s classic ballet The Dying Swan for a ‘Moko Jumbie’ (a stilt dancer) in drag. Directed by Christopher Laird, this film chronicles the assemblage and performance of this mas at the King of Carnival competition in February 2016.

Paradise Lost (34′)

Carnival artist Peter Minshall tells the story of the design and construction of Paradise Lost, his first masquerade band for the Trinidad and Tobago carnival in 1976. Directed by Christopher Laird,‘Paradise Lost’ documents Peter Minshall’s recollection of the first band he ever designed under Stephen Lee Heung. The veteran producer of masquerade bands for Trinidad Carnival, Stephen Lee Heung, invited Peter Minshall to design his presentation for 1976 Carnival in Trinidad.

Soca Power

Directed by Claude Santiago, the film’s powerful soca figures are Machel Montano, Bunji Garlin, Fay-Ann Lyons, and Isaac Blackman. Through the interwoven portraits of these four stars, Soca Power is an energetic immersion into the world of soca.

Jab! The Blue Devils of Paramin

Isolated in the mountains of Trinidad, the district of Paramin, once a year at Carnival time sheds its rural languor and erupts into an inferno of bluepainted ‘jabs’ or devils. Kootoo, King Devil, prepares with his three brothers to once again win the village competition for the most convincing devil band. Known for his athletic prowess, and given to extraordinary feats like ripping up trees and scaling tall buildings, the charismatic Kootoo must still work hard with his band of devils to win the prize in the face of serious competition from a new generation of ‘jabs’.

Mystic Fighters

“Mystic Fighters” is a documentary-based story on the ritual of stick fighting in Trinidad & Tobago and the power of the ancestral drum.

Mystic Fighters takes the spectator to the heart of Trinidad’s African heritage with testimonies of respected elders and well-established artists.

The film’s tension revolves around the stick-fighting competition, the preparation, the fights leading to the finals where the winner is declared. The history behind the tradition is the story of Trinidad brushed over the past century and also portrayed by the reconstruction of the burning of the sugar canes from which the Canboulay celebrations were born.

The rhythm of the film is constructed around the ‘chantuel’ and the calinda songs with drum being one of the main characters of the film; how its spirit is mastered is key to stick-fighting and transforming the sport into a ritual.

Soca in She Samba

Too Young to Soca

Bacchanal Time

The Insatiable Season

This is Home

Calypso at Dirty Jim’s

After Mas | Dying Swan | Paradise Lost

Soca Power

Jab! The Blue Devils of Paramin

Mystic Fighters

Become a trinidad+tobago film festival member.

ttff/22 Merchandise

View Film Index A–Z.

Watch Caribbean Movies on ttff+.

The Trinidad+Tobago Film Festival would like to acknowledge the generous support of our sponsors.

Signature Sponsor


Leading Sponsors


Contributing Sponsors


Programming Partners

Join Our Mailinglist

* indicates required

Contact Us

22 Jerningham Ave,
Belmont, Port of Spain,
Trinidad and Tobago, WI

Tel: 1.868.323.3228