Call for Applications – Focus: Filmmakers’ Immersion

Focus: Filmmakers’ Immersion
Presented by the ttff + RBC Royal Bank and the Commonwealth Foundation
20 – 22 September 2011
Facilitators: Fina Torres + Damon D’Oliveira
Application deadline: July 31


The trinidad+tobago film festival (ttff), in association with RBC Royal Bank and the Commonwealth Foundation, invites applications for Focus: Filmmakers’ Immersion and a subsequent pitch session and competition, with an ultimate prize of TT$20,000.

Mission and objective
Focus: Filmmakers’ Immersion will be an intensive three-day development programme that provides 10 selected Caribbean filmmakers with the opportunity to learn from professional film artists. It will be held from 20–22 September 2011, to coincide with the opening of the ttff/11 (21 September–04 October), and takes place at the beautiful Ajoupa Pottery in central Trinidad.

Focus will include group discussions on a range of topics concentrating on the artistic side of dramatic filmmaking, sharpening the skills and abilities of participants. There will be a particular emphasis on enhancing the filmmakers’ creative voice.

Each filmmaker will enter Focus with a concept for a feature-length dramatic film, from which they will be expected to develop a detailed treatment (not a shooting script).

Lab facilitators
The facilitators for Focus are two experienced, award-winning, international film-industry professionals: Venezuelan director and screenwriter Fina Torres, and Guyanese-Canadian producer and actor Damon D’Oliveira. Ms Torres is the writer, director and producer of several feature films, including Woman on Top (2000), starring Penelope Cruz. Mr D’Oliveira’s films as a producer include Poor Boy’s Game (2007), starring Danny Glover.

Ms Torres and Mr D’Oliveira will lead participants through various creative exercises, and will bring a sensitivity to the context in which Caribbean filmmakers are creating work.

Pitch session and competition
At the end of Focus, the facilitators will choose their top five participants. These five participants will be given an opportunity during the ttff/11 to pitch their project to the film festival’s five-member awards jury at a public event. The participant with the best project and pitch, as determined by the jury, will win a cash prize of TT$20,000.

Focus is open to emerging Caribbean filmmakers (citizens of Caribbean countries living and working in the Caribbean), who have completed at least one dramatic film (short or feature-length).

All applicants must submit a maximum five-minute excerpt of a film project (dramatic short or feature) on DVD, stating their role(s) on the film (writer, director, or creative producer). They must also submit a cover letter stating, in 100 words or less, what they hope to achieve if selected for Focus. Participants will be determined based on the strength of both these submissions.

Applications should be sent via mail or delivered in person to:

Emilie Upczak
Creative Director
Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival
199 Belmont Circular Road
Port of Spain
Trinidad and Tobago

The deadline for applications is 31 July, 2011. Successful applicants will be notified by 15 August.

Only successful applicants will be notified. Submitted materials will not be returned.

If you have any questions about Focus and the application process, please contact us at

Date: Mon 27 Jun, 2011
Category: ttff news and features

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