directing the Caribbean narrative feature with José María Cabral


Wed 22, Thurs 23, Fri 24 Sept, 1.00pm-2.30pm (est)
location: online via Zoom
tickets: TT$900/ US$133, click here to register; early registration required

brought to you with the support of FilmTT

Directing is an art, one that requires many skills. How does one direct and craft an enduring narrative, as a Caribbean filmmaker? An authentic Caribbean story that explores universal themes can be impactful to a global audience, but what is the most efficient way to tell it? Having a clear vision of the film you want to make, confidence in your voice as a storyteller and a thorough understanding of universal themes that will resonate with global audiences are all vital to telling a memorable story. 

In this three-part masterclass, Dominican José María Cabral, director of “Jaque Mate” (“Checkmate”) and “Carpinteros” (“Woodpeckers”), will take participants through the art and process of directing, from the perspective of a Caribbean storyteller working in the Caribbean space. He will delve into topics such as knowing your voice and how to develop your style as a director; understanding the stories you want to tell; evaluating a script; production design; cinematography; using the resources you have; collaborating with your team; and working with actors.

*Eligibility: participants must be practising filmmakers of narrative films (note: this is not an introductory course).
**Payment plans are available for this masterclass.

José María Cabral

José María Cabral is a Dominican film director, screenwriter, and producer. Cabral started making films when he was 16 years old, hosting private screenings of short films to family and friends in local movie theatres, with one of them, “Excexos”, securing national distribution in 2008. His first feature film, “Jaque Mate” (2011), was screened at several film festivals and selected as the Dominican entry for Best Foreign Language Film for the 85th Academy Awards but did not make the shortlist. “Arrobá” and “Despertar” followed in 2013 and 2014, also making it onto the festival circuit. In 2015, he released “Detective Willy”, a comedy/adventure film, and in 2017 premiered his film, “Carpinteros” – about the realities and relationships of prisoners in Dominican jails – at the Sundance Film Festival. His following film, “The Projectionist”, was his country’s Oscar submission in 2019. “Isla de Plástico”, his first documentary, also premiered in 2019. Cabral is currently in post-production on his latest film, “Parsley”.

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