Proudly representing their country and region, three members of the trinidad+tobago film festival (ttff)—Nneka Luke, Jonathan Ali and Ryan Khan—braved freezing temperatures and attended the prestigious Berlin International Film Festival, the Berlinale, which took place in the German capital from 7–17 February.
Founded in 1951, the Berlinale is one of the top five film festivals in the world, along with the Cannes, Venice, Toronto and Sundance festivals. It is also one of the largest, with over 400 films screening annually.
Ms Luke, director of external relations and the newest team member at the ttff, was at the Berlinale as part of the DW Akademie Film Festival and Event Management Workshop. Hosted annually by Deutsche Welle, Germany’s international media broadcaster, the workshop brought together film festival managers from eleven developing countries.
The workshop—which ran from 20 January–22 February—shared information about improving the management of film festivals, supported the creation of valuable contacts through networking opportunities, and immersed participants in the Berlinale itself. Ms Luke’s participation—which was partly funded by the Trinidad and Tobago Film Company and supported by the German embassy—marked the first time in the eleven-year history of the event that a Caribbean film festival was invited to participate.
Mr Ali, the ttff’s editorial director, was at the Berlinale to scout films for possible inclusion in the ttff/13, which takes place from 18 September–1 October. He also engaged in extensive rounds of networking, and met with producers, representatives of other film festivals and other film-industry professionals, with regards to identifying funding and other production-, exhibition- and distribution-related opportunities for local and regional filmmakers.
Meanwhile Mr Khan, a filmmaker himself and until recently the ttff’s technical operations manager, was in Berlin to attend the Berlinale Talent Campus, a training opportunity for young filmmakers from around the world. He benefitted from participating in workshops and panel discussions with top filmmaking professionals, including celebrated filmmakers such as Jane Campion and Ken Loach.
“As we enter our eighth year the ttff is pleased to have had such a high level of representation at the Berlin International Film Festival,” said ttff founder and director Bruce Paddington. “The ttff was also able to participate in a vibrant trade market and such exposure will benefit the growth of the Trinidad and Tobago and Caribbean film industry.”
Photo caption: Nneka Luke, director of external relations of the trinidad+tobago film festival, in green hat, with fellow participants of the DW Akademie Film Festival and Event Management Workshop.