Twelve participants have been chosen to take part in the first ever Focus: Filmmakers’ Immersion, being hosted by the trinidad+tobago film festival (ttff), in association with RBC Royal Bank, the Festival’s leading sponsor.
Focus is an intensive workshop for Caribbean filmmakers—directors, screenwriters and producers—aimed at enhancing and deepening their creative skills. It will take place from 20 – 22 September, at Ajoupa Pottery in Chicklands, central Trinidad.
The selected Focus participants are: Francisco Pardo, Ryan Oduber (Aruba); Maria Govan, Kareem Mortimer (the Bahamas); Mandisa Pantin, Roderick de Weever, Camille Granger, Kevin Adams, Christopher Din Chong, Sean Hodgkinson, Renée Pollonais and Steven Taylor (Trinidad & Tobago).
A call for submissions for Focus went out across the region. The 12 participants were chosen from all submissions received through a multiple-stage selection process, by a panel comprising staff of the ttff and RBC Royal Bank, as well as a professional filmmaker independent of both organisations.
Two experienced, international filmmakers will lead the Focus participants. They are Venezuelan writer-director Fina Torres and Guyanese-Canadian actor and producer Damon D’Oliveira. Among Ms Torres’ films is Woman on Top starring Penelope Cruz, while Mr D’Oliveira’s résumé includes Poor Boy’s Game, starring Danny Glover.
At the end of Focus, the facilitators will chose their top five participants. During the film festival, which runs from 21 September – 04 October, the chosen five will pitch the film projects they worked on during Focus to the ttff/11 awards jury at a public session. The person who makes the best pitch will win a cash prize of $20,000.
RBC is a major sponsor of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), the largest and one of the most prestigious public film festivals in the world. Through its Emerging Artists Support Project, RBC provides support for more than 30 programmes that bridge the gap from academic excellence to professional careers in all aspects of the arts. RBC Royal Bank continues to scout for opportunities to support the development of emerging artists in the region.