One key way the ttff is able to grow and remain a vibrant, cutting-edge entity is through its associations with other film festivals in the region and around the world. In addition to members of the ttff team attending major festivals such as Toronto, Miami and Cannes, we also have official partnerships with other festivals, such as Femi in Guadeloupe and ZIFF in Zanzibar.
Attending and having links with other film festivals serves various functions. Seeing how other, often more established, festivals operate can provide us with valuable lessons on how to improve the ttff. Also, the networking opportunities other festivals provide is invaluable—there’s no better way to make connections with film industry professionals who can facilitate workshops, speak on panels, or serve on our jury. And, perhaps most importantly, by attending other festivals we’re able to discover great films that we wouldn’t otherwise have known about.
Two members of the ttff team recently returned from attending a couple of other film festivals. Co-director Annabelle Alcazar attended the Verona African Film Festival in Italy, which ran from November 11-20. The oldest film festival in Europe screening exclusively African and African diaspora content, the Verona festival celebrated its 31st anniversary this year, and had as its theme “Revolution, the Arab spring and the diaspora”. Not only did Annabelle attend the festival as a representative of the ttff, she also had the honour of serving on the festival’s jury.
Also recently taking place was the fifth annual Dominican Republic Global Film Festival, at which ttff Founder and Festival Director Bruce Paddington was a guest. The DRGFF is one of the fastest-growing festivals in the Caribbean, and screens from content both from the region and around the globe.
Both Annabelle and Bruce reported their experiences to be quite successful ones, in terms of securing possible content for the ttff/12 and forming official links with the respective festivals. Follow-up discussions are to be held and we’ll bring more news then.
We’ll also be bringing news soon about visits to two other festivals: The Bahamas International Film Festival and the Havana Film Festival. Co-director of the ttff Emilie Upczak and Melanie Archer, Art Director of the ttff, attended the just-concluded BIFF and are currently at the Havana festival, the largest, most prestigious festival in the region.
Photo: ttff Founder and Festival Director Bruce Paddington (fourth from left) with fellow guests at the Dominican Republic Global Film Festival, including, second from left, Gina Belafonte, producer of the documentary Sing Your Song (a ttff/11 selection), and, far right, French actor Jimmy Jean-Louis, star of such films as Orpailleur and Moloch Tropical (both ttff/10 selections).