Ishmahil Blagrove Jr., the UK-based, Jamaican-born director of Forever and This is Our Country Too
John Donne once said, “No man is an island, entire of itself.” No film festival is an island, either, even when it takes place on an island or, in our case, two. One of the best parts of putting on the trinidad + tobago film festival is the opportunity afforded to interact and form alliances with organisations and people around the world who work tirelessly to promote the moving image.
This year, we are pleased to be a festival partner of the The Black Filmmaker (bfm) International Film Festival (IFF). First held in the UK in 1998, the bfm IFF is the leading and longest running platform for Black World Cinema in the UK, catering to everyone but with a special focus towards Black, African, and Caribbean audiences. Filmmakers from the bfm IFF will join us for the run of our festival as members of panels and workshops and/or to answer questions after their films, which will be screened for the first time in Trinidad and Tobago.
Joining us is Ishmahil Blagrove Jr., a British director/producer with several documentaries under his belt. Among these are Forever (Hasta Siempre), which questions the future of Cuba in a post-Fidel era, and This is Our Country Too, which takes a searing look at an Australia divided. He is the editor of riceNpeas.com, the website of an independent film production company that specialises in producing hard-hitting social documentaries. Blagrove will be present for the screening of his films and is a panelist for the festival workshop, The Documentary: In Theory and Practice.
We’re also happy to welcome Lawrence Coke, a British director who has been making films since 1997. He will be in attendance at the festival screenings of his award-winning short films: Melvin: Portrait of a Player which is, well, a portrait of a player; Morally Speaking, a sharply observed sex comedy; and One Day at a Time, a stark, anti-gun film.
Also joining us is Rachel Wang, who teamed up with director Mark Currie in 2001 to form Chocolate Films. Over the years, they have made award-winning short dramas, documentaries, and community film projects. Wang will be present for the screening of Afro-Saxons, which takes a most intriguing look at the world of African-Caribbean women’s hairstyling in Britain.
We are honoured to welcome our bfm guests, and also pleased to announce that filmmakers from Trinidad and Tobago will be guests at the bfm IFF in London in November of this year.
We’re still not done with our guest list, though! Look out for another post or two or more on our invitees.