Politics, human rights and a nuanced view of issues affecting the Caribbean feature strongly in this year’s line-up of Caribbean films at the 2015 trinidad+tobago film festival (ttff), which takes place from 15–29 September.
From the plight of Dominicans of Haitian descent to the impact of Western policies on Caribbean societies, the twenty-five feature-length films and forty-nine short films portray the subtleties and realities of Caribbean life as told by those who populate the region.
The feature films—thirteen fiction films and twelve documentaries—form the core of the ttff’s lineup. Eight of the fiction features and seven of the documentaries will be in competition.
One of the fiction films in competition is Haitian auteur Raoul Peck’s Murder in Pacot, a chamber drama set in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake in Port-au-Prince. The film, which had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and its European premiere at the Berlinale, will have its Caribbean premiere at ttff/15.
Also making its Caribbean premiere is The Project of the Century, Carlos Machado Quintela’s black-and-white dramatic study of homosocial malaise in contemporary Cuba. The film was a prizewinner at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, where it had its world premiere.
Among the Trinidad and Tobago features is Bazodee, a highly anticipated musical drama starring Machel Montano and directed by Todd Kessler. Bazodee will have its world premiere at ttff/15.
In addition to the feature films, a lineup of forty-nine short Caribbean films—twenty-four fiction films and twenty-five documentaries—will screen at ttff/15.
Announcements already made for the ttff/15 are the opening night film (the Caribbean premiere of the Haitian documentary Sweet Micky for President) and the ten classic Caribbean films screening in celebration of the ttff’s tenth anniversary. Still to be announced are the international films screening in the Festival’s Panorama section, and the experimental works of the New Media section.
For the full list of Caribbean films screening at ttff/15, go here.
The films screening in competition are as follows.
BEST FEATURE FILM – FICTION
Murder in Pacot – Raoul Peck: Haiti, France, Norway
Project of the Century – Carlos Machado Quintela: Cuba, Argentina, Germany, Switzerland
Sand Dollars – Israel Cárdenas and Laura Amelia Guzmán: Dominican Republic, Mexico, Argentina
Venice – Kiki Álvarez: Cuba, Colombia
BEST FEATURE FILM – DOCUMENTARY
Casa Blanca – Aleksandra Maciuszek: Cuba, Mexico, Poland
Citizens of Nowhere – Nicolas Alexandre Tremblay: Dominican Republic, Haiti
Denis – Gabrielle Blackwood, Jamaica
My Father’s Land – Miquel Galofré and Tyler Johnston: The Bahamas, Haiti, Trinidad and Tobago
Vanishing Sail – Alexis Andrews: Antigua
BEST TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO FEATURE FILM – FICTION
Bazodee – Todd Kessler
Pendulum – Michael Rochford
Sally’s Way – Joanne Gail Johnson
Trafficked – Sean Hodgkinson
BEST TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO FEATURE FILM – DOCUMENTARY
My Father’s Land – Miquel Galofré and Tyler Johnston
Our Soul Turned Inside Out – Mary-Ann Brailey
Re-percussions: Our African Odyssey – Kim Johnson
BEST SHORT FILM – FICTION
Alto Vista – Juan Francisco Pardo: Aruba
April 4th 1968 – Myriam Gharbi: Guadeloupe
Aurora – Pascal Fontana: Puerto Rico
The English Teacher – Alán González: Cuba
Giants – Damian Marcano: Trinidad and Tobago, the Netherlands, USA
In the Horizon’s Dreams – Ramón Alfonso Peña: Dominican Republic
Mommy Water – Julien Silloray: Guadeloupe
Ti Coq – Nadia Charlery: Martinique
Twilight – Juan Pablo Daranas Molina: Cuba
A Wall – Javier Ferreiro: Cuba
BEST SHORT FILM – DOCUMENTARY
The Enemy – Aldemar Matías: Cuba
The Farewell – Alejandro Alonso: Cuba
Lorenza, the Radio and You – Roya Esraghi: Cuba
The Miracle Worker – Diana Montero: Cuba
Papa Machete – Jonathan David Kane: Haiti, USA, Barbados
Sixteen – Vashti Harrison: Trinidad and Tobago, USA
BEST TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO SHORT FILM – FICTION
Fade to Black – Christopher Guinness
Giants – Damian Marcano
Goldfish – Elenie Chung
BEST TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO SHORT FILM – DOCUMENTARY
Riding Bull Cart – Rhonda Chan Soo
Sixteen – Vashti Harrison
The Cuatro Man – Mikhail Gibbings
Paradise Lost – Christopher Laird
Image: a still from Murder in Pacot