meet the ttff/21 programmers

This year, to support the growth and sustainability of the Festival, we have expanded our programming team to five members through a public call for programmers. The programming team reviews all submitted films that meet the Festival’s stated criteria of feature and short films from – student, emerging or established – Caribbean filmmakers, Caribbean filmmakers in the diaspora, and international filmmakers with films, from or about the Caribbean or its diaspora. Our programmers may also curate a small selection of films which they believe will enhance the film programme. We’re delighted to introduce this year’s programmers.

Ivonne Cotorruelo  

Ivonne Cotorruelo is a Cuban film curator and producer based in New York, who has been empowering storytellers for almost a decade. She is currently a programmer at the trinidad+tobago film festival, and also part of the programming committee at Miami Film Festival (MIFF), Los Angeles Latino Film Festival (LALIFF) and New Orleans Film Festival (NOFF).  In the past, she worked with the screening committee for DocNYC and TIDE. A Berlinale talent campus alumni, she is always seeking out films from underrepresented voices. Working on a plan of strategic diversity, equity and inclusion. She is committed to discovering filmmakers with fresh voices and innovative storytelling techniques, and to helping them on their paths to future success.

Danielle Dieffenthaller

Danielle Dieffenthaller has over 20 years experience in the television and film industry. She is committed to telling the Caribbean story through quality dramatic and documentary film and television productions. Danielle is the owner/producer/director of Dieffenthaller Style Films Ltd, which produced the popular programmes “Iere Vibe” and “The Reef”.  She was the main force behind the television production company Earth TV Ltd, and producer/director and co-writer of the acclaimed “Ecowatch” series and the long-running “Westwood Park” (100 episodes).

Dieffenthaller’s resumé includes work with TTT, UK-production company Bandung Productions and the groundbreaking production house Banyan Productions, where she and one other crew member were the only local crew to capture the events of the 1990 attempted coup. Among her credits are dramatic, educational, environmental, political and business projects for local, regional and international audiences. She is also a co-founder of FILMCO and the 2019 Arts and Letters Laureate of the Anthony N. Sabga Caribbean Awards for Excellence.

Dr Bruce Paddington

Bruce Paddington (PhD) is a filmmaker, lecturer, academic and film festival curator. He was a senior lecturer in film at the University of the West Indies, Trinidad and the co-founder of the BA Film Programme. He is the founder of Banyan Productions, the New World Film Centre and the trinidad+tobago film festival and was the festival director from 2006–19. He is a consultant and programmer for ttff/21.

Xavier Pillai

Xavier Pillai is an assistant curator at the British Film Institute (BFI) with prior experience working on historical collections at the BFI National Archive. He is a Trinidadian-Malay Londoner with a strong interest in documentaries. He will be developing this practice through the Research Architecture MA at Goldsmiths, the University of London, later in 2021. He is new to the trinidad+tobago film festival programming team this year.

BC Pires

BC Pires was called to the bar of Trinidad & Tobago in 1984 and enrolled as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of England & Wales in 1989 but, since January 1988, has done nothing but write for a living. His satirical column, “Thank God It’s Friday”, published more or less every Friday of the last 32 years, began at the Express and, after a few years at the Guardian, has appeared in Newsday since 2017. He has tried to write sensibly about film from an informed lay perspective since 1988. He sat on the first jury of the trinidad+tobago film festival and wrote the Judges’ Report. He has also written about West Indies cricket for publications all over the world, notably, the UK Guardian and Observer newspapers. He has lived in Port of Spain, London, Georgetown and, since 2008, Barbados. He is married to Carla Castagne. Their adult children live in London, where they first went to school, but the remaining family of six dogs, a parrot and a frequently outraged but always loving cat remain firmly settled in the Bajan countryside. 

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