The trinidad+tobago film festival (ttff) recently held an introduction to filmmaking workshop in Tobago, in partnership with the Division of Community Development and Culture, Tobago House of Assembly.
Director of the ttff Dr Bruce Paddington, Programme Director Annabelle Alcazar, and Melvina Hazard, Director of Community Development, as well as theatre, TV and film professional Tony Hall facilitated the workshop, which took place on 10 and 11 September at the Fairfield Complex in Scarborough.
Over 50 representatives from various heritage groups, village councils and youth groups, as well as persons in the field of theatre, participated in the workshop.
Topics included the history of filmmaking in Tobago and the representation of Tobagonians in mainstream Hollywood movies; the potential of filmmaking in Tobago at the grassroots level; the various stages of film production; and writing for the big screen. At the end of the session, participants came up with some ideas for films and worked on producing scripts.
The workshop was accompanied by a special screening of Kamalo Deen’s classic film Bacchanal Time, which features Tobago’s own Calypso Rose and Mighty Shadow.
This workshop is the first in a series of initiatives focusing on how grassroots oganisations working primarily in the theatre medium can make the transition from stage to screen. It also represents the beginning of a long-term training project with the Division of Community Development and Culture.
According to Glenda Rose-Layne, Director of Culture in the Division, “We are working with the ttff as part of our economic diversification and creative industry thrust for Tobago. Through this initiative, too, we are working to foster partnerships and networking throughout communities.”
Dr Paddington noted that “Our mandate has always been to expand our activities outside Port of Spain and the Tobago House of Assembly has proven to be a wonderful partner. The ttff is involved in all aspects of the local film industry, and skills training is of great importance. Tobagonians not only appreciate local films but are eager to learn how to make their own.”
The ttff began its partnership with the THA in 2010 with a series of film screenings and workshops throughout Tobago. Earlier this year, the Festival provided films for the THA’s Emancipation Day celebrations.
During the ttff/11, which takes place from 21 September to 04 October, there will be four free film screenings, in Castara, Charlotteville, Belle Garden and Calder Hall. These events will be in the spirit of true Tobago community with live performances, and food, drinks and crafts on sale.
There will also be a special two-day workshop facilitated by Prof Ika Bunting, Director of the Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF), who will also present a number of ZIFF films in Tobago.