TTFF is included in MovieMaker Magazine’s annual list of the world’s weirdest and most wonderful cinematic celebrations: the 25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World. You can fins the full list at

From their announcement:

It’s the feeling every moviemaker dreams of: You step out of a sold-out screening of your new film at a gorgeous venue that oozes with character. Enthusiastic, intelligent audience members ask you lingering questions you didn’t have time to answer during the Q&A. Dusk is settling and, as you were promised, the weather is absolutely perfect at this time of the year. Someone hands you a drink. It’s that sexy programmer whose eye you’ve been trying to catch all week. She asks if you’re going to the party tonight, and as you nod and follow her into the rideshare vehicle waiting outside, you think to yourself that the rumors are true: This is a cool festival.


What they have to say about the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival:

Trinidad & Tobago Film Festival // Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago // September 2015 //

“A hip and trendy place” with a laid-back vibe, our panelist enjoyed “liming [i.e. hanging out] with industry and locals at the bars in Port of Spain after an afternoon and evening of screenings.” Sounds like paradise. The festival “supports the Caribbean filmmaking scene as a whole, as well as individual filmmakers, extending its coolness beyond borders.” Extracurriculars include a workshop on film appreciation, and an industry networking event billed as group speed dating.

Posted by: ivetteromero | November 19, 2014

Varala Maraj Interviews Blue Curry for ARC Magazine


Bahamian-born, London-based artist Blue Curry’s solo show “Souvenir” is on view at Vitrine Gallery at Bermondsey Square, London. The show runs through November 22, 2014. Varala Maraj interviews the artist about his explorations, themes, and vision. “By repurposing hair combs into a new sculptural form, ‘Souvenir’ challenges these associations against a backdrop of a distorted idealistic ‘island paradise’.” Read two excerpts here and access full interview in the links below:

VM: Could you tell us about the themes associated with your work?

BC: Exoticism in its many registers and nuances comes up frequently in my work. My interest in the exotic is quite wide, including not only the usual cultural exoticism that we are aware of, but also things like temporal exoticism which fuels a fascination with retro. Exoticism is when something doesn’t seem like it belongs in the place it is encountered. Many times, art is also working off of this same principle. The combs work in that way; something that you use in your bathroom at home is suddenly in a gallery space or is used in another way making you think twice about it – a locational exoticism, you can call it.  It would be disingenuous of me to say I’m not aware of the exoticism historically attached to the hair comb and how carved combs from many cultures are still held in ethnographic collections worldwide.  The hair comb has been historically exoticised.  So here, with these sculptures, I feel like I achieve something in that a single object deals with two ways of fetishising.

[. . .]


VM: Would you consider your work to be Caribbean art?

BC: I’m not really interested in making specifically Caribbean art.  I don’t like terms like this in general so my kneejerk reaction would be to say no. I work with materials and content from the Caribbean but am just working as an artist and don’t need to get hung up on definitions of my practice that are so specific. I don’t avoid the associations – if I want to work with a conch shell for example, I should be able to work with a conch shell as my raw material as much as a sculptor living in a forest can work with wood – but I’m not naive and do work with the materials understanding the weight that they carry in the lexicon of tropicality.  I’d like to think that what I am engaging with is a discussion informed by the Caribbean, which extends well outside it. In any case, if people see what I do as Caribbean art because I’m from there then I’m OK with that. There are much worse things that they could say about me! [he laughs].

For full article, see

For more information on the Vitrine Gallery, see



Our thanks to Peter Jordens for bringing this item to our attention.

Book reading and signing with the Miami Book Fair International’s Jamaican authors: Marlon James, Geoffrey Philp, Kellie Magnus and Tanya Batson Savage.

Monday, November 24, 2014

6 – 8 p.m.

Florida Academic Center

16853 N.E. 2nd Ave, Suite 102

North Miami Beach, Florida 33162


Sources: and

Posted by: lisaparavisini | November 19, 2014

Another Jamaican-born singer makes The Voice Top 10

The Voice - Season 7

Our thanks to Peter Jordens for bringing this item to our attention.

Bob Marley must be smiling down from heaven – that is if he is a fan of NBC music reality show, The Voice.

Jamaican-born, Connecticut-based singer, Anita Antoinette Fearon last night advanced into the Top 10 of the competition after her cover of Marley’s ‘Redemption Song’ Monday night. The singer, who moved to the U.S. at age 8, secured the second highest number of votes overall to move on. She was the first person from Team Gwen Stefanie to advance.

Anita is the daughter of reggae icon Clinton Fearon and is a self-taught singer and guitarist.

She began writing her own music as a teenager, inspired both by her father and by other legends such as Bob Marley. She is a graduate from the prestigious Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts and Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts and holds a Bachelors Degree in Music

Meanwhile, America also saved from the entire Team Adam last night along with the other two members of Team Stefanie.

Pharrell Williams’ Sugar Jones was ousted last night along with Blake Shelton’s Jessie Pitts also getting sent home.

Team Blake’s Craig Wayne Boyd was also saved by America along with Reagan James.

For the original report go to

See also

Posted by: lisaparavisini | November 19, 2014

Marlon James at Miami Book Fair, Nov. 23


A post by Peter Jordens.

Marlon James, author of the acclaimed A Brief History of Seven Killings, will be at the 31st Miami Book Fair International this Sunday November 23, 2014. Location: Auditorium (Building 1, 2nd Floor, Room 1261), Miami Dade College, 300 NE Second Avenue, Miami, Florida 33132. Time: 2 p.m.


Also see previous posts Marlon James’ ‘A Brief History of Seven Killings’ one of PW’s 10 best books of 2014 and The GQ+A: Marlon James.

For more Caribbean authors at the Miami Book Fair, read


With President Barack Obama vowing to proceed on immigration reform by executive order, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Friday signed two bills that would drastically limit the federal government’s ability to deport undocumented Caribbean and other immigrants from New York City. As de Blasio signed the bills on Friday, New York City Council Speaker Puerto Rican-born Melissa Mark-Viverito repeated her support for another measure, supported by many immigrant advocacy groups, giving noncitizen immigrants the right to vote in municipal elections. Mark-Viverito said the bill could be proposed as soon as January next year.

Under one of the new laws, the city will, in many cases, refuse to hand over immigrants in the criminal justice system to federal agents, according to the New York Daily News. In the past, the city sometimes had to turn over people whose cases had been dismissed or who had been arrested on minor charges, the paper said.

Now, it said the city will only cooperate with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) if the agency has a federal warrant, or if the person has been convicted of a serious crime or is on a terror watch list. Another bill gets rid of ICE from its offices on Rikers Island jail in Queens, New York.

“We’re signing legislation that will have a really meaningful effect on the lives of immigrants,” said de Blasio, as he signed the bill, flanked by City Legislators and Carlos Rodriguez, who was mistakenly arrested for trespassing and detained by federal law enforcement authorities for eight months even though the charges were dropped. Rodriquez is still fighting deportation to the Dominican Republic, the Daily News said. “Even though it doesn’t help me right now, I know it helps somebody else out there,” Rodriquez said.

Nearing the end of an Asian trip, Obama, in Myanmar, repeated vows to use executive orders to act on overhauling immigration enforcement. The president said Republicans “have the ability” to pass a comprehensive immigration bill. But many conservative Republicans said they would risk forcing another government shutdown in a bid to block Obama from changing deportation practices.

“Unless Congress pre-empts or blocks the President’s promised executive action, a long-term funding bill is little more than a blank check for amnesty,” said Heritage Action, a Washington-based lobbying group with major influence among conservative Republicans, urging a shutdown threat. [. . .]

For full article, see

See photo above and more information at

Posted by: lisaparavisini | November 19, 2014

Nevis chef Llewellyn Clarke’s hot sauce gets flown around the world


A post by Peter Jordens.

Llewellyn Clarke is a chef who lives and works in Nevis. He makes a special hot pepper sauce that is popular locally. Mr. Clarke now stars in a two-minute advertisement for Federal Express in which they deliver his bottles of hot sauce all across the globe. The campaign will run for six months and includes press, posters, digital display and social media activity. The objective is to showcase FedEx’s vast network and demonstrate how this can help small businesses to expand internationally. At the end of the ad, Mr. Clarke is clearly satisfied as he sticks a small “Enjoyed Worldwide” label on his hot sauce bottle.

The campaign featuring Llewellyn Clarke has been picked up by several advertising sites:

You can watch the advertisement there or here:

A collection of short videos with people around the world sampling Llewellyn’s Hot Pepper Sauce can be found here:

Photo credit

Posted by: ivetteromero | November 19, 2014

Cuban doctor in Sierra Leone diagnosed with Ebola


Sad news, in view of the heroic efforts of the Cuban doctor brigades responding to the Ebola crisis. Cuban doctor Felix Baez Sarria, a member of the Henry Reeves medical brigade in Sierra Leone, has been diagnosed with Ebola and is now under treatment at a specialized treatment centre in Switzerland, with no complications, the Cuban health ministry reported on Wednesday.

The report, published in the Granma newspaper, explained that, on November 16, the Cuban doctor, a specialist in internal medicine who had already assisted Ebola patients in Sierra Leone, began to have a fever, but no other symptoms. The doctor was immediately transferred to the Kerry Town Ebola treatment centre in the capital of the country.

The doctor was tested for Ebola on November 17 and diagnosed with the virus. The Cuban health worker was assisted by British professionals with extensive experience in the treatment of the disease, and who maintain direct communication with the Cuban medical brigade, the report explained.

Following a proposal by the World Health Organization, Baez Sarria was transferred to the Geneva University Hospital, in Switzerland, which has a centre that is highly specialized in the treatment and management of highly-transmissible infections.

Experts and officials are closely following the progress of the patient, who has not presented any complications and is hemo-dynamically stable, the report by the Cuban health ministry concluded.

For original report, see

Posted by: ivetteromero | November 19, 2014

Virgin returning to Tobago in 2015


Virgin Holidays and Virgin Atlantic will soon be returning to Tobago, less than a year after news broke that the major airline was withdrawing its direct service from London.

The new Virgin flights will return to Tobago next spring, in time for the popular summer 2015 tourist arrivals season. The news will provide a boost for the destination, which will also see an increase by other airlines from Europe and coincides with a range of upgrades, extensions and hotel openings.

“We are happy that Virgin wanted to come back to Tobago after such a short time away,” said Tracy Davidson-Celestine, Secretary for Tourism and Transportation in the Tobago House of Assembly. “An agreement for our airline partner to return was quickly reached once Virgin approached us. This is a significant endorsement of all the hard work we have put into building the destination and helping improve our product.”

Virgin’s restored summer service flights are expected to begin once weekly on Sunday, March 29, 2015, followed by twice weekly flights from October 2015, on Tuesdays and Saturdays. In an effort to make the route cost effective, the flights will be shared with St Lucia. The new agreement, signed recently by both parties, is valid for three years from the proposed flight start date.

The return of Virgin comes after rival Monarch Airlines took a strategic decision to stop making long haul flights across the Atlantic. It also coincides with strong improvements in product and service on the Island. [. . .]

For full article, see

Posted by: ivetteromero | November 19, 2014

Why Caribbean divers are eager to kill the beautiful lionfish


NPR recently hosted a segment on how the Caribbean island of Bonaire is teaching divers how to catch the venomous lionfish through a lionfish hunting program to train people to remove this invasive species from the reefs. Here are excerpts with a link to the article and radio program below:

On the wall at the Buddy Dive Resort on the Caribbean island of Bonaire there’s an Old West-style poster. It sums up the feelings here about the beautiful lionfish, pictured with its plume of featherlike fins and amber and white stripes.

“Wanted: Dead,” reads the poster. The poster is an advertisement for a lionfish hunting course in Bonaire, a scuba diver’s paradise off the coast of Venezuela. The surrounding reef is a kaleidoscope of corals, sponges and exotic fish. But in recent years, it has also become home to the lionfish — an invasive species native to the Pacific and Indian oceans. [. . .] Bonaire is fighting back, training divers to hunt the predatory creature.

Instructor Mariska De Waard guides me through a short classroom session about the venomous fish, the damage it’s doing to reefs, and how to hunt it without further harming the reef — or myself.

“On the reef in the shallows, we have a nice line with little balls of foam and little bottles we can use as a practice to shoot,” says De Waard. What we’ll be shooting is a short, spring-loaded spear called the ELF, which stands for “Eliminate Lion Fish.” It’s the only spear Bonaire’s government allows in its protected marine park, and it can only be used on lionfish.

[. . .] Moments into the dive, we spot a small lionfish. This one is doing what lionfish usually do: hovering around in a little coral shelter. It looks quite beautiful, kind of an aquatic wolf in sheep’s clothing that gobbles up other fish that keep the reef healthy.

De Waard shoots this one and shoves it into the Zookeeper — a PVC tube with a funnel at one end. You stuff the fish in and then pull out the spear, leaving the creature trapped inside. Reef sharks are a rare sight here, and there’s no worry about them chasing your catch. In fact, that’s the problem — there are no natural lionfish predators in the Atlantic. Next, it’s my turn. After a couple of near-misses, I find my groove and shoot 16 over the course of my three training dives. With that, I join the growing legion of certified lionfish hunters.

Pepe Mastropaolo, the course instructor at Buddy Dive, designed the lionfish hunting program for the Professional Association of Diving Instructors two years ago. “The important thing is we are training people to remove this invasive species from our reefs,” he says. Mastropaolo says more than 500 divers have taken the course. While many are tourists and will spend only a short time here, a growing number of local residents are getting certified.

“I would say at any given time, there’s about 30 people on the island who are actively hunting,” says Rita Peachey, the director of the Council on International Educational Exchange research center in Bonaire. She says the first fish was spotted in 2009 — some two decades after the species was released off Florida.

Patrick Lyons, a professor at CIEE, says that hunting is the only effective method of controlling the lionfish population. “We’re certainly keeping their numbers low, and the numbers are much lower than other places where they’re not being actively hunted,” he says.

For example, in the waters off nearby Curacao and Aruba, the lionfish population is 10 times that of their natural habitat. And with the hunting comes eating. Bonaire wants to create demand for the fish — on your plate. Once the venomous spines are cut off, lionfish are safe to handle and — more important — to eat. [. . .]

For full article, see

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