Back in 2006, the trinidad+tobago film festival (ttff) started life modestly, with several days of film screenings at a theatre in Port of Spain. Five years on, the two-week festival has grown to become the premier event of its kind in the English-speaking Caribbean.
This year’s edition of the ttff, which takes place from September 22 to October 5, will see over 60 short and feature-length films screened at venues across the country. There will be films from a host of Caribbean and Diaspora countries, as well as Latin American countries in the Caribbean basin, including Barbados, Canada, Colombia, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, French Guiana, Haiti, Jamaica, Mexico, the United Kingdom and, of course, Trinidad and Tobago.
Some of the more high-profile narrative features include Moloch Tropical, acclaimed Haitian director Raoul Peck’s disquieting, Shakespearean study of absolute power, and the breathtaking, quasi-mystical Wind Journeys, by Ciro Guerra of Colombia. Children of God, a gay-themed drama by Bahamian newcomer Kareem Mortimer, and Marc Barrat’s Orpailleur, set in the French Guianese rainforest, are also highly anticipated.
Among the documentary features to be screened are The Upsetter, a fascinating portrait of Jamaican music legend Lee “Scratch” Perry, and the black-and-white ethnographic classic Araya by Margot Benacerraf of Venezuela, recently restored and re-released. The festival will also be celebrating the cinema of Brazil, and through its heritage focus initiative, African cinema.
Many of the films screened will be eligible for various jury and audience awards, including the US$7,000 prize for best film. The directors and stars of many of the films will be attending the Festival.
In addition to the film screenings there will be a series of workshops, including a masterclass on adapting literary works for film, which will be facilitated by the Kittitian-born British novelist and screenwriter Caryl Phillips. There will also be discussion panels featuring a number of visiting filmmakers and other industry professionals, and various social events.
The ttff is presented by the cable television provider FLOW, and supported by the Trinidad and Tobago Film Company, RBC/RBTT, the Tourism Development Company and the National Gas Company.
For more information, visit www.trinidadandtobagofilmfestival.com
Photo: A shot from Children of God (2009), directed by Kareem Mortimer of the Bahamas
Our thanks to Magella Moreau and Jonathan Ali for the post above.