Children of God take top prize at T&T Film Festival

A debut drama out of the Bahamas has copped the top prize at the just-concluded trinidad+tobago film festival 2010 (ttff/10).

Children of God, the first feature-length narrative film by writer and director Kareem Mortimer, took the jury prize for best film made in the Caribbean spirit.

The story of a young man’s search for acceptance of his sexuality within a society marked by religious intolerance, Children of God also won the people’s choice award for best dramatic film.

“To be celebrated like this at a Caribbean festival is probably the best moment I have had in all my travels,” said Mortimer. “This is the audience for this movie and for them to accept it in this way is truly satisfying.”

Mortimer was also high in praise for the ttff/10.

“The festival was amazing! The fact that there is a festival in the Caribbean with such a major focus on Caribbean films ensures that we will all continue making films. It it was a joy to be in Trinidad. I am of Trinidadian heritage, so it was a joy to be there.”

Also in winners’ row was Sonja Dumas’ documentary Julia and Joyce, about Trinidadian dance pioneers Julia Edwards and Joyce Kirton, which won the jury prize for best local film.

“The award has given me a feeling of having made a contribution to those for whom I primarily did the project: the people of Trinidad and Tobago,” said Dumas. “Most of all, it’s tremendously gratifying to be recognised in one’s own country for one’s efforts.”

The jury prize for best short film went to The Legend of Buchi Fil, by German Gruber of Curaçao. Based on a poem by Pierre Laufferm, the film dramatises the story of the legendary Buchi Fil, the strongest slave who ever lived.

In the people’s choice award category, the Brazilian film Waste Land, directed by Lucy Walker, took the prize for best documentary, while the T&T drama The Blood and the Bois, directed by Sigmond Cromwell, was voted the best short film.

Apart from the prize-winning films, the ttff/10, which ran from September 22 to October 5, showcased a number of the best recent Caribbean films, including Moloch Tropical (Raoul Peck, Haiti), La Soga (Josh Crook and Manny Perez, the Dominican Republic), and Orpailleur (Marc Barrat, French Guiana).

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