‘The story of a Haitian man looking for spiritual peace has taken the main prize at the trinidad+tobago film festival 2011 (ttff/11), presented by Flow.
The Festival, in its sixth annual edition, ran from 21 September to 04 October. The awards were presented at a ceremony on Sunday 02 October.
Jean Gentil, directed by Israel Cárdenas of Mexico and Laura Guzmán of the Dominican Republic, took the jury prize for the overall best narrative feature film.
A documentary about the Black Power uprising that took place in Trinidad and Tobago in 1970 won the prize for best local feature film. Entitled ’70: Remembering a Revolution, the film was directed by Alex de Verteuil and Elizabeth Topp.
Hit Me with Music, a documentary about Jamaica’s dancehall culture, proved a popular film on the night. The film, directed by Miquel Galofré, picked up two awards: the jury prize for best overall documentary feature and the people’s choice award for best documentary.
There were also people’s choice awards for the Jamaican feature-length urban drama Better Mus’ Come, directed by Storm Saulter, and the short documentary Chinee Girl, a film by Natalie Wei about Chinese women in T&T.
In addition to the prizes for films, a number of other awards were given out. They included posthumous awards recognising some of the pioneers of the cinema industry in T&T, and an award for a university film graduate who has made an impact in the local film industry.
The night also saw the ttff/11’s inaugural lifetime achievement award being presented. The award went to Harry Belafonte, for his contribution to the arts and activism around the globe. Mr Belafonte’s daughter, Gina Belafonte, producer of a documentary film about her father that screened at the ttff/11, collected the award on his behalf.
The full list of the ttff/11 awards
Best narrative feature: Jean Gentil (Dominican Republic, Mexico); directed by Israel Cárdenas and Laura Guzmán
Best documentary feature: Hit Me With Music (Jamaica, Spain); directed by Miquel Galofré
Best short film: 10 Ave Maria (Aruba); directed by Juan Francisco Pardo and Ryan Oduber
Special mention, best narrative feature: Boleto al Paraíso (Cuba); directed by Gerardo Chijona
Special mention, best documentary feature: When the Drum is Beating (Haiti, USA); directed by Whitney Dow
Special mention, best short film: Classical Steel (T&T); directed by John Barry
Best local feature: ’70: Remembering a Revolution; directed by Alex de Verteuil and Elizabeth Topp
Best local short: Sweet Fries; directed by Renée Pollonais
Best actor in a local film: Gerry Bednob, The Rise and Fall of John Tesoro
Best actress in a local film: Dionese Sylvester, Sweet Fries
People’s choice awards
Best narrative feature: Better Mus’ Come (Jamaica); directed by Storm Saulter
Best documentary feature: Hit Me with Music (Jamaica, Spain); directed by Miquel Galofré
Best short: Chinee Girl (T&T, Canada); directed by Natalie Wei
Social awareness award
Positive & Pregnant (T&T); directed by Stacy Lela
Pioneers of T&T cinema
Lionel Belasco, William Pettigrew Humphrey, Timothy Roodal, Sarran Teelucksingh, Gokool Meah and Ranjit Kumar
Focus: Filmmakers’ Immersion pitch session winner
Graduate film development award
Lifetime achievement award
The ttff receives leading sponsorship from RBC Royal Bank, and is supported by the Trinidad & Tobago Film Company, the National Gas Company, bpTT, the Tourism Development Company and the Tobago House of Assembly.
Visit http://www.ttfilmfestival.com for more information.