More films than ever before at trinidad+tobago film festival/12

Over 120 films from 30 countries will be screened when the seventh annual trinidad+tobago film festival (ttff) kicks off on 19 September.

The ttff is a celebration of the best new and recent films from T&T, the Caribbean and its diaspora and Latin American Countries in the Caribbean basin. Films from Brazil, India and countries in Africa are also screened.

This year the Festival will screen more films—narrative, and documentary, both feature-length and short films—than ever before. More than half of these films are from T&T, most of which will be making their world premiere.

There will also be a special focus this year on the cinema of Canada, to mark 50 years of diplomatic relations and cultural and creative links between Trinidad and Tobago and Canada. This focus will include films by T&T-Canadian filmmakers here and in Canada.

Also, for the second year running, the New Media programme of avant garde/experimental film and video work from the Caribbean and the diaspora will take place.  And there will be a tribute to pioneering Trinidad-born British filmmaker Horace Ové, in the form of a mini-retrospective of his films.

The ttff/12 takes place at venues across the country, including MovieTowne (Port of Spain Tobago), the Little Carib Theatre, the University of the West Indies and Medulla Art Gallery. Tickets are $25 at MovieTowne and the Little Carib, while all other screenings are free. The Festival ends on 02 October.

For the full lineup of films, including synopses of all films and the locations, dates and times they are playing, visit

The trinidad+tobago film festival is held annually in September and is presented by Flow, given leading sponsorship by RBC Royal Bank and bpTT, and supported by the Trinidad and Tobago Film Company, the National Gas Company, the Ministry of Arts and Multiculturalism and Copa Airlines.

PROGRAMMING HIGHLIGHTS – synopses of a selection of films are listed below:
Director: Alejandro Brugués
2011, Cuba / Spain  Spanish, with English subtitles
Narrative feature / 92 minutes
JUAN IS A survivor. For decades he has ridden the waves of Cuba’s ups and downs, remaining resilient and refusing to leave the island. So, when a horde of zombies threatens to overrun Havana, he gets creative, and along with a rag-tag crew, starts up a zombie destruction service. Equal parts bloody horror-fest and cheeky political satire, Juan of the Dead is a gory, funny and wildly entertaining Cuban take on the classic zombie film.
Fri 21 Sept, 8.30pm, MovieTowne POS
Sat 29 Sept, 8.30pm, MovieTowne POS, Q&A

Director: Philippe Niang
2012, France  French, with English subtitles
Narrative feature / 180 minutes
AT LONG LAST the story of the Haitian Revolution is given the cinematic treatment in this fittingly two-part epic drama, starring celebrated Haitian actor Jimmy Jean-Louis as Toussaint L’Ouverture. The film tells the story of the man who led the greatest — and only successful — slave revolt in history, from his life as a coachman on the Breda plantation to his final days, imprisoned by Napoleon Bonaparte in a tiny cell in the icy Jura mountains of France.
In association with the Alliance Française.
Fri 21 Sept, 10.00am, Pt 1; 11.30am, Pt 2, UWI, Institute of Critical Thinking
Wed 26 Sept, 7.00pm, Pt 1, Alliance Française
Thur 27 Sept, 7.00pm, Pt 2, Alliance Française, Q&A
Sat 29 Sept, 1.00pm, Pt 1; 3.30pm, Pt 2, Q&A, MovieTowne POS
Director: Nicholas Attin
2012, Trinidad + Tobago  English
Narrative feature / 87 minutes
BILL IS A troubled art teacher with a tragic past. After he confiscates a mysterious pendant from an orphaned student, Georgie-Boy, visions of a spectre in white plague Bill’s fitful sleep, eventually making the terrifying transition from the world of dreams into reality. When he realises the importance of the pendant Bill must return it to its rightful resting place.
Thur 20 Sept, 6.00pm, MovieTowne POS, Q&A
Sat 22 Sept, 7.00pm, UWI, Students’ Activity Centre, Q&A
Fri 28 Sept, 1.00pm, MovieTowne POS

Director: Nisha Pahuja
2012, Canada / India  English and Hindi, with English subtitles
Documentary feature / 90 minutes
EVERY YEAR, a select group of young women undergo rigorous training as part of the controversial Miss India beauty pageant. Meanwhile, at the Durga Vahini camps, thousands of young women train with sticks and rifles to become “tigers” in defense of traditional Hindu values. This thoughtful, eye-opening documentary takes an unprecedented look inside both worlds, brilliantly dramatising the tensions between old and new India, and the struggles of Indian women to determine their own destiny.
In association with the High Commission of Canada and RBC Royal Bank
Wed 19 Sept, 6.00pm, MovieTowne POS
Mon 01 Oct, 8.00pm, Little Carib Theatre
Director: Cecilia Amado
2011, Brazil  Portuguese, with English subtitles
Narrative feature / 96 minutes
IN THE 1950s in Salvador, Bahia, a motley gang of abandoned street urchins survives by committing petty thefts and sophisticated mansion robberies. But when the orphaned Dora joins their ranks, the camaraderie of this boys-only outfit is threatened. This is a glorious, heartwarming film about a magical year in the life of a group of kids, a time in which they fly like birds, have wonderful dreams, visit hell, and discover love, sex, death and freedom.
Thur 20 Sept, 8.45pm, MovieTowne POS
Wed 26 Sept, 6.00pm, MovieTowne POS

Director: Menelik Shabazz
2011, UK  English
Documentary feature / 101 minutes
OFTEN DUBBED “romantic reggae”, lover’s rock is a uniquely black-British sound that developed in the late 1970s and early 80s. Against a backdrop of riots and racial tension, it allowed young people to experience intimacy and healing at parties and clubs. Blending interviews with live concert footage, this winning film celebrates lover’s rock and the culture that nurtured it. Get ready to turn down the lights, turn up the volume, hold on to your partner and start grooving
Sun 23 Sept, 1.00pm, MovieTowne POS
Tue 02 Oct, 8.00pm, Little Carib Theatre
Director: Philippe Falardeau
2011, Canada  French, with English subtitles
Narrative feature / 94 minutes
WHEN A TRAGEDY occurs at their Quebec school, a class of youngsters needs a new teacher. Enter Bachir Lazhar, an Algerian refugee, who must also help his charges cope with the trauma stemming from the tragedy. What the kids don’t know, however, is that Bachir also needs healing from the trauma in his own past.

This is a poignant, winning tale, a nominee for the 2012 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
In association with the High Commission of Canada and RBC Royal Bank
Sat 22 Sept, 8.30pm, MovieTowne POS
Fri 28 Sept, 11.00am, MovieTowne POS

Director: Shaun Escayg
2012, Trinidad + Tobago / Canada / USA
Narrative short / 15 minutes
TWO HOMELESS cousins try to survive the streets of Port of Spain as petty thieves. But times are getting harder and the pickings, slim. Will fortune favour the brave? Or will their desperate actions lead to their demise?
Mon 24 Sept, 8.30pm, MovieTowne POS
Wed 26 Sept, 8.00pm, MovieTowne Tobago
Fri 28 Sept, 8.45pm, MovieTowne POS, Q&A
Sun 30 Sept, 8.00pm, MovieTowne Tobago
Director: Ian Harnarine
2012, Canada / USA / Trinidad + Tobago  English
Narrative short / 6 minutes
Dhani struggles to support himself and his mother by selling doubles at the market. When his estranged father returns from Canada unexpectedly, Dhani must decide if he will help save his father’s life despite their strained relationship.
In association with the High Commission of Canada and RBC Royal Bank
Thur 20 Sept, 8.00pm, Little Carib Theatre
Sun 23 Sept, 7.00pm, Chaguanas
Fri 28 Sept, 2.30pm, UWI, Institute of Critical Thinking
Sat 29 Sept, 8.00pm, Little Carib Theatre, Q&A

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