Ramesar up for prestigious award

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Director Yao Ramesar is one of five filmmakers nominated for the inaugural Yellow Robin Award of the Curaçao International Film Festival, the Trinidad Guardian reports. 

The award comes with a US$10,000 cash prize, travel to and accommodation in Rotterdam for the 2014 edition of the prestigious International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) and the winning film will screen at IFFR.

Films from the Caribbean and Latin America will be considered for this award to be handed out at the second edition of Curaçao IFFR taking place April 4-7, 2013.

Rotterdam was established in 1972 and is one of the world’s most prestigious film festivals comparable in size to other major European festivals such as Cannes, Venice, Berlin, and Locarno with an attendance reaching 353,000 visitors in 2010.

Ramesar secured the nomination for his film, SistaGod, which premiered at Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in 2006 and remains the sole feature film from T&T to have been an official selection in an international film festival.

SistaGod has screened throughout the Caribbean, Africa, India, Europe and the Americas—most recently at the Festival Internacional del Nuevo Cine Havana Cuba 2013 festival as part of the Caribbean calling programme curated by the T&T Film Festival (ttff).

SistaGod also won Most Popular Feature Award at Flashpoint Film Festival in Jamaica (2006); Best Caribbean Film and Best Director at Bridgetown Film Festival Barbados (2007) and The Caribbean Cinema Award from Studio 66 in Trinidad (2007).”

Ramesar was also honoured as the First Caribbean Laureate in Arts and Letters by the Anthony N Sabga Caribbean Awards for Excellence (ANSCAFE).

In a release, Ramesar said of his nomination: “I’m happy that this award looks at Caribbean as well as Latin American cinema as I have been spending some considerable time in that particular neck of the woods and am developing a couple of Spanish language features for direction.

“It’s significant that when the film played in Havana recently, it was with Cuban-Spanish subtitles which was much appreciated by the local audience.”

He added: “While we speak about expanding into markets, I think it is critical to do more than just show up to shoot or promote. During a swing through Central America (Panamá, Guatemala, Mexico and Belize), I chose to spend time most importantly with the indigenous first peoples, the Mayans, because they are the historic basis of these civilisations.”

Ramesar has two films to be released later this year—Her Second Coming, the sequel to SistaGod, and Haiti Bride a post-earthquake narrative.

In June, he begins direction of The Last Dance of the Karaoke King, a return to filmmaking in Trinidad.

He has also began developing a feature film he hopes to direct in Ecuador, which will be his first step into Latin American cinema.

Other filmmakers nominated for award include Natalia Beristain for No quiero dormir sola (Mexico), Kareem Mortimer for Children of God (Bahamas), Esteban Insausti for Larga Distancia (Cuba) and Chris Browne for Ghett’a Life (Jamaica).

For the original report go to http://guardian.co.tt/entertainment/2013-04-03/ramesar-prestigious-award

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