Cassian Gyan, marketing manager of Columbus Communications Ltd, says Flow has contributed about $1 million to the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival. Speaking at the festival's media launch at Carlton Savannah Hotel, St Ann's, yesterday, Gyan said: "It is a natural fit. Flow and TTFF. We want to open doors and opportunities to make it more accessible and create awareness. We have seen a growth in interest in films. We are pleased to be the sponsor for another three years. We pledge our support to its growth and development." She also said 100 per cent of the profits would be returned to the filmmakers.
Darryl White, Head of Investment Banking at RBTT Financial Group, said it contributed CAN$900,000 (TT$3 million) to the Canadian Film Festival and an undisclosed exorbitant sum to the T&TFF. He said: "The TIFF Talent Lab is an intensive programme that provides artistic development opportunities to emerging Canadian filmmakers. The goal is to help young artists bridge the gap from the academic world to professional careers." "In 2009, more than $900,000 Canadian dollars was invested in apprenticeship, internship and artist recognition programmes."
Quizzed on the amount, they had injected for RBTT, he said: "I can tell you it is a lot. But we want it to be seen as an investment in the youth."
These were among the monies which would be injected into the calendar of activities and the development of youth interested in filmmaking and cinematography. Young people will also benefit from the tutelage of Kittician Carol Phillips and Brazilian director Daniela Thomas. To date, about 300 school children from secondary schools in Toco, Moruga and Tobago have embarked upon filmmaking projects on themes like "A Day In My Life" and "Keep It Clean." They will be featured during the festival's run from September 22 to October 5.
Carla Foderingham: 'Tap into entertainment industry'
Carla Foderingham, CEO Trinidad and Tobago Film Company, welcomed their financial input since she said it was important to respond to the call for diversification of the T&T economy. She said: "If we understand oil and gas are finite, and our creativity is infinite, then we have to put in the building blocks. "We have to put in the planning and the resources so it could come to fruition. Then we would be able to reach out to the almost low hanging fruit."
"We are an instinctively creative people. Suffice it to say, we have Carnival and Peter Minshall. We have to expand it across the spectrum. It should reflect the overall creativity of us as a people," added Foderingham. She said by tapping into the full potential of the film industry it would assist in creating sustainable employment, wealth creation and new opportunities for the youth. "The entertainment industry brings in billions. We want to derive increased benefits," she said. She also said it was necessary to develop the industry and welcomed on board new stakeholders like Arnold John, Tracey Davidson-Celestine and Oswald Williams from Tobago House of Assembly.