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Bumper year for films at T&T Film Fest
It’s September, and in addition to being the start of the school year, it is also the start of the yearly celebration of cinema that is the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival (TTFF). The festival will begin on September 19 and conclude on October 2. It will be immediately followed by the European Film Festival in T&T which will begin on October 3 and end on October 16, adding up to an entire month of cinematic celebration.
The TTFF has been taking place for the past seven years and has grown tremendously since then, in terms of quality, sponsorship and the sheer number of films being screened over the two-week festival. This year, approximately 175 films from T&T, the Caribbean and the Caribbean diaspora will be featured at venues such as MovieTowne, the Little Carib Theatre as well as community screenings as part of bpTT’s community Cinergy initiative.
“This year we have an incredible number of films to show. A lot of festivals go for five days and show about ten films. “We do the opposite, we go on longer and screen as many films as we can,” said TTFF Director Bruce Paddington during the launch of the festival’s 2012 season on Tuesday.
He said films had been sourced from 28 countries around the region, as well as from Africa and India, with a special focus on Canada. The focus on Canada is meant to acknowledge the presence of a large Caribbean diasporic community in that country. While there will be a focus on Canada, filmmakers from around the world are not left out, with films being screened from Haiti, Sweden, Colombia, Uganda, the United States and Cuba, to name a few.
The topics addressed will be as diverse as the backgrounds of the contributors. T&T film makers have contributed films on crime, stick-fighting, sitarist Mungal Patasar, Hosay, Parang. No Soca, No Life, a short film from one of last year’s RBC Immersion project finalists Kevin Adams is about the life of a soca artiste. The film which will make its world premiere at the festival will feature the acting talents of Terri Lyons, daughter of calypsonian Austin Super Blue Lyons.
Films about Haiti’s revolutionary Toussaint L’Overture and Cuba’s Jose Marti will be presented alongside a documentary on chocolate being made in Grenada. The TTFF will pay tribute to Trinidad-born filmmaker Horace Ove in recognition of his ground-breaking work. Ove lives and works in London and his debut narrative feature Pressure was the first by a Black-British filmmaker. Reggae, Ove’s documentary on the first ever reggae concert in the UK will be screened at the Festival.
Also being honoured are 13 other local pioneers in film. The Festival is as much about teaching and encouraging films as it is about presenting them and will host workshops with titles such as How to make a kick ass film on your cell phone to Guerrilla Filmmaking: Making great movies by any means necessary as well as a workshop on film reviews.
More than $170,000 in cash prizes will be awarded to participating filmmakers, including trips to the (Robert De Niro founded) Tribeca Film Festival in New York and SilverDocs film festival in Maryland. At the opening night gala, guests will see the documentary feature Marley, directed by Kevin MacDonald. MacDonald who also directed films such as The Last King of Scotland, starring Forest Whitaker and State of Play, starring Russell Crowe will be present at the opening.
After the film festivals, all the films will be available to Flow customers through their Video On Demand service.
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