Anna-Lisa Paul and Bobie-Lee Dixon
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Caribbean film industry to get online database
In a move that is expected to provide significant growth within the burgeoning local and regional film industry, the T&T Film Festival (TTFF) is set to create a Caribbean Film Mart and Virtual Marketplace (Regional Film Database), it was announced recently.
The project is being made possible with the financial contribution of the European Union via the European Development Fund and the assistance of the ACP Group of States. A release from the TTFF said this groundbreaking initiative, the first of its kind in the region, will see the TTFF develop structures that will allow Caribbean films and filmmakers greater visibility and opportunities in the global film industry by increasing production capacity and access to markets.
The Caribbean Film Mart and Virtual Marketplace are expected to strengthen the production and distribution of Caribbean films through two main actions: on the one side, the implementation of a film market through the framework of the annual Film Festival and, on the other, the development of an online database of regional films and filmmakers.
Both projects will be launched at the Film Festival in 2015. The online database will, in the first instance, comprise independent feature-length films made in and about the Caribbean, and will act as a resource for filmmakers, producers, scholars and industry professionals. The database will be accessible in English, Spanish and French.
The Caribbean Film Mart will bring together ten regional filmmakers with projects in development. These filmmakers will be given the opportunity to meet with international film financiers, distributors, broadcasters, sales agencies, producers, film festival programmers, public relations consultants, film journalists and critics—all with the aim of creating professional relationships and partnerships that will enable the production and distribution of the ten participating projects.
At the end of the Film Mart, one project will also be awarded a cash prize. The call for submissions will be made in early 2015. During the Film Festival, ttff/14, which runs from September 16-30, stakeholders’ meetings and training initiatives will be held, and expectations for submissions for the 2015 Caribbean Film Mart will be outlined.
The Caribbean Film Mart and Virtual Marketplace are being implemented in association with the Fundación Global Democracia y Dessarollo from the Dominican Republic, the Association for the Development of Art Cinema and Practice in Guadeloupe, the Foundation of New Latin American Cinema, Festival Régional et International du Cinéma de Guadeloupe, and the Mediatech for Women Directors, based in Cuba. Founder and Festival Director of the TTFF, Dr Bruce Paddington, said, “What an exciting development this is for the regional film industry! We are overjoyed, not only to be the recipients of this significant grant, but also, once again, to help lead the way in making Caribbean cinema a viable enterprise, one that assists our filmmakers in telling our stories and taking them to the world.”
Daniela Tramacere, Chargé d’Affaires of the Delegation of the European Union to Trinidad and Tobago, noted: “The EU remains committed to regional integration in the Caribbean and economic diversification here in T&T. This grant follows the logic of a wider EU support programme to boost the service industries and we see a lot of potential, particularly in the creative sector. We are delighted to collaborate once more with the TTFF, which we have supported over the years.”