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T&T Film Festival premieres tomorrow

Saturday, August 11, 2018

The T&T Film Festival’s (ttff) new initiative, the Family Matinee Series, aims to offer families a new free source of entertainment during the August vacation period. It runs from August 12 to 26 at venues across T&T.

ttff Community Development Director Melvina Hazard said the series presents four films featuring children and young people from around the world overcoming various forms of social, political and familial adversity.

“We wanted to find inspiring films that had not had a lot of exposure. Each of the films is about the child coming of age or going through some adversity, and each film is from a different part of the world, including Cuba, West Africa, Ethiopia and Spain. So we wanted to show children from different parts of the world facing adversity and challenges, and how they overcome them.”

The four films are Esteban, a Spanish drama from Cuba, Landfill Harmonic, a Spanish documentary, Adama, a French animated drama set in West Africa, and Lamb, an Ethiopian drama. Each film will be screened in a community venue. Estaban will be screened on August 12 at the Arima Town Hall; Landfill Harmonic on August 18 at the Department of Creative and Festival Arts, UWI, St Augustine; Adama on August 19 at San Fernando City Hall; and Lamb on August 26 at Buccoo Community Centre in Tobago. Guests are free to bring their own snacks. Hazard said the community screenings were developed to “bring in new audiences who might not normally have access to go to the MovieTowne and who wouldn’t have access to these types of non-Hollywood films.”

All the film screenings begin promptly at 4 pm, and Hazard said this was done so that “parents can take their kids to an evening show as opposed to a night show, which is when most of our programming events happen. We wanted to do something that was more specifically family-focused because it’s the school holidays.”

Republic Bank Ltd is sponsoring the new series, which is an extension of the ttff’s community cinema, an essential part of ttff’s mission and objectives to use film as an agent of perception change, social transformation, education, entrainment and inspiration. Hazard said the series was a perfect fit for the sponsor, as they are very family-focused.

Hazard said the response to the Festival has been growing over the years due to their consistency and direct programming efforts. “In the last three years or so the Festival itself has opened with a local film, we have been getting a lot of support and the local filmmakers have been doing a lot of work to get audiences out. Also, because we’ve been consistent over the past eight to nine years we’ve been able to build good audiences. We’ve also done a lot of research, we take people’s information, communicate directly with them and we try to program to suit what we think their interests would be. This series is expanding the ttff brand and the Community Cinema brand, doing a little something more specific for families.”

For more on the initiative and the films, visit


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