Last update: 11-Dec-2013 6:16 am
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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T&T Film Festival launched
T&T Film Company (TTFC) CEO Carla Foderingham yesterday called for local films to be shown year-round and not only during the T&T Film Festival. She made the statement during the launch of the festival at the Hyatt Regency, Port-of-Spain. It takes place from September 17 to October 1. Foderingham urged the public to call on agencies, such as Caribbean Airlines, the Public Transportation Service Corporation and the T&T Inter-Island Transportation Company to choose local films for their entertainment packages.
She also urged the public and the media to strengthen support for local filmmakers. “We need to dream bigger and to be proud Trinis. Film is worth it and so are we,” said Foderingham. She added that film was one avenue to building a better society and unifying the country. The TTFC has become a leading sponsor of the festival and will sponsor the awards for Best Local Feature Film and Best Local Short Film. This was one of many announcements made during the launch.
In addition to screening 142 films and hosting panels and workshops, the festival will include a UNESCO-sponsored conference, a tribute to filmmaker John Akomfrah, screenings of music videos and the addition of a closing night reception.
It was announced as well that the festival’s presenting sponsor, Columbus Communications/Flow, has signed on to support it for another three years. The UNESCO conference, Cameras of Diversity for a Culture of Peace, takes place from September 25 to 27 at the Hyatt Regency and would focus on film culture, education through film, marketing and production. Both regional and international film commissioners and film representatives will attend the conference, which is free to the public.
The tribute to John Akomfrah would be carried out by a series of screenings of his films throughout the festival. Akomfrah is regarded as one of the founders of black British cinema and has won numerous international awards. Two new sections of the festival are the screening of music videos and the Women in Film section. Music videos created by filmmakers would be screened alongside films while the Women in Film section seeks to highlight female filmmakers.
In this year’s festival there are 47 films directed, co-directed or produced by women. This year, the festival also boasts 22 feature-length Caribbean films and more than 50 local and Caribbean short films.
This is the eighth annual festival and it has grown widely. According to Columbus Communications sales and marketing vice-president, Cindy-Ann Gatt, it started out with only 35 films, three international guests and 1,500 people in attendance. Gatt said the festival now has 100 international guests and 17,000 people in attendance. Also speaking at the launch were Darryl White of RBC, Danielle Jones-Hunt of bpTT, Emile Upczak and Jonathan Ali, the festival’s creative and editorial director respectively.
RBC sponsors the Filmmakers’ Immersion Programme and Pitch Award and bpTT sponsors the Pioneers in Film initiative and the Local Film in Development Award. Other sponsors include the National Gas Company and the National Lotteries Control Board. Guardian Media Ltd is the official media partner.
The festival kicks off on September 17 with a gala and Caribbean premiere of Half of a Yellow Sun, a Nigerian film based on the award-winning novel by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
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