T&T has joined the ranks of countries such as South Africa, Spain, Canada and Turkey and launched its inaugural fashion and arts film festival.
The Caribbean Fashion and Arts Feature Festival will hold its first edition on November 17� 19 in the Borough of Arima and surrounding communities in East Trinidad. The festival's launch took place November 4, at Akimbo, Pro Queen Street, Arima.
The three-day festival is the brainchild of co-founders of Akimbo, Kevon Foderingham and Karen Kennedy; it was born out of Akimbo's involvement in the recently concluded T&T Film Festival.
"The response to screening of fashion films here at Akimo was warmly received and from persons who were not necessarily involved in the fashion industry," Foderingham said.
"Government, through CreativeTT, has been urging people to get more into the creative industries, with a view to diversify. We wanted to create avenues to add to this. All it took after that was research, networking and making connections on social media. Within three days we had the response from Nicoli Montenarro, and that's when it really kicked off."
The new festival made linkages with the co-founder of the Berlin Fashion Film Festival, Niccolo Montanari, and the founders of the Tandem Movement in Barbados, an exhibition and design space.
Those connections, said Kennedy, went a long way in boosting the festival's regional and international appeal. There will be representation from both Tandem and Berlin at the festival.
Montanari is its head juror. Others include Nneka Luke, general manager at the T&T Film Co; Mel Gabriel, editor-in-chief at Caribbean Lookbook; Conrad Parris, actor; Sandra Carr, senior instructor at the UTT Caribbean Academy of Fashion and Design; journalist Tenille Clarke; and Israel Mapp of Tandem, Barbados.
Luke said she was sure the festival would be a welcomed event in the east. She commended Akimbo for their foresight, noting that this country indeed has the creativity and more than enough aspiring creatives to propel the new festival towards the standards of those already existing in the international market.
Also speaking at the launch was Elize Rostant, director of T&T Bridge Initiative and festival co-ordinator of New Fire Festival. Both festivals are focused on sustainable environmentalism and are partners in the Caribbean Fashion and Arts Feature Festival.
The festival aims to foster more regional collaboration, highlight work being done in the fashion industry, create more opportunities for event tourism and contribute to the current roster of film festivals in T&T.
It will feature fashion related documentary features and short films; there was a call for submissions from persons ages 15- 25 and Foderingham said so far the call for submissions was answered by delegates from St Lucia, Haiti, Jamaica and T&T.
Six other international festivals–Mexico, Istanbul, Medell�n, South Africa, Madrid and Canada–will be featured at the Caribbean Fashion and Arts Feature Festival.
A call was made to secondary schools in East Trinidad to submit artwork for a joint exhibition on this year's festival theme, Afro Diasporic Linkages and the Caribbean Voyage. The Youth Expo, scheduled for November 18, will also showcase the work of a number of existing established local artists.
As the festival's creative hub, Akimbo will function as a venue for screenings, exhibitions, panels and afterparties, said Kennedy.
Other venues will include popular eastern nightspots and the picturesque Phillipa's Garden, a private residence in Arima.