Trinidad and Tobago film festival gets into high gear

22 days in TT News day

In addition to the variety of films that will be showcased from the Caribbean and its diaspora, the 2021 TT Film Festival (TTFF/21) will present over 15 screenings by TT filmmakers in categories such as new media work, narrative film, and documentary film.
The festival's roster of TT filmmakers will also include five student films (world premieres), depicting the work of young talent and aspiring industry professionals.
The festival began on September 22 and continues until September 28. TT audiences will not only have an opportunity to watch consecutive days of productions by local artists and directors, TTFF/21 screenings, talk sessions, Q&As, and master classes will also highlight the experience, and ongoing relevance some of the creatives hold in the local and international industry, said a media release.
Run by the non-profit Filmmakers Collaborative of TT (Filmco), the TTFF continues the annual celebration of film through a series of related screenings and activities. The festival approaches its 16th edition this month and maintains its commitment to the global elevation of local cinema by providing filmmakers with access to a range of industry programmes, networking events and opportunities to share and discuss their work, a media release said.
"TTFF celebrates films from and about the Caribbean and its diaspora, as well as from world cinema. It also seeks to facilitate the growth of Caribbean cinema. Now in its 16th year, the film festival has become a much-anticipated event and a mainstay of TT’s cultural calendar," the release said.
Tickets for screenings are available via the TTFF office, 22 Jerningham Ave, Belmont, or online at ttfilmfestival.com.
For more information visit the website or e-mail comms@ttfilmfestival.com.
A full online film schedule is also available for viewing via trinidad+tobago film festival.
Here are some of TT directors and screenings over the next few days.
September 26
Batchack Man – The Power of the Herbalist (Part one)
Director: Keyon Byron
2020/ Trinidad and Tobago
Narrative medium/54 minutes
TT premiere
Background: The action film Batchack Man is Trinidad’s unique answer to Batman. The un-caped (but often masked) crusader from the Land of Calypso fights crime and injustice using super powers derived from some form of super-powered batchack, the large ferocious ant found in Trinidad.
Cheesecake
Director: Jabari Daniel
2021/TT
Narrative short/10 minutes
TT premiere
Background: Brian Francis, a well-dressed man with stylish dreadlocks, tries to charm his way into an exclusive yet mysterious brotherhood called he Alpha Society. He seems to have a foot in the door. That is, until he’s faced with two major obstacles – the admission fee and the next-day deadline.
Horace Ove Retrospective – Pressure
Director: Horace Ové
1976/UK
Narrative feature/120 minutes
Background: With a screenplay written by Trinidadian writer, Samuel Selvon, Pressure follows three generations of a Trinidadian family living in West London’s Ladbroke Grove. Herbert Norville stars as the family’s youngest son, British-born Tony, who grows more and more disillusioned as he faces unemployment. Alienated from his white friends, he follows his older brother into the Black Power Movement.
Little Moko
Director: Miquel Galofré
2021/ Trinidad and Tobago
Documentary short/ 15 minutes
World premiere
Background: Due to the global pandemic, Trinidad and Tobago had to cancel “the greatest show on Earth”. In 2021 we had no Carnival, but culture can’t be cancelled. Featuring music by Freetown Collective, Little Moko follows Adianka’s journey to learn the art of stilt-walking
Port of Spain, A Writer's Heaven
[caption id="attachment_915145" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Port of Spain: A Writer’s Heaven airs today. -[/caption]
Director: Dion Boucaud
2021/ Trinidad and Tobago
Documentary short / 27 minutes
Background: Trinidadian actor and performer, Wendell Manwarren, leads a literary walking tour of Port of Spain. The city comes alive in new and unexpected ways when viewed through the lens of both classic and new works of Caribbean literature. This film was made as part of the 2021 NGC Bocas Lit Fest.
Wendy Nanan
Director: Andil Gosine
2019/ Trinidad and Tobago
Documentary short/ 24 minutes
Caribbean premiere
Background: Wendy Nanan is a rare glimpse into the life and work of the groundbreaking Trinidadian artist, told in her own words. Sensitive to the artist’s reticence, the film follows Nanan’s creation of the sculptural work, Breath, as she recounts key moments in the development of her life and four-decades-plus practice in Port of Spain, Trinidad
September 27
Horace Ove Retrospective – King Carnival
Director: Horace Ove Retrospective
1973/TT & UK
Documentary Feature/60 minutes
Background: King Carnival, stands after all this time, as a love letter to TT. Made for the BBC in 1973, the film is still acclaimed as one of the best ever made about the history of Carnival. The UK’s Times newspaper had this to say at the time: “…beneath the fantastic spectacle there lies a history of cultural struggle. The influences of Europe, of India, and above all Africa are reflected in customs and ceremonies still alive in Trinidad today. The insistent, joyful music, stunning costumes and immense crowds make it a perfect TV spectacle.
Pavement Poets
Director: Elechi Todd
2021/TT
Narrative short/11 minutes
Background: What is home to you? In Pavement Poets, some of TT’s top performance poets share their thoughts on what home and family mean to them. From our virtual pavements to you!
The Forgotten Boys
[caption id="attachment_915140" align="alignnone" width="1024"] A scene from The Forgotten Boys which airs on September 27. -[/caption]
Director: Alexandra Warner
2020/TT
Documentary medium/43 minutes
Background: Caribbean premiere The stories of three strangers, Darrem, Cornelius and Jahmai, collectively depict the realities and struggles of the various stages of incarceration. An exploration of the intergenerational impacts of mass incarceration, the thread linking the young men is a prison-based English class and debate team taught and developed by Trinidadian journalist Debbie Jacob.
Student films
Caught in the Net
Director: Kaaria Quash
2021/TT
Documentary medium/28 minutes
World premiere
Background: Illegal poaching was once a major threat to the survival of turtles. Today, incidental bycatch by fishermen has taken over as the largest threat to sea turtles globally. Yet the two are more related than we might think. “Caught in the Net” jumps into the heart of Trinidad and Tobago, following the people who protect the endangered turtles – and those who kill them.
Clash
Directors: Kwame E Boatswain + Xavier Kistow-Davis
2021/ Trinidad and Tobago
Student film/ 4 minutes
World premiere
Background: Ever wondered what it might feel like for a bipolar patient who is going through a manic episode? Clash combines several creative elements in order to explore that reality. The idea was born out of the understanding that there is still much stigma around mental health conditions in the Caribbean and there ought to be ways in which conversations can be sparked.
Going Knowhere
Director: Darielle Allard
2021/TT
Student film/20 minutes
World premiere
Background: In March 2020, the covid19 pandemic made its way to TT, causing panic and forcing us into isolation. Going Knowhere is an experimental record of this time, which references the diary I kept and footage collected from the director's home. It is a study of the effects of isolation on the mind and soul.
Grief
Director: Corinna Sequea
2021/TT
Student film/4 minutes
World premiere
Background: Grief, loosely based on real-life experiences, explores a character’s journey to closure.
Plant Speech
Directors: Lee Anna Maharaj and Jovan Lalla
2021/TT
Student film/3 minutes
World premiere
Background: They’re part of our everyday lives and even though we can talk to them, they can’t directly converse with us. However, if we could understand them, what stories would they have to tell? We went to went to the fields to find out what they had to say.
 
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