Question: Domestic violence has reached a crisis level in T&T. What do you think can be done to positively address the issue?
Tegan Medina, licenced land surveyor
With one action-packed week of films, panel discussions, special presentations, Q&As with filmmakers, limes and after-parties beginning today, here’s ten things you probably shouldn’t miss during this year’s Trinidad & Tobago Film Festival
Opening Night red carpet gala and film—Green Days by the River
September 19, NAPA, Port-of-Spain, 6 pm, by invitation or ticket only.
Michael Mooleedhar’s film follows Michael Anthony’s classic novel of adolescence, immersing the viewer in the sights and sounds of rural Trinidad 50 years ago. Many locals will have read it in their youth, and the film does a good job of reviving nostalgic memories of both the book and a way of life long since past.
Beautifully shot — echoing the book’s emphasis on nature – and faithful to the novel in other ways, the film also has strong performances by acting veterans Che Rodriguez (Pa), and Anand Lawkaran (Mr Gidharrie), as well as newcomer, Sudai Tafari as Shell, trapped by his own childlike innocence and adult cunning he never imagined possible.
If you miss the opening night, you can catch the film at MovieTowne San Fernando on September 25, 6 pm. The film also opens in cinemas nationwide from September 27.
The Power of Women & Feminist Cinema
September 22. Registration from 8 am.
UN Women, the Institute for Gender and Development Studies, UWI and ttff present a day of panels and presentations on the Power of Women in Film. Speakers from T&T and the region will explore depictions of women and girls and how filmmakers can, and do, address issues of gender inequality and female empowerment, through film. The day-long discussions will be supported by Feminist Cinema. Three evenings of screenings of films by or about women that present stories from a female point of view, highlighting political, economic or cultural discourse about women’s lives and critiquing the power structures holding gender inequality in place. Screenings at the Hyatt Regency are free.
September 23, 6 pm - 8 pm, Drink Lounge & Bistro, POS
An evening of networking over drinks, the filmmakers lounge provides an informal space for filmmakers and other film professionals from T&T and across the region to meet each other and the general public, and make lasting connections.
Red Carpet premiere—Moko Jumbie
Saturday 23 September, MovieTowne POS; red carpet from 7 pm; film starts 8.30 pm
Trinidadian-American director Vashti Anderson’s story—some of it autobiographical—mingles memory and longing, the real and the imagined, in this elliptical story of family, race, class, and the quest for home. An oblique, dreamlike film, where the everyday life of a sleepy, remote village can encompass unexpected drama, romance and even the supernatural, Anderson’s directorial debut is a love story to the rich culture of a rapidly changing Trinidad.
September 24, all day, MovieTowne San Fernando, Port-of-Spain and Tobago
In celebration of Patriotism Month from August 31—September 24, and in partnership with the Ministry of Community Development Culture and the Arts, the ttff presents a day-long celebration of T&T through the screening of local short and feature films, followed by Q&A sessions with the filmmakers. The screenings will be held at MovieTowne Port-of-Spain, San Fernando and Tobago, on Republic Day, September 24. It is a day for citizens to come together to celebrate who we are, through the cinematic stories of some of the nation’s finest filmmakers, as well as those now emerging.
Pimento and Hot Pepper—The Mento Story
A documentary by Rick Elwood; followed by a special presentation: Mento and Calypso by Ray Funk.
September 24, 1 pm, MovieTowne POS, Screen 8, Q&A
Before ska, reggae and dancehall, there was mento. This is the history of Jamaica’s first popular music, which peaked in the 1950s. Stylistically unique, mento is the original sound of Jamaica and is still played across the island.
Creative Industries and the Orange Economy
September 24, 1 pm, Hyatt Regency, Trinidad
A public presentation by the Inter-American Development Bank about the impact and opportunities provided by the orange economy (which is driven and generated by the creative industries), drawing on research presented in its two publications: The Orange Economy: An Infinite Opportunity; and Orange Economy: Innovations you may not know were from Latin America and the Caribbean. The event will address the importance of the orange economy for the social and economic development of Latin America and the Caribbean, with the film sector highlighted as one of the examples.
Two hard things, two soft things
September 24, 3.30 pm, Hyatt Regency Trinidad, Sapphire Room
The Trinidad & Tobago Film Festival will host a screening of the Canadian film, Two Soft Things, Two Hard Things - to highlight one aspect of that diversity. The screening, is free of charge and courtesy the Canadian High Commission in Port of Spain. The film, by Mark Kenneth Woods & Michael Yerxa, explores a dramatic period in the 1950s when colonisation and religion shamed and erased traditional beliefs about sexuality and family structure among the Inuit population in northwest Canada.
Allison Brewer, one of the activists who appears in the documentary, will be in attendance to introduce the film and participate in a Q&A session at the end of the screening.
September 23, 6.30 pm, MovieTowne PoS Screen 8/ September 26, 6 pm, MovieTowne San Fernando/ September 26, 8.30 pm, MovieTowne Tobago
A package of new shorts from Jamaica, supported by a visiting contingent of Jamaican filmmakers who will present their films.
Awards after party
September 26, 9pm until… Drink Lounge + Bistro, POS
The curtain closes on what is expected to be another great Festival with one last lime. The TTFF crew and volunteers gather with film-lovers, friends and well wishers to let their hair down after a hectic week, to say ‘thank you and goodbye’, until next year.
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