SOME nine feature-length films from the Caribbean, 14 feature-length films from world cinema and 79 short and medium-length films from the Caribbean will be screened in celebration of Caribbean films and Caribbean filmmakers at the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival (TTFF). The festival, themed Love Film, opens on Tuesday.
TTFF founder and festival director Bruce Paddington said it will be a wonderful event. “We love film and our gift to the public is eight days of memorable films in venues in Port of Spain, Tobago and San Fernando.”
Paddington was speaking at the TTFF launch held in Newtown last Tuesday. He also expressed his happiness at having leading sponsors BPTT and the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts on board, as well as supporting sponsors NGC and RBL, and contributing sponsors Film TT, the Ministry of Tourism and NLCB.
However, what left many people intrigued and with pores raised at the launch was the captivating trailer of the film Hero: Inspired By The Life and Times of Mr Ulric Cross. Guests vowed they must see the film that features TT’s Nickolai Salcedo in the lead role as Ulric Cross. The late Cross was a TT diplomat, jurist and Royal Air Force navigator and national award recipient.
Lisa Wickham, executive producer of the film, said she was very excited and thrilled about the production. She said it was a labour of love. She lauded the work of director Frances-Anne Solomon for the way she blended archival footage with what was shot for the film.
Salcedo will be here for the TT premier on September 18 at the opening night gala at Napa, Port of Spain, as well as celebrated Nollywood and Ghanaian actor John Dumelo (PK Asante) and English actor Fraser James (George Padmore).
Programme director at TTFF Annabel Alcazar expects a bumper year. She spoke of a two-day financial seminar where people in the film industry will be lectured to on the business of film, and acting workshops, one of which will be conducted by TT's Los Angeles-based actor Noel Arthur. Arthur will host a one-day workshop on September 22 to train young actors how to audition in Hollywood and be competitive in the American entertainment industry.
Alcazar also singled out some other must-see films such as Cocote (Dominican Republic), Le Reve Francais (Martinique/France), Pather Panchali (India) and Sprinter (Jamaica/US), The Strange Luck of VS Naipaul (Adam Low-UK) and Tribute To A Native Son (Bhoe Tewari-TT).
On September 24, Republic Day, only local films will be aired at several venues around the country and Alcazar is urging citizens to come out and give their support.
Canadian High Commissioner Carla Hogan Rufelds said she was super proud and excited to partner with the TTFF, especially the film writers. She said 15 emerging filmmakers participated in a script-writing workshop, after which they attended a two-day seminar, then they were tasked to produce a five-minute short narrative which was won by Andrei Pierre, Francesca Hawkins and Siobhan Millette. Their films, Please See Attached, Judgment Day and I Choose You respectively, will screen as a package at TTFF, the region and Canada.
Those films will also get the attention of Trini/Canadian filmmaker Richard Fung who will be here for the festival and whose film, Nang by Nang, screens September 21, 23 and 24.