A DAUGHTER'S tribute, a hero's biopic and some spooky mangroves were among the winners at the 13th annual TT Film Festival award ceremony held on Tuesday night at Central Bank Auditorium, Port of Spain.
Unfinished Sentences, director Mariel Brown's tribute to her late father, acclaimed poet, writer and columnist Wayne Brown, took home Best TT Feature Film beating out Hero: Inspired by the extraordinary life and times of Mr Ulric Cross –Frances-Anne Solomon's biopic about the late Royal Air Force hero, jurist and diplomat. Hero did take home the People's Choice Award for Narrative Feature Film.
The jury prize for Best TT Short Film went to Elspeth Duncan's Venus and Magnet and she won out against Miquel Galofre's Black Hair, Dominic Boos' Live Bait, Paul Pryce's The Deliverer and Teneille Newallo's Mangroves. The jury comprised filmmaker Ida Does from Suriname, Renee Robinson, film commissioner for Jamaica and Gustavo Graef Morino, filmmaker from Chile.
The People's Choice Award for Documentary Film went to Carnival Messiah directed by Ashley Farrell while People's Choice Award for a Short Film went to Newallo's supernatural thriller, Mangroves. Newallo told Newsday the entire process took a lot of preparation and a lot of talented people worked with them.
"The win is for the entire team. It's a team effort. We could not have done it without any one person."
Newallo said the win will be used as a good start to the festival circuit. She added the film is a proof of concept for a television series and expressed hope the win would pick up attention to get the right people on board.
"Thank you to everyone who voted for the film and all the sponsors."
Christian Faure's Le Rêve Français: Part 1 won for Best Film as Decided by a Youth Jury beating out Jamaican Storm Saulter's Sprinter, Sharon Lewis' Brown Girl Begins, Michel Franco's Las Hijas De Abril, Gustavo Ramos Perales' El Chata (The Sparring Partner), and Wigner Duarte's Buscando al Zorro (Looking for Zorro).
The film festival continued its future critics programme for the third year which seeks to prepare students of the Ken Gordon School of Journalism at the College of Science, Technology and Applied Arts of Trinidad and Tobago "for the rigour, best practices and industry standards of critical film analysis and festival reporting."
Ten students from the programme were selected to write critical reviews of films under the mentorship of film critic and journalist BC Pires, for posting on the TTFF website and social media platforms during the festival. A Best Future Critic Prize, awarded on the basis of the quality of their writing and analysis, their ability to meet tight deadlines, and the number of reviews published, was won by Celine Dimsoy.
The festival also included the Caribbean Film Mart where 15 participants were invited to pitch their project at the end of a two-day mart workshop and three international film professionals adjudicated this process. Kafi Kareem Farrell won best pitch for The Caddy Club, formerly Fairway. She said she was ecstatic to win best pitch prize. She explained the film went over some changes over the course of the mart and changed based on feedback from industry professionals that there was a dearth of kids content and to make it a more kid-friendly pitch. She explained The Caddy Club was about four young caddies who uncover a portal to an ancestral realm and meet ancestors who provide them with keys to solve crime in Trinidad.
"We are just excited to have fared well."
Last year, Green Days by the River won Best TT Feature and People's Choice for Best Feature Film Narrative.