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Sunday 19 January 2020
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Tobago rural film to be showcased at 2020 Heritage

Secretary for Tourism, Culture and Transportation, Nadine Stewart-Phillips.
Secretary for Tourism, Culture and Transportation, Nadine Stewart-Phillips.

THE Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Division of Tourism, Culture and Transportation is steadily moving ahead and making progress with the Tobago Rural Film initiative.

So said, Secretary Nadine Stewart-Phillips as she addressed Wednesday’s post-Executive Council media briefing at the Victor E Bruce Financial Complex in Scarborough, noting that the Division continues to invest in the creative and cultural industries.

The Tobago Rural Film Initiative was launched in April and, according to Stewart-Phillips, is geared towards documenting and showcasing Tobago’s cultural norms and practices in its truest forms through film.

She said that 15 scripts were received from various community groups across the island and examined by international film experts Dr Eka Buntin and Annabelle Alcazar, both of whom have extensive experience in the field of film, having worked for a number of years in eastern and southern Africa, India, the United Kingdom and the Caribbean. “Four heritage scripts were officially selected by the judges. The winning scripts were The African in We by Annette Alfred of Charlotteville Performers, The Letter by Len Phillips representing the Mt Cullane district, The Ancestral Bloodline by Wendell Berkeley of Pembroke Heritage Group and Old-Time Wedding by Tasha Frank of Moriah Heritage Group,” she said adding that the selected script writers with members of their community teams moved on to the second phase of the rural film programme, which consisted of an in-depth film production and scripting workshop on July 6 and 7.

“The intent of the workshop was to assist the writers with developing their plays into 30-minute short film scripts."

The first phase of the workshop was conducted by film professionals; Daniel, Juliet and Dave Elliot. Twenty-eight people were in attendance at this workshop and were given the necessary tools and training to begin the process of developing their scripts. “The selected winners were also taught through interactive learning, how to pitch an idea for a film to acquire funding from producers. The script writers and their team were mandated to begin the transformation process of their stage scripts to film scripts with the first draft to be presented by the second week in September when another workshop will be held,” she said.

Filming, she said, would be from January to May 2020 in order for the films to be ready to be showcased at the Tobago Heritage Festival 2020.

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