Lupita Nyong’o's feature to open Africa Film Trinidad and Tobago

Lupita Nyongo  - AP Photo
Lupita Nyongo - AP Photo

Since its first edition in 2015, the Africa Film Trinidad and Tobago (AFTT) has been a beacon for filmmakers, artists, and visionaries, showcasing diverse stories from the continent of Africa and its diaspora, including Trinidad and Tobago, the AFTT said.

The festival runs from May 22-26 at Queen’s Hall, St Ann’s.

For its tenth edition, AFTT is promising a spectacular celebration of cinema and creativity, featuring a curated selection of films, workshops, panel discussions, networking opportunities, and a legendary Opening Night Gala, a media release said. It will also see the Caribbean premiere of Goodbye Julia – an award-winning, Sudanese drama film executive produced by Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o.

The programme comprises events and workshops that are focused on driving digital transformation in the film industry and explores digital trends into the future of filmmaking.

Included in the line-up is an interactive virtual reality workshop facilitated by Tunisian-born, Senegal-based, award-winning director, immersive media and XR consultant Sélim Harbi. This workshop is sponsored by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and co-sponsored by Energy Tech Marine Ltd, the release said.

AFTT founder and curator Asha Lovelace. -

Festival founder and director Asha Lovelace said in the release, “As technology continues to revolutionise how content is created, distributed, and consumed, staying ahead of the curve is essential for industry professionals seeking to thrive in this rapidly evolving landscape. The connection we continue to build with Africa and the diaspora creates a valuable opportunity for collaboration and exchange for our local filmmakers.”

This hands-on session will take place on May 23 at Queen’s Hall in the Helen May Johnstone Room. It will explore the cutting-edge intersection of virtual reality and traditional filmmaking techniques to create captivating cinema.

On May 26 at 2 pm, AFTT will host a networking event and panel discussion, Creators Connect: Navigating Digital Frontiers, featuring Harbi and other digital experts and professionals from TT.

Festival co-ordinator Melanie Jones Powell said, “Participants can expect to gain inspiration from real-world case studies and success stories shaping the film and media industries globally.”

She said, “One of our desired outcomes for this event is that attendees come together to connect with industry peers, experts, and innovators where they can exchange ideas, insights, and best-practices for navigating digital change.”

Over the past decade, the festival has featured an eclectic array of films emerging from Africa and its Caribbean diaspora.

Among the line-up of films being screened is the feature Kanaval, which is about a young Haitian boy who is whisked away from his island and taken to a strange planet called Canada. It is directed by Henri Pardo and produced by Trinidad-born Luxembourg-based, Neigeme Glasgow-Maeda.

Iconography – Mungal Patasar, directed by TT filmmakers Mikhail Gibbings and Teneka Mohammed, will screen at Africa Film TT. - Mikhail Gibbings

Another feature is Iconography – Mungal Patasar directed by Trinidadian filmmakers, Mikhail Gibbings and Teneka Mohammed, which is a look into the musical journey of legendary sitarist Mungal Patasar.

Other festival activities include AFTT’s artisan market and Art Walk featuring local businesses, artisans, and emerging artists, and brand activations with event partners.

AFTT’s annual Afrobeats Party – Fever taking place on May 25, from 9 pm at Calabash Gardens, will feature live guest performances from Jimmy October and Tobago-based artiste XAV.

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"Lupita Nyong’o’s feature to open Africa Film Trinidad and Tobago"

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