Sunday, January 21, 2018

Carnival Film Series returns


A still from the film y-ning? by director Emilie Upczak.

Mark Fraser

 Coming off an extremely successful 2013, the trinidad+tobago film festival (ttff) kicks off its programme of events for the new year with its Carnival Film Series (CFS).

Now a firm fixture on the annual Carnival calendar of events, the CFS, in its fourth year, is a showcase of films about Carnival and its related art forms. 

The series is sponsored by the Trinidad and Tobago Film Company (TTFC) and the National Carnival Commission (NCC). Technical support is provided by North Eleven, the ttff’s media and projection partner.

This year the CFS takes place over six nights in February. Two of these nights will be given over to presentations by renowned calypso, pan and mas researcher and historian Ray Funk. 

These presentations follow on from Funk’s extremely popular presentation at last year’s CFS at Nalis in Port of Spain, and will again feature vintage Carnival footage, much of it never before seen in T&T.

As always admission to all screenings is free of charge. There will be refreshments on sale, and giveaways. All events begin at 7 p.m.


February 8

Paramin Recreational Grounds and 

Cool Breeze Bar, Paramin


Shorts film package comprising the following:


Between the Lines

Director: Abigail Hadeed


An exploration of the frenzied, chaotic, moving shadows cast on the roads by moko jumbie Carnival characters.


And They Say, Don’t Play with Poison

Director: Natalie Wei

2006/T+T, Canada/Experimental/3mins

An examination of notions of gender, identity and belonging in the contemporary Carnival.


Beneath the Mas

Director: Dinesh Maharaj


A look at some traditional mas-making techniques and Carnival characters, particularly the art of wire-bending, the fancy Indian, the jab jab, the midnight robber and the bull mas. (Production sponsored by NCC.)


Kings of the Gayelle

Director: Christopher Laird


A portrait of two stickfighters, King Kali and King Tony, who have distinguished themselves in the discipline of Kalinda. (Production sponsored by NCC.)


Dance de Calypso

Director: John Barry


An exploration of the history and evolution of the different ways people dance to calypso music.



Director: Emilie Upczak

2010/T+T, USA/Documentary/13mins

An “academic music video” that explores wining as a dance language with a history and identity born out of the Caribbean experience.


After Mas

Director: Karen Martinez

2013/T+T, UK/Narrative/20mins

A story of love that flourishes under the cover of darkness during J’Ouvert on the streets of Port of Spain. In the cold light of day, will these young lovers from very different backgrounds stay true to their desires?


February 9 

Trevor’s Edge, St Augustine

Shorts package

Between the Lines/And They Say, Don’t Play with Poison/Beneath the Mas/Kings of the Gayelle/Dance de Calypso/y-ning?/After Mas

February 13 

MovieTowne, Tobago


Beneath the Mas


No Bois Man No Fraid

Director: Christopher Laird


Keegan Taylor and Rondel Benjamin are young martial arts experts from Trinidad and Tobago. In this uplifting and eye-opening documentary, they embark on a discovery of their roots by setting out to learn the local martial art of stickfighting. In the process, they receive guidance from living legends such as Congo Bara, King Stokely and King Kali, and set out to compete in the annual national stickfighting championships.


February 21 

San Fernando Hill Recreational Grounds


Kings of the Gayelle

Beneath the Mas

A presentation by Ray Funk


February 22

Saith Park, Chaguanas


Shorts package

Between the Lines/And They Say, Don’t Play with Poison/Beneath the Mas/Kings of the Gayelle/y-ning?/Dance de Calypso/After Mas


February 23

NALIS Amphitheatre, National Library, 

Port of Spain


Kings of the Gayelle

Beneath the Mas

A presentation by Ray Funk


Now in its ninth year, the trinidad+tobago film festival is presented by 

Flow, and given leading sponsorship by bpTT and TTFC. For more 

information visit