TEAM WORK: The production team of the 2014 Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival at the launch. —Photo: Anisto Alves
“Looking good” is the theme/tagline for the ninth edition of the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival (TTFF), which will take place from September 16-30 at venues around the nation. The official launch/news conference for this year’s festival was held at the Hyatt Regency yesterday morning and there, its organisers revealed that the catchy theme is also a concise indicator of the festival’s progress and evolution to date.
Speaking at the launch, director of Public Relations for the annual festival, Magella Moreau and programme director, Anabelle Alcazar shared the finer details of this year’s instalment with the media, several specially invited guests and representatives of the festival’s corporate partners.
Among the varied line up of feature, short and medium-length, as well as narrative documentary and experimental films, Pan! Our Music Odyssey has been selected to open the festival at the recently renovated Globe Cinema on September 16 from 6.30 p.m.
However, speaking to the Express following the launch, veteran journalist and writer of the pan odyssey, Dr Kim Johnson admitted that the film defies all such categories. He said:
“We were originally aiming for it to be what they now call a docu-drama, but so much changed along the way and we had to rewrite so much of it that it doesn’t really fit into any of those categories. We want to stress to viewers that it’s not a film about the history or the evolution of the steelpan — so that means it’s definitely not a proper documentary, but rather a fictional story built around a particular moment in time and a particular evolution of the instrument.”
Noteworthy additions to the festival include: a youth jury (five persons between the ages of 16-21) to adjudicate the bpTT youth jury prize for best film and an Amnesty International Human Rights prize for the Caribbean feature film that best highlights a human rights issue. Over TT$100,000 worth of awards will be won and a number of workshops, panel discussions, seminars and networking opportunities are scheduled throughout the two-week festival period.
It should also be noted that a number of the industry initiatives taking place at this year’s festival are in anticipation of the tenth edition in 2015, when the organisers intend to launch the Caribbean Film Mart and Regional Film Database. The TTFF screens more Caribbean film from more Caribbean countries than any other film festival and also screens films curated from contemporary world cinema, in addition to films from and about Trinidad and Tobago, the Caribbean and its diaspora.