Port of Spain
The corpus of late veteran journalist/Express columnist Raoul Pantin will be celebrated on April 30 at the National Gas Company (NGC) Bocas Lit Fest. This initiative was disclosed yesterday by festival founder/director Marina Salandy-Brown, who also said the number of children and adults participating in the event grew to well over 5,000 in 2014. She was speaking at the launch of the fifth Bocas Lit Fest (April 29 to May 3, 2015) at Nalis, Port of Spain.
Among those present were Sharon Christopher, Deputy CEO, corporate administration, First Citizens; Gregory Camejo, group executive, corporate services, One Caribbean Media (OCM) Ltd; Planning and Sustainable Development Minister Dr Bhoe Tewarie; and former dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Education at The University of the West Indies, Prof Funso Aiyejina.
They were joined by Wynda Chandler, NGC head, community relations; Children’s Festival director Danielle Delon; and storyteller Theodora Ulerie.
Bocas Lit Fest is a celebration of the written and spoken word and attracts bibliophiles, professional writers, scribes and thespians. The festival will include authors’ readings and conversations, literary and nonliterary panel discussions, film screenings and prizes. It will include performances, booksellers, book signings and exhibitions.
Salandy-Brown said: “Our traditional festival event will be a celebration of Pantin with readings from his varied and accomplished body of work. As part of its tribute, BIM, the cult screenplay, will be screened, and marked copies of the manuscript will be available for sale during the festival. The film music was done by legendary late artiste Andre Tanker.”
Pantin, 71, died in his sleep on January 14.
Zeroing on the attendance, she said: “It has grown from over 3,000 in 2011 for the events, including children, to well over 5,000 in 2014, with another 1,000-plus who listened online last April from all over the region and internationally. If we add another two festivals that take place in South—Tobago and South, the figures are higher still.”
The 2015 edition will also feature baroness Susan Greenfield, one of the leading neuroscientists in the United Kingdom, whose book, Mind Change, addresses how people’s brains are reshaped by modern digital technology and the effect it will have on all areas of lives and work.
Camejo said the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature, valued at US$10,000 for Caribbean authors, is a major accomplishment. To date, the coveted prize has been won by Earl Lovelace, Monique Roffey, Robert Antoni and Derek Walcott, who will be celebrating his 85th birthday this year.
Chandler said by 2014, when the company took on the sponsorship of the Bocas Lit Fest in Tobago, NGC had invested about $2.3 million. She said NGC felt it had a natural, serious responsibility to support national sporting and civic and cultural life.
Christopher said literacy is fully essential to human rights and the foundation of life-long learning, adding it is also an opportunity to empower people’s lives and improve their overall standard of living.
Tewarie said it was important to tap into the human imagination.
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