SPECIAL NIGHT: Deputy chairman of the Tourism Development Company (TDC) Janelle “Penny” Commissiong-Chow, right, TDC chairman Brian Frontin, and Rick Haupt, left, director of the film Tobago 1677, during the film’s premiere at the Magdalena Resort, Tobago on Saturday night. —Photo: ELIZABETH WILLIAMS

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Historical docudrama ‘Tobago 1677’ premieres at Magdalena Resort

By Elizabeth Williams

Eight months after wrapping up production, the film Tobago 1677 premiered last Thursday in Tobago.

The historical docu-drama about the battle for Tobago between the Dutch and the French in 1677, was shown at the Magdalena Resort, an event hosted by the Tobago House of Assembly (THA).

The background to Tobago 1677 is the 336th anniversary of two of the most ferocious sea battles in history fought by French and Dutch warships in Tobago.

Twenty shipwrecks, an unheard of archaeological treasure, lie on the seafloor of Scarborough harbour, Tobago, virtually untouched for over three centuries.

Director Rick Haupt said this forms the basis for two one-hour films, at a cost of US$1.5 million.

“We can only guess what it will do to cultural tourism, because with such archaeological sensation on your harbour floor. It certainly will go a long way,” Haupt said.

Haupt said the THA authorised Oceans Discovery Tobago Limited to film and document this historical treasure.

The wreck site in Scarborough harbour has the potential to become the first to be declared a “World Underwater Heritage Site” in this region.

Haupt told the Express the local film industry is ripe in Tobago for further development.

“It needs focus, doing it like other countries do as well. So you are better facilitated with everything.”

The film was funded by three private companies, Process Energy Trinidad Ltd, Proman AG Trinidad Ltd and Caribbean Nitrogen Co Ltd along with the Ministry of Tourism, the THA and the Tourism Development Company.
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