PRESENT AND FUTURE: Olympic gold medallist Keshorn Walcott with Sport Minister Anil Roberts and eight-year-old actor Elijah Williams of Newtown Boys' RC Primary School during Wednesday's premiere of the docudrama film entitled Red, White and Black: A Sports Odyssey at Digicel IMAX Theatre. —Photo: NIGEL TELESFORD

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'Olympic' look at the red, white and black

By Nigel Telesford

Sport Minister Anil Roberts kept it short and to the point at the premiere of the docudrama film entitled Red, White and Black: A Sports Odyssey, on Wednesday evening at the Digicel IMAX Theatre at One Woodbrook Place, Port of Spain.

"There's a time for talk and there's a time for action," he said. "Now is the time for action, so I'm going to stop talking and let's all see the film."

A gathering of guests all witnessed the story of Trinidad and Tobago's Olympic struggles and triumphs as a nation.

The 90-minute film was produced and directed by former sports anchor, Robert Dumas, with filming by Jtography and final editing and sound mix by the Viscuna Brothers production company.

Featuring interviews, insights and highlights from the country's very first Olympians while still under British rule, the film chronicles Trinidad and Tobago's journey in this arena down to its latest triumphant sporting heroes and warriors of 2012.

Through the lens of Dumas and his team the stories of these special individuals are told and their trials, tribulations and of course, triumphs are examined at the largest and most respected sporting event on the planet.

"This is the first feature-length sporting film ever produced in Trinidad and Tobago," said SPORTT chairman, Sebastian Paddington. "It used 97 per cent local talent from directors, editors, sound mixers, musicians, actors, cameramen, all Trinidadians...97 per cent of the cast and crew were local and I think that in itself is a great achievement.

"We have a responsibility to ensure that our great moments are properly recorded and shown to the world, so that when we celebrate our 100th Independence anniversary, whoever is watching then can see how Keshorn Walcott won our second Olympic Gold medal and how our 4 X 100 relay team had one of the greatest comebacks in Olympic history and how our swimmer ignited the passion of a nation before he even dived in the pool by just showing incredible swag and confidence in walking out to the pool deck…"

Complete with bucket men (sharing canned drinks), a rhythm section, a sno-cone man, free popcorn, hot dogs, candy and even Jumbo the nutsman, the event filled the assembly with the spirit of a grand sporting event, even as the film invoked inspiration and awe.

The "incredible, but true story" of Ato Boldon's symbolic handing over of his 200m sprint crown to a young Richard Thompson, when he was still just a primary school pupil at Newtown Boys' RC speaks volumes about the influence sporting heroes can have on generations to come.

This film will be shown in schools around the country within the coming months, as well as on CCN TV6, along with the upcoming Spirit of Sport Awards ceremony, which is scheduled for December 28.

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