Alex Descas, Main film still, ® Raoul Peck

Trinidad+Tobago Film Festival: the Caribbean in the spotlight from 15-29 September

The trinidad+tobago film festival (ttff) will present in its 10th edition films from and about the Caribbean and its diaspora from 15-29 September. This year’s line-up of 25 feature-length films and 49 short films will give a special focus on the themes of human rights and politics.

Screened in competition is Raoul Peck’s feature Murder in Pacot (2014) about a young bourgeois couple (Alex Descas and singer Ayo) in Port-au-Prince find themselves in the rubble of their villa and their lives who after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.  In need of money, they rent out an apartment to a French relief worker – and his young Haitian girlfriend. In his metaphor of survival, the Haitian-born Peck collaborated in writing the screenplay with the famous Haitian novelist Lyonel Trouillot and French scriptwriter-director Pascal Bonitzer. Raoul Peck, educated in Haiti, Congo, France and Germany, served short-term as Haiti’s Minister of Culture and since 2010 is the director of the renowned French film school La Fémis. Murder in Pacot received financial support from ACPCULTURES+ and premiered in the Official Selection at the Toronto International Film Festival 2014, and was equally screened in the Panorama section at the International Film Festival Berlin 2015.

Another project supported by ACPCULTURES+ is in competition for Best Trinidad And Tobago Feature Film – Documentary: Re-percussions: Our African Odyssey by Kim Johnson. After opening last year’s festival with the docu-drama Pan! Our Music Odyssey (2014) which Johnson wrote the script for, he returns this year with the world premiere of his latest documentary on the steelpan and its African roots, following Nigerian panman Bowie Sonnie Bowei. Kim Johnson, a historian on the steelpan, is the author of the PAN! project consisting of the first docu-drama and a series of documentaries following this musical odyssey into several countries. In order to learn more about the project and upcoming activities, check the website of Pan! Our Music Odyssey.

The trinidad+tobago film festival will furthermore showcase ten classic Caribbean films to celebrate the 10th edition of the festival alongside their Panorama selection, a New Media section and in addition, for the first time this year, a Caribbean Film Mart (CFM).
Co-financed by the ACPCULTURES+ programme, the CFM will take place during the film festival (24-27 September in Port of Spain, Trinidad) and gives 15 selected film projects the chance to network with international film producers, sales agents and film funds. This year’s projects have been selected from ten different countries ranging from Bahamas, Haiti, Guyana to Curaçao and will receive the opportunity to form partnerships in the industry in order to continue the work on their projects in pre-production. The aim of CFM is to offer a platform for the Caribbean film industry and is enhanced by a Caribbean Film Database, offering information on produced films and providing resources for industry professionals.

The opening night of the trinidad+tobago film festival will present the documentary Sweet Mickey for President (2015) by director Ben Patterson. The documentary accompanies Pras Michel, founder of the hip-hop group The Fugees during his presidential campaign for Sweet Mickey (Michel Martelly) a Haitian pop star. Pras Michel, who was also one of the leading fundraisers for Obama returns to his roots in Haiti after the earthquake and passionately campaigns for his candidate and friend Sweet Mickey – while at the same time another pop star and member of The Fugees equally runs for president: Wyclef Jean. Patterson is the founder of the New York production company Onslot Creative, creating visual content for musicians and artists. Sweet Mickey for President is his first feature film – a time piece about corrupt politics and two pop stars with no political background setting out to shape Haiti’s future. Ben Patterson and Pras Michel will both be present at the opening night to introduce their film.

The festival will commence on 15 September with two weeks of films dedicated to the Caribbean and its diaspora, with the complete programme to be found here.


August 24, 2015
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