Strong line-up for T&T film festThursday, September 16, 2021
BY RICHARD JOHNSON
JAMAICA will have a strong delegation for this year's Trinidad+Tobago Film Festival (TTFF), which will be staged online from September 22 to 28.
Approximately seven projects from Jamaican creatives will represent the country at the festival, which is now in its 16th year.
The lone local film in the Caribbean Features category of the festival is Right Near the Beach by director Gibrey Allen. The 80-minute-long film examines the stories which unfold when a celebrated Jamaican sprinter is murdered. The publicity notes for this film add that it is a case study of a country that continues to face the consequences of its turbulent past while trying to confront the new realities of sexuality and equality.
Director Oliver Hill will also showcase his work, Born to be Great, at TTFF. This film reveals how the lives of 12 people from underserved communities across Jamaica were transformed under the Citizen Security and Justice Programme, a social intervention programme which ran from 2000 to 2020.
Andre Wynter's award-winning short, Sweet Rind, will also be on show. The work, which has picked up 19 awards at various festivals across the world, has not been included in the juried section at TTFF but will instead be there for exposure.
According to Wynter, taking his film to Trinidad is just another step in the plan to move it from a short to a feature-length film.
“I always wanted to be part of the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival. It is the biggest in the region and it is well-organised. It offers such a great space to the Caribbean storyteller who wants that exposure, not just through the showcasing of their film but also with the Q&As [question and answer seesions], panels and masterclasses. So, taking Sweet Rind there was always part of our festival plan.
“Right now, the script for the feature-length version of Sweet Rind is completed and now we are looking to line up our ducks and get things going, with a 2022 finish date in mind. What persons external to the film industry don't understand is that it takes time to get a film to the screen. This is especially hard for us as a country with no fully developed machinery behind us. So, we are doing our best to get the required funding to get things off the ground, “ Wynter told the Jamaica Observer.
The slate of Jamaican films at TTFF this year is rounded out by African Redemption: The Life and Legacy of Marcus Garvey, director Roy T Anderson's ode to Jamaica's first national hero.
Jamaica is also represented in the New Media category of the festival with Simon Benjamin's Errantry, and FreeFormed by Kim Friez. Lee-San Gayle's Sister is among the entries by students.