T&T Film Nights” wins more fans for local content

“T&T Film Nights” wins more fans for local content from Mayaro to St. James

Despite the inclement weather and start of the rainy season over the past two months, the Trinidad and Tobago Film Company (TTFC) remained committed to hosting its series of community film outreach events across the island of Trinidad. “T&T Film Nights – Cinema Showcase” visited the southeastern end of the island with two events hosted in Rio Claro and Mayaro celebrated with the St. James Community Improvement Committee to host its “Film Nights” in St. James during the We Beat celebrations on Tuesday 8th June 2010.

In both southeastern communities, the local films screened were warmly welcomed by the residents of Rio Claro and Mayaro with attendance at both events surpassing expectations. After both events, attendees shared their joy and excitement that the event had been hosted in their areas, and at both venues most encouraged the TTFC to return again and felt that the “Film Nights” event provided a great source of alternative local entertainment for those who preferred to stay close to home.

Attendees of the event were also pleased at the collaboration between the TTFC and Mayaro/Rio Claro Regional Corporation, who supplied support in securing both venues for the event: the Regional Corporation Transport Shed in Rio Claro and the Mayaro Youth Facility in Mayaro. Community partner First Citizens also continued its support to the event by its generous sponsorship of the rental of the cinema screen and the Diana Sweet Company Ltd. also provided free candy to the attendees.

Seven (7) local films were screened showcasing the work of local film-makers, enabling the appreciative patrons to view a mixed selection of films from different genres rarely seen in the local cinemas and on television. In speaking with the TTFC organizers on the evening of the events, residents of Mayaro and Rio Claro were particularly pleased to view an episode from the “Yes- Caribbean Youth Explorers” by Lorraine O’Connor, where they saw the areas of Nariva and Mayaro featured through the eyes of a group of youth explorers aged 9 to 14 years. During the feedback section of the evening, one of the younger Rio Claro residents said that she felt, “felt proud to see Nariva in a film,” and believed that the event was, “a good experience” for her and her friends. Almost mirroring her sentiments, one elder in the community who attended commented that the film, “enlightened the kids about Nariva and was very educational.”

Also included in the selection of films were two (2) shorts from the 2009 Secondary Schools Short Film Competition, “Curepe Drumstick Robbery” by winners St. Joseph’s Convent, St. Joseph and “Don’t Call me Jigger” by Rio Claro East Secondary School. These two films in particular were appreciated by the audience as it showcased the young filmmaking talent of students given an opportunity to express themselves through film. This year, the TTFC has made a significant investment in hosting the competition, now called, the Trinidad and Tobago Secondary Schools Short Film Festival 2010. “Funny, entertaining and very good!” was the sentiment expressed in Mayaro by two teenagers who gave their feedback at the end of the event. Those gathered, though small in number, were thoroughly entertained and expressed their delight at being able to view these films on screen.

June 2010 kicked off the start of the annual We Beat – St. James Live event. The St. James Community Improvement Committee invited the TTFC and the “Film Nights” event to participate, which resulted in local film being included in the We Beat celebrations for the first time in the event’s history. The St. James Amphitheatre which is customarily used for We Beat events was the perfect setting for a film screening which allowed patrons to enjoy an auditorium style setting for cinema viewing under the stars.

Despite being on a weeknight, the “T&T Film Nights – Cinema Showcase” in St. James which took place recently on Tuesday 8th June 2010 attracted a wide range of attendees of all ages, ethnicities and even a few international visitors from the United States who arrived to enjoy what Trinidad and Tobago film had to offer. The evening featured several local films including the main feature of the critically acclaimed film, “Mas Man” by Dalton Narine. The film is a dramatic documentary on Trinidad’s own Peter Minshall, featuring exclusive interviews with local artists and cultural activists including Alyson Brown, a dancer, model, choreographer and St. James resident and Hummingbird Gold awardee honored at 2010 We Beat.

As the sun went down, the audience was treated to an episode of “Herman’s Tales” by Roger Alexis and Kirk Budhooram, the short film “Coolie Pink and Green” by Patricia Mohammed and an animated short entitled, “Vendor Rivalry” by Ansar Sattar.

From a post-event survey conducted by the Trinidad and Tobago Film Company, it was evident that most attendees thought that it was very important for this type of event to be held in their neighbourhood. Almost all patrons responded that the outdoor cinema, community film screening concept was an excellent one, and were elated that St. James was chosen as a venue.

The TTFC plans to continue the initiative throughout Trinidad and Tobago. The next T&T Film Nights – Cinema Showcase project is scheduled to head to Point Fortin, Chaguanas and the sister island of Tobago.

For more information about the TTFC’s “Film Nights”, interested persons are invited to visit the company’s website at www.trinidadandtobagofilm.com and its Facebook.com fan page (Search: Trinidad and Tobago Film Company).

Janine Charles-Farray
Marketing Officer
1-868-625-FILM (3456)

The films shown were entertaining for all from adults to children

A cross section of attendees thoroughly entertained by the films in Mayaro

A cross section of attendees thoroughly entertained by the films in Mayaro

A group of young people enjoy the films being screened in Mayaro

Community Sponsors First Citizens in Mayaro

Marlon Pierre, Councillor for Mayaro Guayaguare brings the welcome address

Mayaro Film Nights attracted a wide variety of attendees including families

TTFC's Executive Assistant Rashmi Ramgosine hands out candy Courtesy Diana at Rio Claro Film Nights

Attendees begin arriving at the Regional Corporation Transport Shed for Rio Claro Film Nights

Film Nights attracted attendees of all ages in Rio claro

Mr. Hazarie Ramdeen, Councilor of the MayaroRio Claro Regional Corporation

The best Doubles in Rio Claro at the Rio Claro Film Nights

The Vegetarian Super Machine being screened in Rio Claro

TTFC CEO Carla Foderingham hands out candy courtesy Diana Candy at Rio Claro Film Nights

TTFC staff answer questions on local film in Rio Claro

St. James Film Nights

A cross section of attendees at We Film Nights in St. James

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