Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival 2010 comes to UWI St Augustine

via UWI St Augustine

WOLE SOYINKA: CHILD OF THE FOREST

ST AUGUSTINE, Trinidad And Tobago – Some of the best works being shown at the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival (TTFF) are also being brought to the St Augustine campus of The University of the West Indies (UWI), for the enjoyment of UWI students, staff and the general public. The UWI Film Programme, in conjunction with the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival, will present its own Film Festival on September 24th (Republic Day) and on October 1st and 2nd.

The 2010 UWI Film Festival screenings will take place at various locations across the St Augustine Campus. The Republic Day screenings will be held at the Centre for Language Learning (CLL) Auditorium. The daytime screenings on October 1st will take place at the Institute of Critical Thinking. The screenings on October 1st at 7.30 p.m. and on October 2nd at 7 p.m. will now take place in the open at the Students Activity Centre. Patrons are asked to bring their own seating/blankets.

“These UWI events reflect a much deeper, longstanding and ongoing relationship between the Film Programme and the Festival,” said Dr Christopher Meir, Lecturer in the UWI Film Programme. “Our students have benefitted enormously from the many workshops, panels and lectures that the Festival has offered over the years. Just last year we were fortunate enough to have visits from renowned filmmakers such as Adam Low and Adoor Gopalakrishnan, and we look forward to many more visits this year.”

This close relationship between the UWI Film Programme and the TT Film Festival has at its root the shared goals of the two institutions. The UWI has as its mission the training of the next generation of Caribbean filmmakers and fostering the growth of a regional film culture and film industry, objectives which are at the heart of what the TTFF was set up to do.

This year, The UWI Film Festival will put special emphasis on Caribbean films (many of the region’s language groups are featured), and local films from Trinidad and Tobago, including films on the local Amerindian population, as well as the Spiritual Baptist religion as it has been practised in Trinidad. In keeping with the TTFF’s emphasis this year on African cinema, the programme also features a number of African-themed and African-made films. Special guest appearances will include two film-makers from East Africa, visiting as part of the TTFF’s new partnership with the Zanzibar International Film Festival in Tanzania.

“The partnership between The UWI and the TTFF works both ways,” Meir explained. “Since the inception of our programme, our students have been submitting their work to the Festival and a number of these films have made waves with Festival audiences. ‘Queens of Curepe’, ‘Siege’ and ‘Who Let the Dogs Out?’ were among the major draws at the 2008 Festival, and last year films such as ‘Queen of the Brands’, ‘Sans Souci’ and ‘The Power of the Vagina’ again wowed audiences. Our faculty, likewise, work closely with the Festival. Dr. Bruce Paddington is the founder and director of the Festival and co-founder and coordinator of our programme. Yao Ramesar—a pioneering local filmmaker and a Lecturer in Film—has screened the first two parts of his ‘SistaGod’ trilogy at the Festival. For my part, I have helped to facilitate workshops on film marketing and distribution. I also organise these UWI screenings.”

Screenings begin at noon on Republic Day, with “One English Winter” (UK, 7 minutes) and “Moloch Tropical” (Haiti/France, 104 minutes). Other Republic Day screenings are as follows: 2.30pm, “Pumzi” (Kenya, 23 minutes); 3.15pm, “Wind Journeys” (Colombia, 116 minutes); 5.30pm “Man of the Soil” (Dominica/France, seven minutes), “The Legend of Buchi Fil” (Curacao, 22 minutes) and “Children of God” (Bahamas, 89 minutes). Screenings will run on October 1st from 10am to 9pm; and on October 2nd from 9am to 9.0pm. The full schedule is detailed below.

All events are free of charge and open to the general public, except for a special adaptation workshop with Caryl Phillips, acclaimed and prize-winning author and screenwriter. In this workshop, participants will get an inside view of the processes behind adapting a classic Caribbean short story for the screen. Phillips will take the participants through the necessary steps of adaptation before they attempt some writing of their own. Phillips will then critique the participants’ work. The workshop, which will take place on Saturday 2nd October, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., is attractively priced at $300 (lunch included), and all students with ID are entitled to a $50 discount. Phillips will also introduce the screening on October 1st at the SAC at 7.30 p.m.

For more information, please visit http://www.trinidadandtobagofilmfestival.com/, or contact Dr Christopher Meir at Christopher.Meir@sta.uwi.edu or (868) 662 2002 Ext. 4233.


ABOUT CARYL PHILLIPS

Caryl Phillips is a Kittitian-born British writer. His work includes the radio play The Wasted Years (1984, BBC Giles Cooper Award) and the novels Crossing the River (1993, James Tait Black Memorial Prize) and A Distant Shore (2003, Commonwealth Writers Prize). Phillips wrote the film of his own novel The Final Passage (Peter Hall, 1996), as well as the screenplay for Playing Away (Horace Ové, 1986) and the film of VS Naipaul’s The Mystic Masseur (Ismail Merchant, 2001). He is presently Professor of English at Yale University.

UWI FILM FESTIVAL SCHEDULE
Fri 24 Sept

12pm One English Winter (UK) 7’/Moloch Tropical (Haiti/France) 104′ – CLL Auditorium

2.30pm Pumzi (Kenya) 23′ – CLL Auditorium

3.15pm Wind Journeys (Colombia) 116′ – CLL Auditorium

5.30pm Man of the Soil (Dominica/France) 7’/The Legend of Buchi Fil (Curacao) 22’/Children of God (Bahamas) 89′ – CLL Auditorium

Fri 1st Oct

10am Wole Soyinka: Child of the Forest (Nigeria/South Africa) 53′ – Institute of Critical Thinking

11.30am Hidden Herstories (UK) 60’/The Amerindians 40′ – Institute of Critical Thinking

1.30pm Zanzibar International Film Festival presents Maangamizi (TAN/US) 110′ – Institute of Critical Thinking

4pm A Regular Black (UK) 24’ – Institute of Critical Thinking

4.30pm Caribbean Skin, African Identity (T&T) 33’ – Institute of Critical Thinking

5.15pm The Shouters (T&T) 27’ – Institute of Critical Thinking

6pm 17 Colours and a Sitar (T&T) 35’ – Institute of Critical Thinking

7.30pm Playing Away (UK) 100′ – Evening screening at the Student Activities Center


Sat 2nd Oct

9am-4pm Adaptation workshop with Caryl Phillips – FHE Room 3

7pm Doubles wit’ Slight (T&T) 12’/Death in Three Parts (T&T) 90’ – Evening screening at the Student Activities Center

SYNOPSES

Dramatic feature
MOLOCH TROPICAL

Moloch Tropical
Year of release: 2009
Running time: 107 minutes
Country of origin: Haiti/France
Language: French, Creole and English, with English subtitles
Director and writer: Raoul Peck
Contact: contact@velvet-film.com

High up in the mountains of northern Haiti is the towering Citadelle, from where the nation’s autocratic though “democratically” elected President, Jean de Dieu, effects his reign. Styling himself as an imperial monarch, the President keeps a paranoid eye on the television news and a lascivious one on his maidservant. All the while he ruthlessly stamps out opposition to his regime and enforces the rules with a chilling, erratic terror.

On the day that the President is set to welcome a host of foreign dignitaries in celebration of Haiti’s bicentennial, an uprising breaks out in the streets. As the uprising grows and his guests cancel on him one by one, the President comes undone, mumbling to himself like a mad Shakespearean king as fate closes in. Part elegant chamber drama, part absurdist political satire, Moloch Tropical is a scathing critique of absolute power and the corrupt legacy of colonial rule.

Trinidad & Tobago premiere

About the director

Haiti’s most acclaimed filmmaker, Raoul Peck has directed numerous award-winning films. These include Man by the Shore (1993), a fictional account of the beginnings of the Duvalier regime, Lumumba (2002), a biopic of the Congolese leader Patrice Lumumba, and Sometimes in April (2005), a drama about the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Peck briefly served as Haiti’s Minister of Culture under Jean-Bertrand Aristide, and in 2001 was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the New York-based Human Rights Watch.

Screenings

Thu 23 Sept 5.30pm MT POS
Fri 24 Sept Noon UWI
Tue 28 Sept 8pm MT POS

Documentary feature
WOLE SOYINKA: CHILD OF THE FOREST

WOLE SOYINKA: CHILD OF THE FOREST
Year of release: 2009
Running time: 52 minutes
Country of origin: Nigeria/South Africa
Language: English
Director: Akin Omotoso
Contact: akin@tompictures.co.za

Akinwande Oluwole Soyinka—Wole Soyinka to the world—is one of Nigeria’s and Africa’s treasures. A novelist, poet and playwright, he won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1986, the first African to be so honoured. Throughout his long, chequered career Soyinka has never backed down from speaking truth to power, and using his writer’s gifts to take aim at oppression, corruption and the legacy of colonialism and slavery.

This profile presents the many sides of Soyinka, from writer to activist to revolutionary. A number of interviewees including fellow writers, members of his family as well as Soyinka himself testify to his restless, inquisitive spirit, and his desire for knowledge for the betterment of his country and his continent. Stylised recreations of pivotal moments from his career round out this celebration of a true literary lion.

Trinidad & Tobago premiere

About the director

Akin Omotoso is a Nigerian-born South African actor, writer, producer and filmmaker. After directing a series of short films he made his first feature, God is African, in 2003. The short Rifle Road, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, followed in 2005. Gathering the Scattered Cousins, a documentary tribute to his late mother, debuted in 2006. His acting credits include the films Lord of War (2005) and Blood Diamond (2006).

Screenings

Fri 1st Oct 10am UWI

Documentary short
DOUBLES WIT’ SLIGHT

Doubles Wit' Slight
Year of release: 2010
Running time: 16 minutes
Country of origin: Trinidad & Tobago
Language: English
Director: Aliyah Zalim
Contact: afleaah@yahoo.com

Doubles is a cheap and very popular street food indigenous to Trinidad and Tobago. The short looks at many aspects of doubles, from its origins to how it is made, the (possible) health benefits and other aspects of the doubles experience. Among those interviewed are university students, doubles vendors and various experts.

World premiere

Screenings

Fri 24 Sept 10.30pm MT POS
Tue 28 Sept 3pm MT Chaguanas
Thu 30 Sept 6pm San Fernando Hill
Sat 2 Oct 12.30pm MT POS
Sat 2 Oct 7pm UWI

Dramatic feature
THE WIND JOURNEYS
Los viajes del viento

The Wind Journeys
Year of release: 2009
Running time: 116 minutes
Country of origin: Colombia
Language: Spanish, with English subtitles
Director and writer: Ciro Guerra
Contact: http://www.losviajesdelviento.net

Ignacio Carrillo spent much of his life travelling through northern Colombia singing vallenato, a popular form of folk music. He accompanied himself on his legendary accordion, said to be cursed by the devil. Eventually Ignacio got married and gave up his itinerant ways, settling in a small town. When years later his wife suddenly dies, Ignacio decides to make a trek to the coast, to return his accordion to its previous owner, his former teacher and mentor.

Accompanying Ignacio is Fermin, a boy with romantic notions of becoming a juglar—a wandering musician—as Ignacio once was. Ignacio tries to discourage Fermin, as the life of a juglar brings only solitude and sadness. As they travel the awesome landscape—through savannah, desert and forest, and over mist-wreathed mountains—man and boy share a series of almost mystical adventures. These adventures not only bring them closer together but also closer to their journey’s haunting, unexpected end.

Trinidad & Tobago premiere

Awards: Best Colombian Film, Best Director, Bogota Film Festival 2009; Award of the City of Rome, Cannes Film Festival 2009; Best Colombian Film, Cartagena Film Festival 2010; Best Spanish Language Film, Santa Barbara Film Festival 2010

About the director

Ciro Guerra was born in 1981, and studied film at the National University of Colombia. After directing a number of short films, Guerra wrote, directed and produced The Wandering Shadows (La sombra del carminante), his award-winning feature debut, in 2004. The Wind Journeys, his second feature-length film, was Colombia’s official selection for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2010 Academy Awards.

Screenings

Fri 24 Sept 2.30pm UWI
Sun 26 Sept 8pm MT POS
Mon 27 Sept 7pm The Carlton Savannah
Tue 28 Sept 8pm MT Chaguanas
Sat 2 Oct 3pm MT POS

Dramatic feature
CHILDREN OF GOD

Children of God
Year of release: 2009
Running time: 103 minutes
Country of origin: The Bahamas
Language: English
Director and writer: Kareem Mortimer
Contact: http://www.childrenofgodthemovie.com
kareem@mercuryrisingmedia.com

Jonny is a young Bahamian, a promising painter on scholarship at an arts college in Nassau. Lena is the wife of a rabidly homophobic pastor. Jonny is troubled: guilt-stricken over his sexuality, the recurring target of attacks by a gang, and alienated from his alcoholic father. Meanwhile, Lena’s apparently perfect family life seems about to fall apart. To try and reconnect with his artistic gift Jonny heads to picturesque Eleuthera, while Lena goes there to collect signatures for an anti-gay rights petition.

On Eleuthera Jonny meets the charming Romeo, as Lena is drawn to the soft-spoken, compassionate Reverend Clyde. Through these life-shifting encounters, Jonny and Lena find themselves coming to a fuller understanding of who they are, a realisation that will have unsettling consequences. As poignant as it is provocative, Children of God is a brave and beautiful exploration of the search for acceptance—of one’s self, of others—in an often brutally intolerant world.

Trinidad & Tobago premiere

About the director

Born in 1981, Kareem Mortimer has been in filmmaking since the age of seventeen. A writer, director and producer, he has worked on a number of award-winning documentaries both in the US and his native Bahamas. Children of God is his first feature-length narrative film. His follow-up feature, Windjammers, is in production.

Screenings

Thu 23 Sept 8pm MT Chaguanas
Fri 24 Sept 5pm UWI
Sat 25 Sept 8pm MT POS
Sun 3 Oct 8pm MT Tobago
Mon 4 Oct 8pm MT POS

Documentary feature
THE AMERINDIANS

The Amerindians
Year of release: 2010
Running time: 40 minutes
Country of origin: Trinidad and Tobago
Language: English
Directors: Tracy Assing, Sophie Meyer
Contact: mybones@gmail.com
sophiemey@googlemail.com

“The only real Caribs are dead Caribs.” In this revealing film, Tracy Assing seeks to put to rest that historical saw. Assing was raised a member of the Santa Rosa Carib Community, the only recognised group representing indigenous descendants in Trinidad and Tobago. Until now, Amerindian descendants have depended on the stories of their grandparents and great-grandparents for their history, while the indigenous story of survival has been written out of the history books. Assing walks us through her own exploration of the history of the Santa Rosa Community and, as her great aunt, the Carib Queen, prepares to join the Great Spirit, ponders an uncertain future.

About the directors
Tracy Assing has worked as a writer and editor in various media in Trinidad and Tobago, and recently expanded her work to include photography and film. The Amerindians is her first documentary film.

Sophie Meyer has worked in her native France as a production assistant and manager, and in London as a freelance producer and picture editor. In 2002 she was a production assistant on the film Dangerous Liaisons, and in 2004 wrote and directed Salt of the Earth, a documentary on parang music. In 2006 she made a short film on Trinidadian composer Dominique Le Gendre and her chamber suite inspired by Derek Walcott’s Tales of the Islands.

Screenings
Sun 26 Sept 12.30pm MT POS
Mon 27 Sept 5.30pm MT Chaguanas
Fri 1 Oct 11.30am UWI
Mon 4 Oct 5.30pm MT POS

Dramatic short
PUMZI

Pumzi
Year of release: 2010
Running time: 20 minutes
Country of origin: Kenya
Language: English
Director: Wanuri Kahiu
Contact: http://www.pumzithemovie.com

Nature is extinct. The outside is dead. Asha lives and works in a specially designed indoor community. When she receives a box in the mail containing soil, she plants an old seed in it, and the seed starts to germinate. Asha appeals for permission to investigate the possibility of life on the outside, but is denied. Asha’s only hope—and the only hope for humankind—is for her to break out of the community and seek a place where she can plant the precious seedling.

Trinidad & Tobago premiere

Screenings

Fri 24 Sept 2.30pm UWI
Sat 25 Sept 5.30pm MT POS
Mon 27 Sept 7pm The Carlton Savannah

Dramatic short
ONE ENGLISH WINTER

One English Winter
Year of release: 2008
Running time: 7 minutes
Country of origin: United Kingdom
Language: English
Director: Katy Milner
Contact: katy.milner@ntlworld.com

London, 1948. Georgie has recently arrived in England from Jamaica. In a letter home to his sweetheart Vonnie, Georgie details his experiences and impressions, as he seeks housing, finds a job, and tries to get used to English food. Georgie would like Vonnie to join him in London for a spell, before they return to Jamaica and settle for good. Yet will one English winter become something much more?

Awards: Winner, BFM Short Film Challege 2008

Trinidad & Tobago premiere

Screenings

Thu 23 Sept 5.30pm MT POS
Fri 24 Sept Noon UWI
Tue 28 Sept 8pm MT POS
Thu 30 Sept 6pm San Fernando Hill

Dramatic short
QUIET DESPERATION

Quiet Desperation
Year of release: 2010
Running time: 23 minutes
Country of origin: Trinidad & Tobago
Language: English
Director: Renée Pollonais
Contact: renpollonais@yahoo.com

Heathcliff is an unfulfilled man nearing retirement. Merlin, his wife of 35 years, is controlling and critical, especially of him. One Saturday morning as they prepare to drive to the market, Merlin begins to lay into Heathcliff. When Heathcliff finally expresses what really is on his mind, he loses more than he is prepared to handle.

World premiere

Screenings

Tue 28 Sept 3pm MT Chaguanas
Fri 24 Sept 10.30pm MT POS
Sat 2 Oct 12.30pm MT POS
Sat 2 Oct 7pm UWI

Dramatic short
SOMEBODY SHOOT ME

Year of release: 2010
Running time: 18 minutes
Country of origin: Trinidad and Tobago
Language: English
Directors: Fidel Guerra, Raycy Rousseau
Contact: pootigaltief@hotmail.com, racyray@yahoo.com

Somebody Shoot Me is the misanthropic, morbidly comic story of Merv Small, a student at the University of the Caribbean. Merv hates the students. He hates his lecturers. He hates his mother. He hates the world and everything in it. Filled with disgust and despair, Merv decides there’s only one solution for his situation.

World premiere

Screenings

Tue 28 Sept 3pm MT Chaguanas
Fri 24 Sept 10.30pm MT POS
Sat 2 Oct 12.30pm MT POS
Sat 2 Oct 7pm UWI

Dramatic short
THE LEGEND OF BUCHI FIL

Director German Gruber
Running time 20 minutes
Country of origin Curaçao
Language: Dutch and Papiamento, with English subtitles
Year of release 2008
Contact germangruber@hotmail.com

Buchi Fil is a Caribbean legend, the strongest slave who ever lived. In this film, based on a poem by acclaimed Curaçao poet Pierre Laufferm, the plantation master becomes obsessed with breaking Buchi Fil. Only when he sells Buchi Fils’s beloved wife, Mosa Nena, does the proud slave crack. Buchi Fil’s final act shows the power of his spirit and his love.

Trinidad and Tobago premiere

Screenings

Thu 23 Sept 12.30pm MT POS
Fri 24 Sept 6pm St James Amphitheatre
Fri 24 Sept 5pm UWI
Sun 26 Sept 3pm MT Chaguanas
Thu 30 Sept 8pm MT POS
Fri 1 Oct 5.30pm MT Tobago
Sun 3 Oct 6pm Mt St George Community Centre

Documentary short
NOM TÈW
Man of the Soil

Man of the Soil
Year of release: 2009
Running time: 20 minutes
Country of origin: Dominica/France
Languages: Kwéyòl, French and English, with English subtitles
Director: Pierre Deschamps
Contact: http://www.pierredeschamps.com

Jerry Maka West is a Rastafarian who lives a simple life in Dominica’s forested interior, his Zion. Here he grows and prepares his food just as his grandparents taught him. Jerry skips in and out of the modern world, never really being drawn into it. Instead, he prefers to remain close to nature, working hard to put in as much as he takes out, in harmony with a living earth.

Trinidad & Tobago premiere

Screenings

Fri 24 Sept 5pm UWI
Sun 26 Sept 8pm MT POS
Tue 28 Sept 8pm MT Chaguanas
Sat 2 Oct 6pm L’Anse Fourmi Community Centre
Sat 2 Oct 3pm MT POS
Sun 3 Oct 8pm MT Tobago

Dramatic short
THE BLOOD AND THE BOIS

Year of release: 2010
Running time: 30 minutes
Country of origin: Trinidad and Tobago
Language: English
Director: Sigmond Cromwell
Contact: cromwell@tstt.net.tt

The Blood and the Bois is a supernatural drama about the restless spirit of a stickfighter, unable to be at peace until his death is avenged. Along the way, both the living and the dead must come to terms with wounds inflicted by the previous generation, before arriving at a place of healing, transcendence and rest.

World premiere

Screenings

Tue 28 Sept 3pm MT Chaguanas
Fri 24 Sept 10.30pm MT POS
Sat 2 Oct 12.30pm MT POS
Sat 2 Oct 7pm UWI

Documentary
SEVENTEEN COLOURS AND A SITAR

Year of release: 2010
Running time: 35 minutes
Country of origin: Trinidad & Tobago
Language: English
Directors: Patricia Mohammed, Michael Mooleedhar
Contact: Patricia.Mohammed@sta.uwi.edu
michaelmooleedhar@gmail.com

Synopsis

Rex Dixon is an abstract painter and Mungal Patasar is a musician. Both men are highly regarded in their fields, and have received many accolades for their work. In this intriguing film, Dixon and Patesar come together in conversation and find striking similarities in their respective creative processes. The Trinidadian landscape provides a canvas and sounding board for their explorations of colour and tonality, and explodes on the screen as a marriage between intuitive and experimental ways of working.

Featuring original paintings by Dixon and music by Patasar created for and on camera, Seventeen Colours and a Sitar invites the viewer to trust their own eyes and ears, as these artists do, in exploring the worlds of art and music.
World premiere
About the directors

Patricia Mohammed is a professor of gender and cultural studies at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad. Among her publications is Imaging the Caribbean: Culture and Visual Translation (2010). She has made a number of short films, including Sign of the Loa (2007) and Coolie Pink and Green (2009), which won the People’s Choice Award for Best Short Film at the ttff/09.

Michael Mooleedar is a graduate of the BA in Film Programme of the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine. His short film The Queens of Curepe was screened at the ttff/08, and he edited Patricia Mohammed’s Coolie Pink and Green (2009). He is currently at work on a short drama, The Cool Boys.

Screenings
Sun 26 Sept 5.30pm MT Changuanas
Mon 27 Sept 5.30pm MT POS
Fri 1 Oct 12.30pm MT POS
Fri 1 Oct 4pm UWI

Dramatic feature
THE WIND JOURNEYS
Los viajes del viento

The Wind Journeys
Year of release: 2009
Running time: 116 minutes
Country of origin: Colombia
Language: Spanish, with English subtitles
Director and writer: Ciro Guerra
Contact: http://www.losviajesdelviento.net

Ignacio Carrillo spent much of his life travelling through northern Colombia singing vallenato, a popular form of folk music. He accompanied himself on his legendary accordion, said to be cursed by the devil. Eventually Ignacio got married and gave up his itinerant ways, settling in a small town. When years later his wife suddenly dies, Ignacio decides to make a trek to the coast, to return his accordion to its previous owner, his former teacher and mentor.

Accompanying Ignacio is Fermin, a boy with romantic notions of becoming a juglar—a wandering musician—as Ignacio once was. Ignacio tries to discourage Fermin, as the life of a juglar brings only solitude and sadness. As they travel the awesome landscape—through savannah, desert and forest, and over mist-wreathed mountains—man and boy share a series of almost mystical adventures. These adventures not only bring them closer together but also closer to their journey’s haunting, unexpected end.

Trinidad & Tobago premiere

Awards: Best Colombian Film, Best Director, Bogota Film Festival 2009; Award of the City of Rome, Cannes Film Festival 2009; Best Colombian Film, Cartagena Film Festival 2010; Best Spanish Language Film, Santa Barbara Film Festival 2010

About the director

Ciro Guerra was born in 1981, and studied film at the National University of Colombia. After directing a number of short films, Guerra wrote, directed and produced The Wandering Shadows (La sombra del carminante), his award-winning feature debut, in 2004. The Wind Journeys, his second feature-length film, was Colombia’s official selection for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2010 Academy Awards.

Screenings

Fri 24 Sept 2.30pm UWI
Sun 26 Sept 8pm MT POS
Mon 27 Sept 7pm The Carlton Savannah
Tue 28 Sept 8pm MT Chaguanas
Sat 2 Oct 3pm MT POS

Narrative feature
PLAYING AWAY

Year of release: 1987
Running time: 100 minutes
Country of origin: United Kingdom
Language: English
Director: Horace Ové
Writer: Caryl Phillips

The Caribbean Brixton Conquistadores are a cricket team from London made up of West Indian immigrants. When the Conquistadores are invited to play a charity game against a rural Suffolk village side to cap off celebrations of “Third World Week”, members of both teams have their reservations. What is meant to be a genial weekend in the country produces unexpected results, both on and off the field of play.

Directed by pioneering Trinidadian-born filmmaker Horace Ové from a screenplay by novelist Caryl Phillips, Playing Away is a comedy of manners that explores and undermines various stereotypes even as it links two similar-yet-different cultures. The film features a brilliant performance from the late Norman Beaton (Desmond of the hit TV series Desmond’s).

About the director

Born in Trinidad in 1939, Horace Ové has the distinction of being the first black filmmaker to direct a feature-length film in the United Kingdom (Pressure, 1975). His other films include Baldwin’s Nigger (1968), Reggae (1971) and Dream to Change the World (2003), a portrait of the late Trinidadian-born British activist John La Rose. Ové was awarded a CBE, Commander of the British Empire, in 2007.

About the writer

Caryl Phillips is a Kittitian-born British writer. His work includes the novels Crossing the River (1993) and A Distant Shore (2003, Commonwealth Writers Prize). Phillips wrote the film of his own novel The Final Passage (Peter Hall, 1996), as well as the film of VS Naipaul’s The Mystic Masseur (Ismail Merchant, 2001). He is Professor of English at Yale University.

Fri 1 Oct 7.30pm UWI

Documentary feature
WOLE SOYINKA: CHILD OF THE FOREST

WOLE SOYINKA: CHILD OF THE FOREST
Year of release: 2009
Running time: 52 minutes
Country of origin: Nigeria/South Africa
Language: English
Director: Akin Omotoso
Contact: akin@tompictures.co.za

Akinwande Oluwole Soyinka—Wole Soyinka to the world—is one of Nigeria’s and Africa’s treasures. A novelist, poet and playwright, he won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1986, the first African to be so honoured. Throughout his long, chequered career Soyinka has never backed down from speaking truth to power, and using his writer’s gifts to take aim at oppression, corruption and the legacy of colonialism and slavery.

This profile presents the many sides of Soyinka, from writer to activist to revolutionary. A number of interviewees including fellow writers, members of his family as well as Soyinka himself testify to his restless, inquisitive spirit, and his desire for knowledge for the betterment of his country and his continent. Stylised recreations of pivotal moments from his career round out this celebration of a true literary lion.

Trinidad & Tobago premiere

About the director

Akin Omotoso is a Nigerian-born South African actor, writer, producer and filmmaker. After directing a series of short films he made his first feature, God is African, in 2003. The short Rifle Road, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, followed in 2005. Gathering the Scattered Cousins, a documentary tribute to his late mother, debuted in 2006. His acting credits include the films Lord of War (2005) and Blood Diamond (2006).

Screenings

Fri 1 Oct 10am UWI

Documentary
CARIBBEAN SKIN, AFRICAN IDENTITY

Year: 2010
Running Time: 33 minutes
Country: Trinidad & Tobago
Language: English
Director: Mandisa Pantin
Contact: lygrette@gmail.com

The documentary examines the concept of African identity as it has evolved over the generations in Trinidad and Tobago. In it, the director explores her own identity, using the Emancipation Day parade and its rituals as a starting point for her journey. Interviews with African-Caribbean people and scholars define and explain some of the complexities of race in this society.

World premiere

Screenings

Wed 22 Sept 5.30pm MT Chaguanas
Tue 28 Sept 12.30pm MT POS
Fri 1Oct 4pm UWI
Sun 3 Oct 1pm MT Tobago

Documentary feature
HIDDEN HERSTORIES: WOMEN OF CHANGE

Year of release: 2010
Running time: 60 minutes
Country of origin: United Kingdom
Language: English
Directors: The Octavia Hill Youth Film Collective
Contact: http://www.hiddenherstories.org

This film presents the lives of a number of noteworthy women from London’s history. The first woman, Octavia Hill, was a pioneer of social housing and founded the “open spaces” movement, the forerunner to environmentalism. The next, Amy Ashwood Garvey, was a pan-Africanist who started the United Negro Improvement Association with her then husband, Marcus Garvey.

The third story is that of Claudia Jones, the Trinidadian activist and “mother” of the Notting Hill Carnival. Jayaben Desai, the final woman profiled, is a factory worker who campaigned for the rights of Black and Asian workers. Featuring interviews with a number of famous Londoners, Hidden Herstories is a revealing tribute to four remarkable women, each with a dream to change the world they lived in.

Trinidad & Tobago premiere

About the directors

The Octavia Hill Youth Film Collective is a group of 20 young filmmakers—eight girls, 12 boys—who came together to make this film as part of a community initiative, organised by the Octavia Foundation of London.

Screenings

Sun 26 Sept 5.30pm MT Chaguanas
Mon 27 Sept 5.30pm MT POS
Fri 1 Oct 11.30am UWI
Fri 1 Oct 12.30pm MT POS

Dramatic feature
MAANGAMIZI
The Ancient One

Year of release: 2001
Running time: 110 minutes
Country of origin: Tanzania, United States
Language: Swahili and English, with English subtitles
Directors: Martin Mhando and Ron Mulvihill
Contact: m.mhando@murdoch.edu.au

In this ambitious allegory, an American woman medic, Dr Asira, comes to Tanzania to work at a hospital for the mentally disturbed. There she meets a sometimes-catatonic patient, Samahe, who seems to be in communication with another reality. In their confrontation with their individual and collective pasts, Dr Asira and Samahe are bound by fears and half-remembered images of unbearable pain.

It is only through the mentoring spirit of Maangamizi that the women can resume their lives with an understanding of the ancestors and their eternal presence in a world of cruelty, hatred and death. Maangamizi is a film that seeks to reclaim the connection between Africa and her Diaspora, and dares to represent the histories of two continents as it peels away layer upon layer of trauma to bring a healing of the soul.

Trinidad & Tobago premiere

About the directors

Martin Mhando is a film director, producer and academic from Tanzania. He has made a number of feature-length films as well as documentaries. His film
Maangamizi (2001) was selected by Tanzania as its 2002 Academy Awards entry for Best Foreign Language Film, the first film from sub-Saharan Africa to be accepted into that category. A senior lecturer in media studies at Murdoch University, Australia, Martin is also the Director of the Zanzibar International Film Festival.
Ron Mulvihill is a director, cinematographer and producer. His films include the award-winning dramatic short The Marriage of Mariamu, the first ever Tanzanian-American co-production, and We Are Still Here, a documentary about the Native Americans of California.
Screenings

Fri 1 Oct 1.30pm UWI

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