Five local films will premiere at the upcoming Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival (TTFF), slated for September 19 to 26 in Port-of-Spain.
The projects are ‘Code’ by Sarah Manley; ‘Fever Dream’, Nile Saulter; ‘Mango Wars’, Kyle Chin; ‘One Patty’, Gay Magnus and ‘This City of Mine’ by Danielle Russell.
The opportunity came from the Propella Initiative, a thrust by Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) and Jamaica Film and Television Association (JAFTA), to support the talent of Jamaican film-makers and garner international exposure for the culture through film.
Speaking with JIS News, Film Commissioner at JAMPRO, Renée Robinson, explained that Propella is a script-to-screen programme that nurtures Jamaican content creators and enables them to tell their stories cinematically by providing funding and technical support.
Ms. Robinson noted that the five new Jamaican short films were selected through a blind process and were produced over the summer period with financial support of $500,000 each, from the Culture, Health, Arts, Sports and Education (CHASE) Fund.
“We did not know who we were selecting… . It was based on the merit of the project, and after that process was completed, we had a series of interviews to ensure that the finalists were at the production stage where they could deliver the project, and that is how we came up with the top five,” the Film Commissioner said.
The film-makers underwent capacity-building boot camps on scriptwriting, directing, pitching, festival strategy and distribution.
“This festival is an excellent platform for regional film-makers to meet each other to create collaboration opportunities and also a starting point for many of these projects to identify partners, executive producers or future distributors,” Ms. Robinson said.
She announced that come February 2018, the five film-makers will journey to France to participate in the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival. It will be the first time that a delegation from Jamaica will participate in the festival.
The Commissioner said that JAMPRO has partnered with JAFTA to discover and cultivate an annual cohort of Jamaica’s top film talent and will work at having a stronger presence at international film festivals.
Photo: Michael Sloley