Sunday, 21 September 2008

Life Outside of the Garden

The current Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival is a very unique opportunity to gain valuable insight into the region. It's also the first year that we have seen such an abundance of "short" or short films by very young and talented students. Oliver Milne (The Cost of Living) and Alicia Milne (Luso Trinidad- Home in the Land of the Homeless) are two that are very close to home. The last name is purely coincedental but strangely, Oliver is my neighbour and Alicia is my cousin. If I could spend all day doing nothing but looking at movies in the cool dark of Movietowne for the next week, I would be one happy person but I'll just have to squeeze as many in as I possibly can. Over at Bookman, the festival has been summarised and reads in part..... In its third year, the Trinidad and Tobago Film festive is screening a body of work by Trinidadians and Tobagonians including a host of international filmmakers who have their roots from the Caribbean. The two week festival will give the public a taste of independent film and what it takes to be filmmaker through a series of workshops detailing the process of the craft. The festive begins on the 17th September, 2008
The following list are the films to be screened via the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival

Africa Unite : Stephanie Black
Alabaster Moon : Sarah Beckett
Almost Heaven : Ed Herzog
Arena: The Strange Luck of VS Naipaul : Adam Low
Candy Shop : Joel Burke
Cherps : Kolton Lee
Derek : Isaac Julien
Desamores : Edmundo Rodriguez
Eat For this is My Body : Michelange Quay
El Benny : Jorge Luis Sanchez
Film Makers of the Caribbean PT1 : Edmond Attong
Florentino and the Devil : Michael New
Francisco de Miranda : Diego Risquez
Ghosts of Cite Soleil : Asger Leth
It’s All About Dancing : Jason Williams
Jamesie: King of Scratch : Andrea Leland
Pan Man, Rhythm of the Palms : Sander Burger
Poor Boys Game : Clément Virgo
The Price of Sugar : Bill Haney
Soca Power : Claude Santiago Jean Michel GIBERT
The Black Mozart : Steven James
The Garifuna Journey : Andrea Leland
The Mystic Masseur : Ismail Merchant
Wrestling with the Angels : Marsha Pearce
A Culture in Motion: Scripting Identity With Images : Tamara Tam-Cruickshank
A Long Way Home : Graeme Suite
Adam and Eve : Laura Munoz
Afia : Lacey Duke
Anamnesis : Brendan Foster-Algoo
Baby Blues : Sara Ann Chow Quan
Balance : Christian James
Baltimore : Isaac Julien
Binghi : Natashe Callander
Curious City : Thomas K Jemmerson
Dancescape : Nalini Akal
Deeper Shadow Song : Corretta Singer
Directions : Renee Pollonais
Documentary Interview : V.S. Naipaul : Indrani Bachan Persad
El Café de Lupe : Marina Fuentes
Fantôme Afrique : Isaac Julien
Historias del Viento : Javier Beltrán Ramos
Invisible : Elspeth Duncan
Let Go : Nadya Shah
Locked Out : Diana Bernard
Luso Trinidad: Home in the Land of the Homeless : Alicia Milne
Mandy (Herman Tales) : Roger Alexis
Manipulation : Daniel Greaves
Mr loverman : Jimmel Dariel
Old Rabbits Die Hard : Stefano Caines
On the Map : Annalee Davis
Paradise Omeros : Isaac Julien
Queens of Curepe : Michael Mooleedhar
Salt of the Earth : Sophie Meyer
Scoundrel : Nile Saulter
Top Cop (Herman Tales) : Roger Alexis
The Art of Inspiration : Jean Ahn , Dara Brown, Christopher Thomas, Nikita Joseph, Nishi Soondar & Sasha Ramcharran
The Art of Stickfighting : Joseph Valley
The Caged Bird : Andre Johnson
The Cost of Living : Oliver Milne
The Fiddler : Kareen Brown
The Patriot (Herman Tales) : Roger Alexis
The Siege : Junior-Andrew Lett
True North : Isaac Julien
Western Union : Isaac Julien
Who Let The Dogs Out : Oyetayo Ojaade
“W” : Sonja Dumas
X Tempo : Valdir Silva
So just for tonight, it's not about the garden. This venture needs all the support that it can get so read on........

The official webpage of the Festival reads in part.....A celebration of the best films from and about the Caribbean, its Diaspora, and Latin America, the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival (TTFF) will be held in September 2008 at MovieTowne and Studio Film Club, Port of Spain.TTFF2008 seeks to highlight excellence in filmmaking and to expose Trinidad and Tobago audiences to films from throughout the region. The Festival accepts films made by Caribbean people, by persons of the Diaspora and by international filmmakers who have made films about the Caribbean in the Caribbean spirit. In addition, we have expanded our submission criteria to include films from and about Latin America.

For a country with so much creativity, industries such as film and publishing have inexplicably lagged in the last two decades. Visit for daily updates.

Some of the films that I want to see:

Eat, for this is My Body (Mange, Ceci est Mon Corps)Running Time : 105 minutesOrigin : Haiti/FranceYear : 2007Director : Michelange QuayBeginning with nearly seven minutes of aerial shots traveling from the shore to a plantation in Haiti’s rugged interior, the narrative framework of Eat, for This is My Body moves from an elderly, bedridden white matriarch, conflicted about her allegiances, to her daughter Madame and a younger woman's cat-and-mouse relationship with a group of feisty native boys. Startling imagery, often captured in long, wordless takes, includes a frenzied religious ceremony; women manning DJ mixing consoles; black bodies in and around a vat of milk; and a single-take food fight. The film itself plays out in a state of narrative self-consciousness, similar not just to dreaming, but also suggestive of hypnosis and allegory. It is a surreal, largely non-narrative commentary on Haiti as it is today and as it is (or perhaps once) was imagined. The island we are shown is like a lost phantom boat, abandoned in the middle of the diplomatic sea, cursed, adrift in its own dreams of glory and nightmares of submission. Most of the film’s roles are played by non-actors, a decision that helps push the boundaries of what is real versus that which is imagined. An unusual film that offers a rich, often voluptuous, cinematic experience.Screening Times:
Tuesday 23 Sept 8:00 p.m., MovieTowne P.O.S. (following short film, Luso Trinidad)
Sunday 28 Sept 5:30 p.m., MovieTowne P.O.S. (following short film, Luso Trinidad)

Arena: The Strange Luck of VS NaipaulRunning Time : 78 minutesOrigin : UKYear : 2008Director : Adam LowWhen Sir Vidia Naipaul agreed to have a film made about him he said he wanted it to be “as personal as possible.” This is indeed a candid personal portrait, presenting the 2001 Nobel Laureate for Literature in the three places that have been most influential to his writing career: his native Trinidad, his ancestral home of India, and Wiltshire in England, where he has lived for many years.Interwoven throughout the film are readings from some of Naipaul’s best known works, including Miguel Street, and his opus, A House for Mr Biswas. Also featured in this moving and often touching documentary are Naipaul’s former editor Diana Athill, his agent Gillon Aitken, and his current wife, the feisty Lady Nadira Naipaul. Screening Times:
Friday 19 Sept 3:00 p.m., MovieTowne P.O.S. (following Bhoe Tewarie’s Interview with V. S. Naipaul)
Saturday 27 Sept 5:30 p.m. (following Bhoe Tewarie’s Interview with V. S. Naipaul) * Director present