The 2016 Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival

The 11th Trinidad & Tobago Film Festival runs on two screens in MovieTowne Port of Spain, one in Tobago and at the University of the West Indies and COSTATT campuses.

Film writer, BC Pires, will be picking a Film of the Day every day. Pires sat on the first TT Film Fest Jury and wrote the Judge’s Report and has been the Youth Jury’s mentor since its inception in 2014. A different film will be picked every day, and other worthwhile films mentioned. Because of the limitations of programming schedules, the film of the day may not necessarily be the “best” one. Films with an * have been or will be daily picks.

The 2016 Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival runs from 20-27th September. You can view the full festival calendar here

BC Pires has been writing about film from an informed lay perspective since March 1988. He served on the first Trinidad & Tobago Film Festival jury in 2009 and wrote the Jury’s Report.

And Today’s Film Pick is….

Make Mine Country

Make Mine Country (Ian Berry/ 2015/ St Lucia-USA/ Documentary Feature/ 69 mins/ English subtitles/ Unrated but suitable for all ages 1pm Screen 7, MovieTowne, Port of Spain and 6pm COSTATT Chaguanas; screens again 1pm 25 September MT Tobago.

Films like Make Mine Country are the strongest arguments for film festivals: without them, we probably would not get to see them. The TTFF has, from its inception, programmed wonderful – and often important – films that would never otherwise see the light of projection rooms in Caribbean cinemas; that these films often reveal something unknown about ourselves to ourselves, or our neighbours, makes them even more compelling. Previous festival films have revealed genuinely stunning and almost unknown truths, such as, e.g., that there are no rivers in Bermuda, and every middle-class house relies upon its own rainwater tank. Make Mine Country, Ian Berry’s impressive feature debut, reveals something that Trinidadians who visit St Lucia every year for the Jazz Festival might not have the slightest inkling of: viz, that St Lucia is huge into Country & Western music, a cultural legacy of the old American airbase that has endured long after the Yankees went home. Just that revelation would make the entire endeavour worthwhile, but Berry goes deeper and wider, reflecting the poverty in which some St Lucians live, and its connection to the music to which they turn for comfort – and, often, for cash. An exceptional film deserving of notice and praise.

Also consider: Diva: Enemy of the People, 6pm, *A Monster with a Thousand Heads BEST FILM OF THE DAY, 8pm MovieTowne, Tobago; Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise, 5pm UWI.

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