The trinidad+tobago film festival (ttff) and Canadian High Commission are teaming up to encourage the making of local short films on human rights issues, as part of a filmmakers development programme that began in 2017.
The 'Human Rights on Film' training programme encourages filmmakers and writers who participated in a scriptwriting workshop with Canadian-Jamaican film professional, Annmarie Morais, last year, to put their training into practice. The link with Morais will continue as she mentors them through the writing of a five-minute narrative or documentary film, on a human rights issue of concern to Trinidad and Tobago, or the wider Caribbean.
A panel of three judges, including a representative from The National Film Board of Canada and from the Canadian High Commission in Trinidad, will select the best three scripts.
Trinidadian-born, National Film Board of Canada producer, Selwyn Jacobs, will then conduct a two-day workshop on how to move from the scriptwriting phase to production and post-production. The completed films will screen at ttff/18.
According to Annabelle Alcazar, Programme Director of the ttff: “This programme marries our interest in developing the skills of local filmmakers and writers, with advancing the conversations on human rights in Trinidad and Tobago. We are excited about this project and look forward to seeing how filmmakers rise to the challenge of using their artistic knowledge and skill to bring these important issues alive.”
Also commenting on the project, High Commissioner for Canada, Her Excellency Carla Hogan Rufelds said, “Human rights are universal, indivisible, interdependent and interrelated. The promotion of human rights is an integral part of Canada's engagement in the world.
Canadian human rights efforts include advancing the rights of women and children, LGBTI persons and human rights defenders and freedom of expression, including Internet freedom and civil society space.
Human rights cinema is an extremely powerful medium that can touch and inspire audiences. It can challenge us as individuals to expect and demand justice for all, and remind us that personal commitment can make a difference.”
The filmmakers participating in the workshop are:
Oswald ‘Ozy’ Merrick