FilmTT and AACTT to provide WFH hampers for creatives


Port of Spain, 17th August 2021: The Trinidad and Tobago Film Company Limited (FilmTT) and the Arts Association Collective of T&T (AACTT) have joined forces to tackle some of the challenges facing creatives during these pandemic times. The “Work-From-Home” hamper initiative was created through the collaboration of the AACTT, an informal collective comprising over twenty-two (22) representatives, including Presidents and Executive Committee members of incorporated, community-based and stakeholder-led Arts Associations and cultural groups; lead sponsor, the National Lotteries Control Board (NLCB); sponsor and facilitating agency, FilmTT and project coordinator, Black Collar Creative. The key partnering associations include the National Drama Association of Trinidad and Tobago (NDATT), the Trinidad and Tobago Performing Arts Network (TTPAN), the Filmmakers Collaborative of Trinidad and Tobago (FILMCO) and the Supermarkets Association of Trinidad and Tobago (SATT).

“The ‘Work-From-Home’ Relief Hamper initiative represents one of two pilot projects sponsored by the NLCB with additional sponsorship and support from FilmTT. The first was a mass grocery hamper distribution project to Arts Associations and their respective members in both Trinidad and Tobago through Massy Stores and Pennysavers Supermarket respectively,” commented Triston Wallace, Founder/Managing Director of the Trinidad and Tobago Performing Arts Network. “This demonstrates how the creative and cultural sectors continue to collectively share resources, opportunities and initiate and properly execute self-governance projects to assist its respective members through public-private sector partnerships.”

This initiative, with the assistance of Equipment Coordinator Baird’s Affordable Imports, includes the sponsorship and supply of twenty (20) “Work-From-Home” Relief Hampers, containing film equipment and accessories to support Artists and Cultural workers transition to digital, virtual or online platforms. The intention is to encourage Creatives to continue working, creating content, and facilitating projects in the sector, while packaging the products of their creativity for virtual and online audiences.

The call-for-applications for the Work-From-Home Relief Hamper is currently open until Monday 23rd August and will be applicable to individuals only. Interested persons are asked to complete an application form which will be available on FilmTT’s social media platforms, as well as on the platforms of various Arts Associations across Trinidad and Tobago. Each application will require the individual to submit information on what is the “work”, or project in which the equipment will be used.

Project Coordinator, Janine Charles-Farray of Black Collar Creative shared, “Outside of the well-known names in entertainment, there is a huge community of over 5000+ artists and cultural workers in T&T who have lost work, and the opportunity to earn a steady income in the arts, since the beginning of the pandemic in T&T in March 2020. Many of these workers continue to create and perform for the love of the art forms, but it has been a long, hard journey in keeping spirits alive and ensuring that as many stakeholders as possible receive support and care at this time.”

“When AACTT reached out to us at FilmTT, we jumped at the opportunity to assist. The “Work-From-Home” hamper initiative is such a fantastic initiative as professionals currently developing projects are able to enhance the overall production value. This of course goes a long way in marketing, distribution and audience engagement.” – Leslie-Ann Wills-Caton, General Manager, FilmTT.

“The NLCB wishes to commend the Arts Association Collective for conceptualizing this initiative on behalf of the cultural sector. We also thank all presidents and representatives of the individual Arts Associations and cultural groups in the Collective for their advocacy on behalf of their members.” – Susan Worrell, Events Manager, National Lotteries Control Board.

“Covid has presented those of us who work in the creative sector with a myriad of challenges which have had a devastating effect on our ability to earn a living,” shared Mariel Brown, Director at the Filmmakers Collaborative of Trinidad and Tobago (FILMCO). “At FILMCO we’re proud to partner with Janine and our fellow arts organisations to find and offer solutions that can help us get our peers back on their feet.”

“The pandemic will continue to have a critical impact on the creative sector. As such, all of our Arts Associations look forward to continued current and future private sector collaboration and invite sponsors who may be interested to come forward to aid in financing problem-solving support programmes and initiatives in the creative and cultural sectors,” shared Safa Niamat-Ali President of The National Drama Association of Trinidad and Tobago. “Both collectively and individually, local Arts Associations have programmes and projects that are in need of support and sponsorship at this time to ensure that artists and creatives are given the space to survive, recalibrate and transition to meet the changing demands of working in the arts locally and internationally.”

 – END –