Trinidad and Tobago Cinema to Shine at Toronto International Film Festival

The Trinidad and Tobago film industry is set to make history, as two short films filmed on location in Trinidad and Tobago will be showcased at the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). In a ground-breaking moment for The Trinidad & Tobago Film Company Limited (FilmTT) and the nation’s film sector.

This milestone not only celebrates the rich artistic talents of Trinidad and Tobago’s filmmakers but also marks a resounding step forward in bolstering the nation’s presence on the global cinematic landscape. The TIFF platform provides an invaluable opportunity to showcase the unique narratives, cultural richness, and artistic prowess that Trinidad and Tobago has to offer.

FilmTT is thrilled to showcase two completed short films in collaboration with internationally acclaimed Nigerian filmmaker James Amuta. First, ‘When the Monsters Come Out,’ a gripping 15-minute proof of concept created by The James Amuta Company and Bold Moves Production (Nigeria), with support from Film TT (Trinidad and Tobago), aims to secure an international distribution deal for its full-length feature to be filmed in Trinidad and Tobago. Second, the riveting ‘A Mother’s Revenge,’ a product of FilmTT’s 48hr Film Challenge, written by local theatre icon Penelope Spencer and directed by James Amuta. Both films had 100% local cast and was created with the involvement of over one hundred (100) individuals. By showcasing these short pieces to international film delegates at TIFF, FilmTT, in collaboration with The James Amuta Company, will pitch in real-time to prospective investors, film buyers, and the global press – an invaluable opportunity to cast a spotlight on Trinidad and Tobago in an effort to secure future commitments that will be beneficial to the creative ecosystem.

FilmTT General manager Leslie-Ann Wills-Caton shared “As part of our commitment to amplifying the potential of the local film industry, this momentous occasion at TIFF signifies a leap towards attracting international collaborations, co-productions, and alternative financing opportunities. By leveraging our presence at TIFF, we aim to ignite interest in our picturesque locations, diverse narratives, and skilled production teams, positioning Trinidad and Tobago as an attractive destination for film production. The participation of Trinidad and Tobago films at TIFF is a testament to the talent, creativity, and dedication of our local filmmakers. This is a golden opportunity to not only showcase our stories but also to foster meaningful connections with international partners.”

According to James Amuta, the creator of When the Monsters Come Out, and facilitator of the Script to Screen Workshop with James Amuta, “Film is a universal language, and for me, collaborating with FilmTT and the amazing talents from Trinidad and Tobago, is a fulfillment of a life-long dream to use the cinematic arts as a bridge to connect cultures, and export the combined cultures and artistic excellence represented by the film industries in Nigeria and Trinidad and Tobago. We share a similar heritage, and considering that the Nigerian film industry (Nollywood) is the second-largest film industry in the world, the goal is to use our big brother status, to help project the skills and craft of our talented cousins in the Caribbean to the same global audiences that have a huge appetite for Nigerian films”

When the Monsters Come Out and A Mother’s Revenge have been scheduled for a Market Screening at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 12, 2023.

FilmTT has led the charge for local films to participate at TIFF as part of its commitment to pushing the boundaries of storytelling and cinematic innovation. It is FilmTT’ s mission to showcase Trinidad and Tobago’s film productions extensive range of genres, themes, and perspectives that will undoubtedly captivate global audiences and showcase the wealth of creative potential present in the country.

Through this landmark achievement, FilmTT aims to foster new avenues for collaboration, stimulate alternative financing models, and catalyse creative partnerships that will further propel the growth of the nation’s film industry. The organisation’s overarching goal remains to consistently attract international productions to Trinidad & Tobago. By joining hands with international filmmakers, producers, and distributors, FilmTT is carving a path toward sustained success and recognition for Trinidad & Tobago on the global film stage.

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