Several Caribbean Film Festivals Band together

Several film festivals from the Caribbean have banded to develop the regional business and to bring international attention to local filmmakers. Under the agreement headed by the T&T Film Festival, Cuba, the Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Curacao, Puerto Rico and Guadeloupe will share the best local films to screen and establish initiatives to promote local talent. The tropical fests have also established the Caribbean Film Market and are developing the Caribbean Film Online Portal, which will give buyers updates on titles and sales information as well as regional production incentives and other info. “We have a hot product, most people don’t know there is a Caribbean film industry,” says Emilie Upczak, creative director of the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival. “But how can we develop an industry in a sustainable way?”

Bruce Paddington, founder and director of the festival, notes they already work together but the agreement takes their partnerships to a new level. The festivals agree to screen films from each island country, including films from Latin America—only nine miles away from Trinidad and Tobago, Paddington points out—Africa, Europe and South Asia since the Caribbean is home to many of Indian descent. One big film to screen in T&T is Half a Yellow Sun, which is also screening at Toronto. 

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