Trinidad and Tobago focused on creating a sustainable regional film industry – Cariwood

Cariwood: The Caribbean film industry

Trinidad and Tobago focused on creating a sustainable regional film industry - Cariwood

Nneka Luke, Film TT General Manager. The Trinidad & Tobago Film Company Limited (FilmTT) is a national agency established in 2006 to facilitate the development of the film and audio-visual industry in Trinidad and Tobago. FilmTT provides logistical support and core services such as location scouting and research, and acts as a liaison with industry partners, the community, production houses and Government agencies.

In an  article on by Travolta Cooper on July 22nd 2017, he wrote:

It is safe to say that Trinidad and Tobago is leading the charge for the development of a lucrative film industry in The Caribbean. We have seen island nations like The Bahamas, Jamaica, and Barbados thrive at creating international film festivals, and  the Dominican Republic is doing wonders locally in terms of box office numbers regarding content coming from its local filmmaking talent. But Trinidad and Tobago, the twin island republic, leads for mainly two reasons.

One? The best and most imaginative films have come from under the T&T banner over the last five years. And two? As a nation, they have done more to unite the region under one regional film idea and market. Many of us in the region are beginning to call this idea “Cariwood.” Cariwood, like Hollywood (in America), Bollywood (in India) or Nollywood (in Nigeria) is this idea of a sustainable Caribbean Film Industry.  Although it mostly exists it in theory at this point (as the region still has a ways to go in manifesting a Caribbean film infrastructure), if the race to Cariwood is on between Caribbean countries, it is looking like Trinidad and Tobago will cross the finish line to her first.

Trinidad and Tobago’s Film Commissioner and General Manager of Film TT, Nneka Luke, is also one of the champions of Cariwood. It is under her leadership, specifically, that Trinidad and Tobago remains not just focused on a creating a sustainable local industry, but a regional one.

When asked about the state of Caribbean Film she stated:  “In 2017, there are at least four T&T films set to premiere, and at least three of which are focused on international premieres. Vashti Anderson’s Moko Jumbie just screened at June’s LA Film Festival. Storm Saulter’s (from Jamaica) Sprinter, is a film that is being positioned to be an international hit when it releases later this year. And Play the Devil by Bahamian filmmaker Maria Govan had its international premiere in 2016 at the prestigious Los Angeles Film Festival. It opened to excellent reviews, and has since played in many festivals in Europe, North America, India and the Caribbean. For Trinidad and Tobago, we have the amazing example of the Machel-Montano-starrer Bazodee, which played in an unprecedented 120+ theaters in the US, and also has been playing to excited crowds in Toronto and all over the Caribbean. The film sold out local cinemas for several weeks. This demonstrates that there is indeed an audience for T&T and Caribbean films.”

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