Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 9th 2014 Contents A29
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Google is holding seven public
meetings across Europe to debate
issues raised by the "right to be
The ruling by the European Court of
Justice lets people ask Google to
remove some types of information
about them from its search index.
Google opposes the ruling, which has
led more than 90,000 people to apply
for data about them to be scrubbed.
One privacy expert was sceptical
about the meetings, saying they had
more to do with PR than open
discussion. The first meeting takes
place in Madrid on September 9, with
the other six due to be held in other
European capitals before November 4.
The meetings will be chaired and run
by an advisory council Google set up in
the wake of the ruling. The council
includes Wikimedia founder Jimmy
Wales, former privacy officials and ex-
Google is seeking input from experts
to speak at the meetings, which it said
were being held to discuss how "one
person's right to be forgotten should be
balanced with the public's right to
information." The ruling only affects
searches done in Europe. (BBC)
Google plans debates on 'right to be forgotten'
The cast of Girlfriends
Getaway, from left, Terri J
Vaughn, Essence Atkins,
Malinda Williams and
In one of the early scenes in the
new American comedy Girlfriends
Getaway, four 40-something girl-
friends vacationing in Trinidad
arrive at their luxurious villa and
one of them---Sophie, played by
Terri J Vaughn---begins spraying
disinfectant and wiping down fur-
"The islands carry lots of germs
our bodies are not immune to," she
tells her companions.
In walks a stern-faced Penelope
Spencer, who chillingly informs her:
"This entire house has been thor-
oughly cleaned by me, the maid."
With her strong presence and
deftly subtle comedic performance---
she never once cracks a smile---the
veteran T&T actress seems to be
schooling her American counterparts
in other ways as well.
Her appearance was greeted by
cheers from the audience at the
MovieTowne Port-of-Spain premiere
of the film. Roger Bobb, assistant
director on most of Tyler Perry s
box-office-topping films and direc-
tor/executive producer of Girlfriends
Getaway, had nothing but praise for
the film production and acting talent
he found here.
The majority of the cast and crew
of Girlfriends Getaway were from
T&T, unusual for an American movie
shot in the Caribbean.
In front of the camera, notable
T&T performers include Spencer,
Brett Bengochea as a smooth lawyer
trying to court one of the women,
and Renaldo Frederick as a dopey,
weed-dealing henchman---one of
the comedic highlights.
Behind the camera, Sheldon Felix
was director of photography, giving
the movie a bright and colourful cast
that was helped by the beauty of
the locations, which included Mara-
cas Beach, an upscale home in
Bayshore, and various parts of
American screenwriter Cas Sigers-
Beedles told reporters the movie
"feels very Trinidadian," and she s
right. The American producers, as
others have in the past, could have
shot the film to make the island
come across generic or, worse yet,
But there are very distinct T&T
markers in the film: undiluted
accents; David Rudder s Trini 2 De
Bone playing as the main characters
exit the airport, a T&T flag behind
them; soca artist Olatunji Yearwood
performing at a fete; Daren Ganga
playing cricket; and wining, mas-
design and doubles-eating compe-
Trinidadian Lisa Wickham, one
of the producers on Girlfriends Get-
away who was also supervising pro-
ducer for the Canadian/T&T 2012
hybrid Home Again, talks about the
potential for developing the local
filmmaking industry through what
she calls "blended projects" or col-
laborations with other countries---
and she may be on to something.
Foreign film producers give local
talent access to a larger audience.
Local crew members and actors get
the chance to learn from more expe-
rienced foreign talent. And the for-
eigners save money by using local
staff and settings.
Girlfriends Getaway was shot
entirely in Trinidad, even a few early
scenes that ostensibly took place in
Atlanta. Other than the four main
characters, the Americans in these
scenes were played by Trinidadians,
including Kearn Samuel as a das-
tardly boyfriend and Cecilia Salazar
as a yoga instructor.
Girlfriends Getaway is a low-bud-
get TV movie, but a film doesn t
have to be big budget or in award
contention to be good for local tal-
Another thing: A couple of local
filmmakers told me that including
white main characters would make
a film more likely to have success
abroad. Besides being stunningly
cynical and self-hating, this view
ignores the potential of niche audi-
ences, including the sizable black
audience in the US, Canada and
other parts of the world.
Girlfriends Getaway premiered
over the weekend on TV One, a US
television network catering to a black
audience, to record ratings, according
to director Roger Bobb.
The success of Nollywood and
Tyler Perry movies attests to the
power of this audience. T&T films
can also tap a Caribbean diaspora
audience and, of course, an audience
within the region.
Looking at Girlfriends Getaway
critically, there s much to nitpick.
Many aspects of the script break the
bonds of credulity and it uses a lot
clichéd themes and emotional
But I don t think anyone expects
intellectual rigour from a film like
Girlfriends Getaway, which was
quickly shot in June and seems fash-
ioned in the Tyler Perry mould.
It s technically well-made and
good for a few laughs.
It s meant to be a fun, light way
for family or friends to pass 80 min-
utes or so together---and it is.
Girlfriends' Getaway a fun ride
Continues on Page A30
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