Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 15th 2013 Contents B3
The 1979 coup in Grenada and the resultant
government s bloody demise in 1983 made up
what was arguably the most shocking episode
in the post-colonial English-speaking
Yet it s taken 30 years for someone to doc-
ument the period---which led to the only US
invasion of a former British colony in the 20th
century---in a full-length film.
Forward Ever: The Killing of a Revolution
will make its world premiere at the T&T Film
Festival (TTFF) this Friday. It s one of five
feature films made by locals that will be show-
cased in this year s festival, which will be airing
more than 140 short and full-length films
Besides films from T&T, the eight-year-old
festival will also be screening films from the
rest of the Caribbean and the Americas and
from the regions and countries with ancestral
ties to T&T: Africa, Europe, India and China.
Five isn t bad, considering T&T s still-devel-
oping film industry and the effort and financial
resources necessary to produce a full-length
film, said directors of the local feature-length
films that audiences will be introduced to
during the two-week festival.
"It is difficult, it is costly to do feature-
length films, so that s why there is more
emphasis on shorts," said Forward Ever director
Bruce Paddington. He s also the founder and
director of the film festival.
T&T filmmakers have produced more than
half of the 60 shorts that will be screened at
the festival this year. The hope is that short-
film makers will eventually become long-film
Forward Ever is actually only the second
feature-length film Paddington has worked on
in his near 40-year career. He s produced hun-
dreds of shorter films and is being honoured
by the festival as a "pioneer in film" along
with the other founders of Banyan Ltd, the
company that produced many local film and
television productions, including the popular
Gayelle, which spawned a TV channel.
The two-and-a-half-hour-long Forward
Ever took five years from conception to com-
pletion, and Paddington calls it the most chal-
lenging and the most important film he s ever
Christopher Laird, a Banyan co-founder
being honoured along with Paddington, has
produced a film about stick-fighting, No Bois
Man No Fraid, that is up for the festival s best
documentary feature film prize.
No Bois Man, which was showcased on Sep-
tember 4 at the CaribbeanTales film festival
gala in Toronto and will make its Caribbean
debut on Wednesday, is Laird s third feature
film out of the hundreds he has worked on.
It took three years after conception to complete
(One of his shorts---a documentary about
his father s work called Public Spaces: The
Architecture of Colin Laird---will also be
screened at the festival this year.)
"Five in a year is incredible when you con-
sider where we ve come from," said Laird,
about the local feature films at the festival this
year. He s the chairman of the Film Co; this
year is the first time he s entered films for the
"We ve been making a lot of short films
over the last few years," he said of T&T film-
"Some people think that is not a good thing
because they want to see us making big features
that are going to conquer the world."
But Laird believes that short films are a good
way for filmmakers to develop their skills and
introduce themselves to audiences.
"You have to learn how to use film to tell
a story successfully, and a short film is a great
way to teach that, and it does not have the
huge financial and logistical challenges that
you face to make a large film," he said.
Che Rodriguez s documentary Ten Days of
Muharram: The Cedros Hosay is up for the
best local feature film prize against Damian
Marcano s fictional drama God Loves the Fight-
er.Rodriguez, who has made both fiction and
documentary films, breathlessly listed the many
components of full-length filmmaking.
"You have to find people to edit, you have
to find people to write, you have to find actors
to act, you have to find people who can shoot
your movie properly, you have to find people
who can scout locations, you have to find
people who can do costuming and make up...
it s a whole involvement," he said.
One of the most challenging aspects of fea-
ture filmmaking is funding. To convince
investors, a filmmaker needs to build up a rep-
utation and a body of work in the industry,
said Rodriguez, who started his career in tel-
evision as a reporter and producer and also
worked in theatre as an actor and director.
He s since made almost 50 short and long
films, many on commission from state and
international agencies. Ten Days of Muharram
was commissioned by the Ministry of the Arts
His advice to aspiring feature filmmakers:
"After you do your degree, you need to go out
there and join some theatre company, go and
work with directors, go and sit with actors and
"When you show your clients that you have
a history of success then you ll find that they ll
be willing to invest in you."
For a full listing of the films at the 2013
TTFF, as well as venues and times, check ttfilm-
festival.com or call 621-0709.
Five T&T feature
films in festival The jury prizes in
this year's TTFF are:
Best Feature Film (Narrative)
Best Feature Film (Documentary)
Best Short Film
Best Local Feature
Best Local Short Film
Best Caribbean Film by an International
premieres his first
feature film at TTFF
Pinky & Emigrante
goes Dutch---Page B30
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