Screenings for Trinidad & Tobago Film Festival 09

Event Date(s): 24/09/2009 - 25/12/2009

The screenings for the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival will be held from September 24th-25th, 2009 at  UWI, St. Augustine Campus. During the day, screenings take place at the Critical Thinking Institute, at the St Augustine campus, and on evenings, they will be outdoors at the new Film Programme location on Carmody Street in St Augustine.

A film about V.S. Naipaul by Dr. Bhoe Tewarie will be shown, and on Friday evening filmmakers from the black British collective, BFM, will screen some of their films.

The programme for screenings is as follows:


(Daytime screenings at The Institute of Critical Thinking, UWI Main Campus;

Evening screenings  at the Film Programme, Carmody Road)


Thursday 24


11am-1pm     The Contemporary Sorcerer, Carmen & Geoffrey

1pm-3pm       VS Naipaul: Tribute to a Native Son, The Cinema of Satyajit


3pm-5pm       Pather Panchali


7pm-9pm      Suck Meh Soucouyant, Sistagod II


Friday 25


11 am-1 pm     La passion d'un pays

1 pm-2 pm       Racing Definitions, Power of the Vagina

2 pm-4 pm       Sans Souci, Bury Your Mother

4 pm-4:45 pm  Coolie Pink and Green

4:45 pm-5:15 pm       Leroy Clarke: Fragments of His-Story

5:15 pm-6 pm        Gordon Rohlehr: Part I

7 pm-10 pm      Queen of the Brands,  Melvin: Portrait of a Player, Hasta

Siempre, Afro-Saxons







Year 2008 Duration 84 minutes Type Documentary Feature Country UK Language English Director(s) Rachel Wang , Mark Currie


Afro-Saxons isn’t about the British West Indian post-colonial elite who had internalised the values of their erstwhile masters (Lloyd Best had introduced the term Afro-Saxons to describe just this group of people). Rather, this is a fascinating look at the world of African-Caribbean women’s hairstyling in the United Kingdom. Afro-Saxons takes us through this competitive and ego-fuelled business, following a group of hairstylists vying for top honours in the prestigious Black Beauty & Hair Awards. Angela, the braiding queen; Wayne, a rising star; the formidable (and Thai) husband and wife team of George and Apple; and Michael, a Birmingham stylist all are looking to challenge the London elite. Feel-good and fun, Afro-Saxons is full of warm, observational humour—not to mention mind-blowing, gravity-defying hairstyles.






Bury Your Mother


Year 2009 Duration 45 minutes Type Feature Country Trinidad and Tobago Language English Director(s) Jaime Lee Loy


This is a haunting, non-linear narrative depicting a psychological engagement between a mother and her daughter. Through experimental techniques, the audience glimpses the everyday actions and inactions of these two women, who seem physically confined to their house. Conversations between them are few and far between and spoken only in text, as silence and sounds dominate the dark atmosphere. As various troubling scenes unfold, it becomes evident that the protagonists struggle with departure, loss, intimacy, and betrayal.


Carmen & Geoffrey


Year 2009 Duration 80 minutes Type Documentary Feature Country USA Language English Director(s) Linda Atkinson , Nick Doob


Filmed over three years in New York, Texas, Trinidad, and Paris, Carmen & Geoffrey is an affectionate and enamoring portrayal of dance icons Carmen de Lavallade and Geoffrey Holder, who met and wed in 1954. Ever since, Holder (from Trinidad) and de Lavallade (from New Orleans) have been dancers, actors and choreographers and much, much more, together and individually. Archival footage and candid interviews offer a glimpse into the remarkable lives of these two dancers, widely considered one of New York’s most beautiful and dynamic couples, who have excelled in one of the most notoriously challenging careers.


The Cinema of Satyajit Ray


Year 1988 Duration 72 minutes Type Documentary Feature Country UK Language English and Bengali, with English subtitles Director(s) Adam Low


“To have not seen the films of Satyajit Ray is to have lived in the world without ever having seen the moon and the sun,” Akira Kurosawa declared. Hyperbole perhaps, but there’s no denying that India’s Satyajit Ray is one of the greatest filmmakers ever. Starting with his breathtaking debut, Pather Panchali, in 1955, Ray made almost forty films, many of them absolute masterpieces, before his death in 1992. In this thoroughgoing documentary shot a few years earlier, Ray talks candidly about his life, his filmmaking process and his evolution as a director. Interspersed with the interview are clips from a number of his films—from rural dramas to urban character studies, sly social satires to delightful children’s films. Meanwhile, shots of Ray’s beloved Calcutta, the setting of so many of his films, add further texture to this rare audience with a genius of cinema.





Coolie Pink & Green


Year 2009 Duration 25 minutes Type Experimental short Country Trinidad and Tobago Language English Director(s) Patricia Mohammed


Despite the significant presence of East Indians in the Caribbean, Indian culture has yet to be seen as being truly indigenous. This film projects a new way of seeing Caribbean Indian culture, through the story of a young Hindu girl who is learning the beauty of her culture, even as an elder in her community attempts to hold her in a traditional mould. While the girl is sympathetic to the elder’s views, she already lives in a hybrid culture, and must celebrate both.


The Contemporary Sorcerer


Year 2009 Duration 6 minutes Type Narrative Short Country Trinidad and Tobago Language English Director(s) Roger Alexis 


A young man named Kevin hears a rumour that a gentleman living in the neighbourhood is an obeah man. Armed with a digital video camera to record the evidence, he decides to sneak onto the man’s property to find out if the rumours are true. When the man appears, Kevin gets what he was looking for—and a whole lot more besides! Blending live-action with special effects, The Contemporary Sorcerer is an ingenious supernatural comedy from the maker of the popular Herman’s Tales series of short films.


Hasta Siempre


Year 2005 Duration 57 minutes Type Documentary Feature Country UK Language English and Spanish / English subtitles Director(s) Ishmahil Blagrove


To some people Cuba is a poor, oppressive, totalitarian state. For others it is a country that, despite crippling US economic sanctions, is able to provide for all of its citizens and remain a bastion against US imperialism and the ills of capitalism. But what is Cuba really like? This film looks inside the island nation to see what life is like for ordinary Cubans. Through revealing interviews with a wide cross-section of Cubans a portrait of a country emerges, one in which pride in the revolution and its successes remains strong, yet discontent over a number of issues—racism, censorship, travel restrictions, even the lack of political choice—exists. Recent changes, especially the opening up of the island to tourism, are considered and the increasingly pressing question is posed: After Fidel, what?








Melvin: Portrait of a Player


Year 2003 Duration 14 minutes Type Narrative short  Country UK Language English Director(s) Lawrence Coke


Melvin is God’s gift to women. Unfortunately, he’s the only one who thinks so. To everyone else Melvin is a scoundrel, a serial cheater with a cash flow problem. Unexpectedly his childhood sweetheart comes back on the scene, but will Melvin remain faithful to her and end his roguish ways? Completely improvised, made in a mock documentary style—the film is essentially a series of short interviews—and shot in grainy black and white. It is fresh, fast, and full of raucous humour.


Jacques Roumain: Pasion for a Country


Year 2008 Duration 115 minutes Type Documentary Feature Country Hati Language French/Creole/English Director(s) Arnold Antonin


Jacques Roumain (1907-1944) is considered one of the most prominent and influential writers in Haitian literature. Born into a wealthy family, he was educated in Catholic Haitian schools and then in Europe. Aged 20, he returned to Haiti and became active in the struggle against US occupation, founding the Haitian Communist Party in 1934. Due to his political activities, Roumain was routinely arrested and incarcerated, and eventually exiled, leaving behind his beloved wife and children. During exile he traveled to the U.S., and developed ties with Langston Hughes and other Pan-African authors.

A change in government allowed Roumain to return to Haiti after six years, and in 1943, he moved to Mexico. It was there he wrote his most influential book Gouverneurs de la Rosée (Masters of the Dew), which, like his other works, expresses the frustration and rage of a people downtrodden for centuries. With an almost frenetic pace, this documentary chronicles Roumain’s 37 years through reenactments, interviews, and archival footage and, consequently, vividly portrays turbulent life in Haiti during the first half of the 20th Century.

Pather Panchali

Year 1955 Duration 115 minutes Type Dramatic Feature Country India Language Bengali/English subtitles Director(s) Satyajit Ray

Pather Panchali is set in a rural Bengali village early in the last century, and concerns the lives of an impoverished Brahmin family. The father, Hori, is a proud scholar who disdains physical labour. Sarbojaya, his wife, constantly frets over the family’s material problems. Their daughter, Durga, has a penchant for stealing fruit from the neighbours’ orchard, which she gives to her elderly aunt, Indir, with whom she is especially close. Finally there is the young son, Apu, a bright, mischievous lad and a keen observer of the world around him. Pather Panchali—which, along with the films Aparajito (1956) and Apu Sansar (1959) make up the Apu trilogy—is a beautiful and profound study of human life, a firmly realist yet lyrical portrait that follows the passing of the seasons and the events that mark life: birth, marriage, death. Featuring the superb use of symbolic motifs, and with an evocative musical score by Ravi Shankar, Pather Panchali was, astonishingly, Satyajit Ray’s debut film, and it remains as vivid and as moving today as when it was first released.

The Power of the Vagina

Year 2009 Duration 25 minutes Type Documentary Short Country Trinidad and Tobago Language English Director(s) Jimmel Daniel

This documentary explores the issue of women’s sexuality and sexual politics, examining opinions and assumptions abut the various ways in which women use their sexuality—and the ways men respond. There are interviews with various experts as well as people in the street, showing how much attitudes towards sex and sexuality have—and have not—changed in our society.

Queen of the Brands


Year 2009 Duration 5 minutes Type Dramatic Short Country Trinidad and Tobago Language English Director(s) Thomas K. Jemmerson


Queen of the Brands is a short, sharp jab of anti-consumerist agitprop, brilliantly wrapped up in a seductive stylistic package. It features a brand-obsessed young woman, Ava, who is unable to find a pair of the latest fashionable sunglasses anywhere. Blinded by her desire to be trendy, she is duped into trying on a pair of shades by the film’s narrator. The result: Ava gets an unexpected head-trip of a lesson in the deleterious effects of naked materialism, the perils of thinking of nothing but bling.


Racing Definitions


Year 2009 Duration 21 minutes Type Documentary Short Country Trinidad and Tobago Language English Director(s) Solange Plaza


Racing Definitions asks a wide cross section of Trinidadians and Tobagonians for their thoughts on the issue of race—what it means, how one defines oneself by race (or how one is defined by it), and whether or not we live in a racist society. The film also examines national identity, and the ways in which racial and national identities intersect.


Sans Souci


Year 2009 Duration 27 minutes Type Dramatic Short Country Trinidad and Tobago Language English Director(s) Francesca Hawkins


Ishmael and Garwick are brothers, reunited after years apart when Garwick returns from the United States where he had joined the army and fought in the first Gulf War. The year is 2001, and they meet at their aunt’s house in Sans Souci, where along with Garwick’s girlfriend, Sacha, another friend, Mona, and her boyfriend, Paul, they spend time getting to know one another again. Then comes the day of September 11, when the World Trade Center is destroyed, and tensions in the house explode.


Sistagod II


Year 2009 Duration 72 minutes Type Experimental Feature Country Trinidad and Tobago Language English/West Indian Creole Director(s) Yao Ramesar


Sistagod I premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2006. The sequel in a trilogy, Sistagod II: Her Second Coming, finds the black female messiah (Crystal Felix) and her progeny battling for survival in a post-apocalyptic world, void of human life. Haunted by the memory of those lost, she summons the spirit of Father Devine (Michael Cherrie), her suspected child-father, who has transformed himself into El Dorado, a golden masquerader, after his fall from grace with his flock.

In spite of her own transition to a new guise that makes her vulnerable to sunlight and predators, Sistagod negotiates this new world with the knowledge that she is the last hope for the continuation of the human race amidst mounting evidence of the rapid extinction of other life forms.

Suck Meh Soucouyant

Year 2009 Duration 12 minutes Type Narrative Short Country Trinidad and Tobago Language English Director(s) Oyetayo Ojoade

This is the rousing supernatural tale of Lionel, an old Mayaro village ram who coaxes Matilda, a powerful soucouyant, to fly to England and steal a gold spoon from Queen Victoria’s cutlery. This ignites Lionel’s greed, but his plot to steal the spoon from Matilda—which includes a final demonstration of his virility—finds him in unimaginably deeper trouble. Intertwining calypso with chanting, live-action with animation, this is a folktale with a wonderfully modern sensibility, full of humour and visual delight.



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