Trinidad: Door to Caribbean Cinema

The “Trinidad + Tobago Film Festival” (ttff) offers to invite our jury. Michael Pattison attended the this year’s edition (September 15-29, 2015). Here are his observations.

– Hospitality is excellent. Most festival guests are accommodated at the Hyatt Regency in Port of Spain.
– Organisation is excellent. Screenings begin on time, and there is a regular shuttle bus between the Hyatt and all festival venues, including cinemas and nightlife places.
– Standard of films is improving. The festival this year programmed ten retrospective screenings, and 22 of its less than 60 new features were from the Caribbean. Most of the others were from Central and Latin America. The festival’s strong emphasis on these regions makes it the go-to festival in the region.
– Attendances to festival screenings are healthy; there is a very good atmosphere and many are followed by Q&As.
– Caribbean Film Mart was successfully launched this year and it adds to the festival’s professional reputation both locally and internationally.
– Community is strong: guest feel they are part of a friendly, cinephile atmosphere of fellow professionals.
– Juries are numerous and healthy — all come with a cash prize, which adds a real incentive for filmmakers (especially local) to have their films there.
– Few critics attend the festival — as opposed to journalists, local and international, who cover the festival from a trade point of view. FIPRESCI could bring a critical repute to the festival.
Michael Pattison

See also Michael Pattison’s article from ttff, here.