Caribbean Producers and Filmmakers at TIFF

 

In early September, some 25 regional producers and filmmakers of the Caribbean Tales Market Development Programme, successfully participating in the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), 2010.

 

According to Keith Nurse, Caribbean Tales Worldwide Distribution (CTWD) Board Chairman, the following three outcomes were achieved:

  • Building a stronger relationship with regional film makers as a distribution company;
  • Creating an experience that would result in an improvement of the quality of the clients and potential products – the market incubator was successful in that regard; and
  • Making a splash at the Toronto festival to create a brand name that people would recognise.

 

Dr Nurse noted CWTD, which currently has a catalogue of about 60 films, is targeting younger film makers in order to increase the total to close to 100 within the next year. He also expects that the company’s distribution model will be completely ready during that period, with enhanced potential for participation in events like TIFF.

 

According to Escipion Oliveira, Caribbean Export, Toronto was chosen for the programme because it has a large Caribbean community. “Caribbean people don’t often have the chance to see themselves on film, so we are bringing Caribbean culture to the Diaspora”.  He noted that Caribbean Export is pleased to be working with other agencies such as the European Union in helping to promote the region’s talent and improving the competitiveness of the region’s services sector.

 

Launched regionally in Barbados in May 2010, CTWD had its international launch at TIFF. It is the Caribbean’s first regional film distribution company. As part of the launch, the company ran a market incubator programme to provide training on pitching film projects and getting them to market, which filmmakers found extremely useful. St Lucian filmmaker Davina Lee commented: “I am now looking at an alternative way to finance my film, working with a Canadian producer. The workshop helped me hone my pitch, especially in bringing it down to the essence and gave me the oomph to go ahead with the movie.”

 

Other participants, such as Mahmood Patel of Barbados, commented favourably on the unparalleled opportunities for networking with their colleagues in the region. Mr Patel would also like to see the programme developed even further. “I hope that in two years there will be a Caribbean booth at the festival. We should be moving towards creating a buzz – we can sell the Caribbean as a location, sell films and sell services.”

The Caribbean Tales Market Development Programme, an initiative of Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export), United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), Caribbean Community Secretariat (CARICOM), the Caribbean Audiovisual Network and Caribbean Tales Worldwide Distribution (CTWD)

 

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