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Saturday, September 09, 2006

The T&T Film Festival: Film Synopses

The following is an almost complete list of synopses for the films of the T&T Film Festival.


Title: A LOSS OF INNOCENCE
Director: Jenine Mendes-Franco
Duration/Date: 21 min/2006
Actors:
Genre: Documentary
Country: Trinidad & Tobago
Synopsis: This film explores the primary factors that cause child labour throughout the Caribbean and seeks to build new awareness through interviews with researchers, lawmakers, government officials, social workers, employers and exploited children. The filmmakers were able to gain access to exclusive footage that depicts some of the abuses in action and relays how cultural and economic factors play key roles in perpetuating crimes against children.

Title: A LOVE STORY: LESLEY AND ANNE
Director: Sharda Ganga
Duration/Date: 40 min/2005
Actors:
Genre: Feature
Country: Suriname
Synopsis: Lesley and Anne come from very different worlds, but against all odds they fall in love. Will their love be strong enough to bridge the differences and counter their mutual prejudices? And then they receive the results of their HIV tests... PAHO says, "A long awaited exploration of the dilemmas that the HIV epidemic poses to young Caribbean people."

Title: AT SEA
Director: Neisha Agostini
Duration/Date: 25 min/2006
Actors:
Genre: Documentary
Country: Trinidad & Tobago
Synopsis: Parlatuvier is a serene fishing village in Tobago. This well-made and evocative documentary tells the story of the men and their families who dedicate their lives to fishing. But more than this, as the story unfolds the stream-of-consciousness narratives draw on the symbols evident within fishing culture, and from it larger patterns emerge and parallels are drawn to describe the similarity between fishing and life.

Title: BACKLASH
Director: David Chameides
Duration/Date: 110 min/2006
Actors: Danielle Burgio/Kevin Levrone/Lauren Kim/Bas Rutten
Genre: Feature
Country: USA/Trinidad and Tobago.
Synopsis: In this action-packed thriller, Sky Gold, the beautiful but deadly CIA operative, is sent to Trinidad to hide out after breaking up a large illegal arms smuggling operation. She soon learns that the CIA is not alone in knowing her whereabouts. To stay alive she must remain two steps ahead of two hired assassins and rogue agents during the madness of Carnival in Port of Spain.

Title: BAD LUCKY
Director: Joel Burke
Duration/Date: 20 min/2005
Actors: Robie Robertson, Andrew Clarke, Jovi Rockwell
Genre: Short
Country: Jamaica
Synopsis: In this comedic film, Andy wants to impress a new acquaintance, Gina, by inviting her to share a good smoke with him. Only he has one problem - his friend Ray just stole the stash. Now Andy is in a mad rush to replace it before his dream girl arrives.

Title: BARREL CHILDREN
Director: Cara E. Weir
Duration/Date: 24 min/2006
Actors:
Genre: Documentary
Country: U.S/Trinidad & Tobago
Synopsis: A moving and intimate documentary about the effects of migration on three children left behind in Trinidad while their mother works to improve their material lives by looking after another families children in the U.S. The barrels she sends them filled with presents do not replace her physical presence and love that they've been denied for eleven years. Their reunion is imminent, but the price for the children is to surrender their tranquil, rural lives in Trinidad for the grim urban streets of Boston.

Title: BLINDED
Director: Anderson Quarless
Duration/Date: 80 min/2006
Actors: Tahira Carter
Genre: Feature
Country: Grenada
Synopsis: Blinded is a story of domestic violence, which attempts to address this prevalent issue in contemporary Caribbean society. Clara meets John at a vulnerable time in her life and she quickly becomes blinded by love. Soon afterwards the intense relationship becomes violent and Clara must take drastic action to protect herself and her son Chris. Winner of the Best International Film Debut Award from the New York Independent Film Festival.

Title: THE BOX
Director: Oliver Milne
Duration/Date: 14 min/2006
Actors: Michael Cherrie
Genre: Short
Country: Trinidad & Tobago
Synopsis: This short is about Jim Watkins, a middle-aged white-collar worker. He is plagued every night with bad dreams of himself committing acts of murder and then bringing home a box. He wants to prove to himself that these are just dreams but every time he awakes the box is nowhere to be found.

Title: CALYPSO DREAMS
Director: Geoffrey Dunn and Michael Horne
Duration/Date: 90 min/2003
Actors:
Genre: Documentary
Country: USA/Trinidad & Tobago
Synopsis: An intimate portrait of some of the most important Calypsonians in Trinidad and Tobago. Shot over a 3 year period, it includes conversations with and performances by legendary Calypsonians such as Lord Pretender, Lord Kitchener, The Mighty Bomber, Relator, Lord Superior, Brigo, Mystic Prowler, Calypso Rose, The Mighty Sparrow, Terror, Valentino, Blakie, David Rudder, Regeneration Now, The Mighty Duke, Conqueror and many others. Winner of the Best Caribbean Documentary at the Jamerican Film Festival, Audience Favorite at the Washington DC Film Festival, Pan-African Film Festival and Mill Valley Film Festival.

Title: CRAZY BIKERZ
Director: Leslie Chin & David Graham
Duration/Date: 19 min/2004
Actors: Crazy Bikerz Gang
Genre: Short
Country: Jamaica
Synopsis: This documentary showcases the "stunting" world of the Crazy Bikerz gang over a six-month period across inner city Kingston. With names like "Rock" and "Superman" and stunts such as "bike-skating", the directors captured not only the nature of the stunts, but through a series of interviews, bring out the captivating personalities of the bikers.

Title: FABULOUS SPACES: Nalo Hopkinson
Director: Frances Anne Solomon
Duration/Date: 24 min/2005
Actors:
Genre: Documentary
Country: Canada
Synopsis: In this sensitive film, science fiction author Nalo Hopkinson's work is depicted by the blurred boundaries she constructs between reality and fantasy. Her stories, which often take place in an invented urban landscape that reflects her hybrid history, combine Caribbean and Canadian culture and folklore, mixed with the author's own life experiences. It is one of the Literature Alive documentary series that profiles Caribbean Canadian authors and follows the evolution of Caribbean-heritage fiction from the 1960s through to the hip-hop generation.

Title: FORWARD
Director: Nile Saulter
Duration/Date: 11 min/2005
Actors: Chris Stevenson, Mervin Spence, Chalik Campbell, Mario Miller
Genre: Short
Country: Jamaica
Synopsis: Amidst the ruins of post-apocalyptic Jamaica, a power struggle ensues in the search for answers. Amongst the survivors, is a witty youth getting by using his instincts. This experimental film is an exploration of (non) linear motion. With erratic camera movements and creative angles, this short film follows a young man in his quest through barren lands to literally try and move things forward. The filmmaker works against the traditional fiction narrative arc and instead attempts to depict characters that "do not necessarily have a moral purpose but are emotionally affective."

Title: GLORY TO GLORIANA
Director: Lennie Little-White
Duration/Date: 110 min/2006
Actors: Carol Campbell/Rodney Campbell/Suzanne Mari
Genre: Feature
Country: Jamaica
Synopsis: This stylish film is based on the true-life rags to riches story of Montego Bay hotelier, Gloria Minto. It is about a young girl, Gloria, who comes from poverty, selling oranges, to end up owning her own grand hotel. The film has played to packed houses in Jamaica.

Title: THE HAMMOCK
Director: Brent Toombs
Duration/Date: 10 min/2004
Actors:
Genre: Documentary short
Country: Belize
Synopsis: For Emilio Choco making a hammock means growing the plants, making the thread, and weaving lengths of string together. Now 80, he learned the craft as a boy in Guatemala. He migrated to Belize's remote Toledo District aged 19 and has been making hammocks ever since. With no apprentices for the art of hammock making, it seems that when Choco dies, so will this ancient Maya art. Won the 2004 best educational/cultural production - Caribbean Broadcasting Awards.

Title: HEAVY MANNERS
Director: Omnia Masoud
Duration/Date: 18 min/2005
Actors:
Genre: Short
Country: Jamaica
Synopsis: A Jamaican father struggles to teach his son the merit of discipline and the value of staying true to oneself in the hope that he can resist the negative influences of the inner city Miami youth culture.

Title: HERMAN TALES: The BANANA ROBBER
Director: Roger Alexis
Duration/Date: 16 min/2006
Actors: Kirk Budhooram/Roger Alexis/Kenwyn Francis
Genre: Comedy
Country: Trinidad & Tobago
Synopsis: Citizens of Poui Village live their lives in fear. They are bullied and terrorized by two competing delinquents. Herman, a resident of the village, tells the story of Manni, the local beggar, who driven by hunger uses his cunning abilities to rid the village of these two delinquents.


Title: HIGH GRADE
Director: Tony Robinson
Duration/Date: 58 min/2006
Actors:
Genre: Drama
Country: Jamaica
Synopsis: A UNESCO-sponsored film, shot in three weeks and highlighting love, drama, deceit, death, sadness, joy, confusion, AIDS, hope, achievement and triumph.

Title: INSPIRE AND EDUCATE
Director: Women in Film and Television (Jamaica Chapter)
Duration/Date: 10 min/2006
Actors:
Genre: Documentary
Country: Jamaica
Synopsis: An instructional short documentary made by Women in Film and Television about the making of the three very poignant short films produced by Jamaican school students.

Title: JAB! The Blue Devils of Paramin
Director: Alex De Verteuil
Duration/Date: 47min / 2006
Actors:
Genre: Documentary
Country: Trinidad & Tobago
Synopsis: Kootoo is a hillside farmer in the mountain community of Paramin, but once a year he becomes the King of Jab followed by his brothers, James, Harry and Corpad who transform themselves into the Blue Devils of Paramin. This beautifully made film depicts the transformation of a tranquil paradise into a living hell as the Jab competes to win the prize for being the worst devil.


Title: JAMAICA SCHOOL FILMS
Produced by: Women in Film and Television (Jamaica Chapter)
Duration/Date: 18 min/2006
Actors:
Genre: Shorts
Country: Jamaica
Synopsis: FIRE ON A WINDY DAY (6 mins)
A Harbour View Primary School Film
Written By Shantolle James
Directed by Jahsent Murdock
A Woman distracted by a telephone call is left to face the consequences of leaving a fire unattended.

DISSED (6 min)
A Ardenne High School Film
Directed by Codae Pennicott
Written by Nicholas Phillips
Young boys seek revenge on a girl who has just turned down their advances.

FORGIVE AND FORGET (6 min)
A Ardenne High School Film
Written by Camille Coward
As a young woman awaits her father release from prison she is tormented by flash backs of her past.

Title: JAMAICA SCHOOL FILMS
Director: Mary Wells
Duration/Date: 32 min / 2002
Actors:
Genre: Shorts
Country: Jamaica
Synopsis: My Life (11 min)
A little girl experiences an emotional roller coaster she can't stop. Her mother dies; her father leaves and gives her to an aunt who then migrates to the USA promising only material things she'll send in a barrel. All she really wants is to be loved and cared for, but the possibility seems slim.

My First Day At School Wearing My Hijab! (10 min)
Sudani is a Muslim in a very Christian school and society. As a result, she's different. But, fortunately, her difference wins her new friends and teaches tolerance.

Wanted (11 min)
In the spirit of kids power, a little girl identifies an escaped criminal and calls the police, against her parents' will, which possibly saves her life, the life of friends and her community.

Title: LA DIA'BLESSE
Director: Shamkoe Pile
Duration/Date: 25 min/2005
Actors: Tamara Hurley/ Simon Alleyne
Genre: Drama
Country: Barbados
Synopsis: A Caribbean folktale of the woman with a cow's foot who kills men in the forest. This short film is told as a detective story in which the main character, Jade, seeks her father's murderer.

Title: THE MENNONITES OF BELIZE
Director: Bruce Paddington
Duration/Date: 54 min/2006
Actors:
Genre: Documentary
Country: Belize/Trinidad & Tobago
Synopsis: The Mennonites of Belize have been there since the 1950s. This is the filmmaker's personal journey to discover the origins and beliefs of this fundamentalist Christian group. Although some sections of the 7000-member community reject modern technology such as electricity, others are among the most successful entrepreneurs and businessmen in Belize.

Title: MS. LOU THEN AND NOW
Director: Frances Anne Solomon
Duration/Date: 24 min/2005
Actors:
Genre: Documentary
Country: Canada
Synopsis: The recently deceased Louise Bennett was a Jamaican icon. The country's leading author, poet, and comedienne, Miss Lou pioneered the use of the Jamaican language, raising the patois dialect to an art level and reflecting the truth and essence of Jamaican life. In this remarkable interview conducted by Leonie Forbes, Louise reflects upon her rich life story and her illustrious body of work. Another in the 26-part Literature Alive documentary series, made in Canada, that profiles Caribbean Canadian authors and follows the evolution of Caribbean-heritage fiction.

Title: REUNION
Director: Frances Anne Solomon
Duration/Date: 30 min/1993
Actors:
Genre: Documentary
Country: UK
Synopsis: In 1943, 300 middle class coloured women from across the West Indies were recruited to the ATS, a branch of the British Army. Reunion is one of the first films to acknowledge and document the involvement of West Indian women in World War II.

Title: RIBBONS OF BLUE
Director: Mathurine Emmanuel
Duration/Date: 120 min / 2003
Actors: Mathurine Emmanuel/Elfer Neptune/Kenty Rambatt
Genre: Feature
Country: St. Lucia
Synopsis: RIBBONS OF BLUE is a heartwarming and poignant story about the power and durability of a mother's love. The film portrays a single mother and her struggles to raise a bright and ambitious, but ungrateful, daughter who is ashamed of her mother's humble status. Winner of the M&C Award for Best Film.

Title: RISE UP
Director: Luciano Blotta
Duration/Date: 16 min/2005
Actors:
Genre: Documentary Short
Country: Brazil/Jamaica
Synopsis: Rise Up takes its viewers through the emerging Jamaican underground music scene with interviews and performances by undiscovered talents such as The Cricket and Turbulence. It was shot two years ago, before Turbulence's current notoriety as one of the new wave of conscious DJs.

Title: ROBLE DE OLOR/SCENT OF OAK
Director: Rigoberto Lopez Pego
Duration/Date: 140 min/2003
Actors: Lia Chapman, Jorge Perugorria (Strawberry & Chocolate, Guantanamera) and Ruben BreƱas
Genre: Feature
Country: Cuba/Spain/France
Synopsis: Set in early 19th century Cuba and inspired by the lives of Cornelio Souchay, a German merchant recently arrived on the island, and Ursula Lambert, a freed Black slave from Haiti. Despite their different cultures and the social and racial barriers separating them, a strong attraction forms, and a tale of love emerges to challenge the taboos and power structures of their time.

Title: SHOES
Director: Nala, Mahmood Patel, T.Mello, Pamela Whitehall, Carl Branch, Michael Clarke, Jeffrey Bishop
Duration/Date: 49 min/2005
Actors: Charles Alden Knight, Laura-Lyn Hutchinson, Levi King, Roxanne Waldron.
Genre: Drama
Country: Barbados
Synopsis: A father, a returning son, a pair of shoes, a cutlass. Will the shoes fit? Or does the father cut his toes to make it fit? An exploration of the father-son relationship in seven short films.

Title: SISTA GOD
Director: Yao Ramesar
Duration/Date: 72 min/2006
Actors: Evelyn Caesar Munroe/Michael Cherrie
Genre: Feature
Country: Trinidad & Tobago
Synopsis: The first of a trilogy telling of the future coming of a black female messiah during a period known as the Apocalypso - a global holocaust that she alone survives. The main character, Mari, emerges on a Caribbean island, the child of a black West Indian woman and an American Marine sniper, wounded in the first Gulf War. But she is born a "throwblack" - darker than expected, and her white father disowns her. Her mother goes mad and blames Mari who she's convinced is possessed by the devil for the loss of her man.

Title: STRADIVARIUS OF STEEL - The Ellie Mannette Story
Director: Desiree Sampson
Duration/Date: 42 min/2005
Actors:
Genre: Documentary
Country: Trinidad & Tobago
Synopsis: A revealing documentary about the life and work of the master craftsman, Elliot Mannette, the man responsible for the emergence of the steelpan as a legitimate musical instrument. With his scientific approach he refined the pan and established the universal standard of the now universal steel drum. But his and its beginnings were inauspicious.

Title: THE SWEETEST MANGO
Director: Howard Allen
Duration/Date: 106 min/2001
Actors: Jermilla Kirwan/ Omar Mathurin
Genre: Feature
Country: Antigua & Barbuda
Synopsis: This film is the story of Lovelyanne 'Luv' Davies who returns from Canada to her homeland, Antigua. Her adjustment to island life, her professional turmoil and a love triangle between her colleague and her boss, give this film depth and lasting entertainment value.

Title: Traffic D'Info
Director: Janluk Stanislas
Duration/Date: 11 min/2005
Actors:
Genre: Short
Country: Guadeloupe
Synopsis: The film explores the new and alternative forms of visual narrative in this explosive and experimental short film which bridges ancient and modern modes.

Title: TROUBLED WATERS
Director: Mathurine Emmanuel
Duration/Date: 90 min / 2005
Actors: Mathurine Emmanuel/Jane Flavius/Kenty Ramdatt/Anel Herman
Genre: Feature
Country: St. Lucia
Synopsis: A powerful and disturbing story about the rape of a child, its devastating effects and the healing power of love. A beautifully told story of a market vendor whose daughter falls in love but things do not turn out quite as she plans. Another film by the St. Lucian, award-winning Mathurine Emmanuel.

Title: WHAT MY MOTHER TOLD ME
Director: Frances Anne Solomon
Duration/Date: 55 min/1995
Actors: Adjoa Andoh, Leonie Forbes & Clarence Smith
Genre: Feature
Country: UK/Trinidad & Tobago.
Synopsis: This stunningly beautiful film is a dramatic journey towards one woman's self-discovery. The story focuses on Jesse, a young woman from England, who goes to Trinidad to bury her father. Reluctantly she agrees to meet her mother, whom she thinks abandoned her as a child. Her mother tells her stories, revealing a troubled and violent marriage, and Jesse is forced to face the truth about her past.

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