CTales 2011 pushing Caribbean films

Participants and filmmakers in the CaribbeanTales 2011 Content Incubator

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – The much buzzed about CaribbeanTales 2011 Film Festival came to a close last Sunday night following seven event-filled days that celebrated the exploding film and television industry across the Caribbean region and it’s Diaspora. Filmmakers and film enthusiasts from around the region and the world come together for a week of cultural celebration, that took place at the Island Inn, and George Washington House.The festival’s Gala Opening on March 16th at Frank Collymore Hall was held before a packed to capacity audience of 500 patrons.

And at the closing night screening of Raoul Peck’s “Moloch Tropical” , CaribbeanTales CEO Frances-Anne Solomon thanked all participants and sponsors for making this year’s theme “Vision Momentum Action! ” a huge success.

“Even though it was very hard work, in a lean year, the support we have had has been tremendous.” She continued: “The pay off is a satisfied and nourished audience base, stimulated by rich dialogue about our industry. This will carry our team forward for a long time to come.”The festival’s highlight was the unique CT Content Incubator , facilitated by US Marketing and Distribution consultant Michele Matterre, with a special animation incubator led by Camille Selvon Abrahams of Anime Caribe. Selected filmmakers participated in an intensive immersion in the creative, business and marketing aspects of the industry, with support from international industry experts, culminating in a pitch session.

Many special guests travelled from abroad to take part in the activities including: Hollywood Director Neema Barnette, Berlinale Talent Campus Director Mattijs Knol, World Cinema Fund Director Sonja Heinen, Africa Channel EVP of Corporate Affairs Mark Watson, Kethiwe Ngcobo, Head of Drama at the South African Broadcasting Corporation and award-winning Canadian composer John Welsman who delivered a master class  on sound and music for film.

Also present was a stellar contingent from the Caribbean region including EZONE’s Lisa Wickham and Sheldon Felix,  Antigua’s HAMA TV – Mitzi and Howard Allen,  Dominica’s Alwin Bully and Film Commissioner for Dominica Anita Bully, Guadeloupe Film Commissioner Tony Coco-Viloin and FEMI Director Frank Solvet.

Diaspora filmmakers also were present in numbers including Faisal Lutchmedia  from Montreal, and Dawn Wilkinson from Toronto,

Another high point took place on Saturday evening with the Awards Ceremony honoring Special Guest Hollywood Director Neema Barnette,

Ms Barnette who came from Los Angeles  to receive the Award, spoke movingly of the importance of CaribbeanTales. “For someone who has worked hard for everything I have ever got, it is wonderful to see what this festival provides for filmmakers” she said.

This was followed by the world premiere screening of Howard and Mitzi Allen’s eagerly anticipated fourth feature film THE SKIN, followed by a talk back session with the filmmakers.

Mitzi Allen said that it was important to herself and her husband, filmmaker director Howard Allen to present the film at CaribbeanTales, even though it was not quite finished. “I really liked the feedback we got from industry folks. It was honest and constructive. A pre-screening outside of Antigua was the best thing we ever did,” said Mitzi who is the Executive Producer for the film.

Most of the films screened to sold out audiences at the George Washington House cinema. These featured some local regional and international premieres  including Miquel Jalofre’s extraordinary exploration of Jamaican dancehall music Hit Me With Music, and the stunning series premiere of Dominion by Bajan dream team Sean Michael Field and Rodney Smith

CaribbeanTales 2011 Film Festival was sponsored by: Island Inn, The Starcom Network, Ultimax TV, Lisa Wickham’s Ezone, the Commonwealth Foundation, SFa Communications, Hall-e-wood Productions, Morenamedia, HAMA Productions, Barbados Government Information Service, Caribbean Tourism Organisation, The United Nations Development Program, Caribbean Media Corporation, US Embassy, Animae Caribe, Merville Lynch Prods, Creative Junction, Barbados National Bank, Steinhill Studios, Blue Light Media,The National Cultural Foundation and Autonomous Entertainment.

CaribbeanTales Worldwide Distribution the region’s first full-service film distribution company, is founded by award-winning filmmaker Frances-Anne Solomon, and principals are creative industries expert Dr Keith Nurse (Chair), economist and businessman Dr Terrence Farrell, media personality and producer Lisa Wickham, and filmmaker and writer Mary Wells.

CTWD is a member of the Barbados Business Enterprise Corporation that provides Seed and Venture Capital Services.

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