NEW YORK – The CaribbeanTales New York Film Showcase was described as a “fantastic addition” to Caribbean Week in New York by the island region’s tourism body.
The Caribbean Tourism Organization, made up of the region’s governments, enthusiastically welcomed the Film Showcase to the huge Caribbean Week festivities in New York and hinted the partnership may extend to other markets where similar festivals are produced.Addressing community leaders and members of the North American press in Manhattan, Sylma Brown-Bramble, the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s Director of The Americas, said New York generates the largest volume of business to the Caribbean and her organization was pleased that CaribbeanTales had become a new addition to the program of activities this year.
“Anything that happens in the Caribbean affects the tourism industry, positively or negatively – CaribbeanTales is one of the very positive (aspects) of the tourism industry,” said Brown-Bramble. The CTO executive saw the emergence of a new promotional tool for the region: “As the film industry takes wings in the Caribbean, CaribbeanTales is helping us to promote the (beauty of the) region.”The Film Showcase, an all-day affair, will screen on Saturday, June 11. The location will be announced shortly.
Dr. Keith Nurse, Chairman of CaribbeanTales Worldwide Distribution (CTWD), saw synergies developing in the partnership with the CTO, especially with destination branding possibilities. “In many respects, this is a marriage that will last a lifetime … and we look forward to collaborating with the CTO in (New York), Toronto and other markets,” pledged Dr. Nurse.Director of the Shridath Ramphal Centre for International Trade Law, Policy and Services with the University of the West Indies in Barbados, Dr. Nurse said as the first and only distribution company for Caribbean audio-visual content, “we feel that we are making a critical contribution to the expansion of the creative sector.
“The one year-old Barbadian company, a member of the BIM Ventures family of entrepreneurs, has hosted two film festivals in Barbados, one in Canada, training workshops for filmmakers, and now has more than 60 films in its product catalog. “We (are on the move) to identify new locations, new destinations to showcase Caribbean work and to create the channels through which Caribbean content can be marketed.”
CTWD’s CEO Frances-Anne Solomon, a former BBC producer of 15 years, said it was cathartic to be part of the building of a movement “so powerful and important as the telling of our stories in film.” “This has become my passion and my life’s work, and what I feel is important is not just that we make films, but that we sell them internationally. That’s why we started the distribution company – to put Caribbean film on the world stage alongside Hollywood, Bollywood, Nollywood and the British film industry.”
Barbados’ Consul General at New York Lennox Price congratulated Solomon and her team for their work thus far, and viewed the press launch as one of the steps towards the development of the film industry in Barbados, in keeping with the Government’s thrust of developing the cultural industries.His comments were also echoed by Campbell Rudder, the Barbados Tourism Authority’s new Vice President of Marketing in the United States who believes much fruit remains to be borne by pitching Caribbean locations and presenting indigenous filmmakers for international projects.