CaribbeanTales 2010

Montserrat attending Caribbean Film and Video symposium

NGolden in BdosBRIDGETOWN, Barbados – Montserrat was represented this week at the Symposium on Production and Global Distribution of Caribbean Film and Video by Director of Information & Communications, Nerissa Golden.

The event, hosted by One Caribbean Media Ltd the largest media company in the region, is part of the Best of CaribbeanTales Film Festival taking place in Barbados this week. Golden said the symposium comes at an opportune time for the Montserrat’s development as they move towards developing the islands’ media environment.

“There is a push around the region to improve the quality of the productions and to be able to make them commercially viable on an international scale. I feel this is important for us at this stage as we work towards the Montserrat Media Corporation, because we want to develop a company that will have commercial impact well beyond our shores.”

The director also met this week with representatives from One Caribbean Media, Starcoms Networks, the Caribbean Media Corporation and other regional television producers to look at ways of collaborating on the production of more content and how locally made programming can be seen one cable and independent stations.

Representatives from the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation are also attending the event, and have expressed an interest in acquiring more content from the Caribbean region.

Terrence Farrell, Group CEO of One Caribbean Media presented a proposal to the symposium calling for the creation of a regional body to lobby governments to see the development of a sustainable audio visual sector. He also suggested that organizations like the newly former Caribbean Audio Visual Network (CAN) should work on legislation and push for a discussion on it to be added to the CARICOM agenda as a priority issue to move the industry forward. Farrell also wants to see a regional fund of about US$ 40 million initially to encourage independent producers to create more content for local and international distribution.

Other speakers throughout the day were Christopher Laird, founder of Gayelle TV Trinidad & Tobago who said the emergence of new technologies is changing the playing field rapidly and offers challenges for independent producers to be able to finance their work. Sheryl Deer of Time Warner Cable, New York said her company is in the market for a 24 hour cable channel that has solely Caribbean content. The US$ 90,000 per month lease for the channel was an obstacle that many saw as making this a daunting task. Other broadcasters present however, saw it as an opportunity for the creation of new partnerships which would allow several regional entities to benefit from the Caribbean market in the New York area.

“I believe that for Montserrat and the region to develop more content there needs to be a mechanism to exploit the markets in the Diaspora more effectively. Most definitely joint action must be taken, but it also lends itself to Caribbean nationals with the resources to invest in the audio visual sector and create profitable businesses,” said Golden. “On Montserrat we also have to encourage the development of more independent television producers to support the work of the Government Information Unit. We will not be able to build a new television channel without the support of our private sector to advertise but also persons willing to create talk shows, short stories, and edutainment programming.”


Dawn Wilkinson’s Devotion at CaribbeanTales 2010

Alice Jasmine walks home from school (scene from Devotion screening at CaribbeanTales 2010)BRIDGETOWN – SWEET DEVOTION: During her final year of a BA in Women’s Studies and African Studies at U of T in 1996, Dawn Wilkinson took a one-week filmmaking workshop in Mount Forest, Ontario, that persuaded her to pursue a life behind the camera. The young writer had been crafting plenty of fiction and literary criticism in her classes, but, at the screening of her five-minute film, she was floored by the “immediacy” of the response. “Seeing people connect to my story was something I’d never fully experienced with my writing.”

In 1999, Wilkinson studied at the Canadian Film Centre Directors’ Lab in Toronto. She also served as a director observer (in which a young filmmaker-hopeful watches an established pro at work) during the shooting of the movie Hurricane, with director Norman Jewison (BA 1949 VIC). Wilkinson had established the production company, Afterlife, in 1998, and has since made four short films, as well as several documentaries.

Producer Bobie Taffe and her team produced this video profile of filmmaker Dawn Wilkinson whose feature film Devotion is being screened at the CaribbeanTales Youth Film Festival.

View “Dawn Wilkinson – Devotion” from Frances-Anne Solomon on Vimeo.

Her first feature, Devotion, recently won the Audience Award at the 2005 Reel World Film Festival in Toronto. The movie explores the concerns of belonging and alienation facing an 11-year-old biracial girl. Alice, the main character, also struggles with her mother’s death, caused by her father’s drunk driving. “The plot is not about being biracial; it’s about her not fitting in at school, about not getting along with her dad. Being biracial is the lens she’s looking through,” says Wilkinson. “I wanted to show that complexity: how she saw herself wasn’t how she was seen by others.”Reprinted from the University of Toronto Magazine.

More Clips from Devotion:

Dawn Wilkinson’s “Devotion” Trailer

Dawn Wilkinson Interview for“Devotion”

Fight Scene from Dawn Wilkinson’s “Devotion

Alice and Grant from Dawn Wilkinson’s “Devotion”

The Sally scene from Dawn Wilkinson’s “Devotion”

Ja Ganesha from Dawn Wilkinson’s “Devotion”

Halloween Scene from Dawn Wilkinson’s “Devotion”

More about Dawn Wilkinson

More about Devotion

AfterLife Films Youtube Channel including interviews with Dawn and clips from “Devotion”

Devotion Offical Website

Dawn Wilkinson’s website

Film Festivals: Best of CaribbeanTales 2010

movie-carm-geTORONTO/BRIDGETOWN – The creative industries of film and television will receive a boost this February when CaribbeanTales, a Toronto-based multimedia company, brings together formidable local, regional and international partners to showcase, discuss and promote Caribbean film at “THE BEST OF CARIBBEANTALES FILM FESTIVAL AND SYMPOSIUM” that will take place at the Olympus Cinema, Sheraton Center and at UWI Cave Hill from February 23rd to March 2nd, 2010. The Festival will kick off with a Media Launch on December 8, 2009 at 1.30pm at the Errol Barrow Center for Creative Imagination, UWI Cave Hill.

The event’s Director is accomplished Toronto-based Trinidadian filmmaker Frances-Anne Solomon, whose most recent award-winning feature film A Winter Tale has won international acclaim, and who has been a visiting lecturer at UWI. She said: “February is Black History Month and it is fitting for us to mark this with a celebration of film, to start the year with a bang and to push the discussion forward about how we can create here a sustainable and profitable industry”.

The festival is incredibly proud to partner with a number of local organisations including One Caribbean Media, that will co-host a Symposium on Global Distribution, and whose CEO Dr. Terrence Farrell will be speaking at the Press Launch; and the Barbados Film and Video Association, whose president Penelope Hynam said: “I am delighted that Barbadian audiences will get to see some of the wonderful films we saw at the Caribbean Tales Festival in Toronto this year, including a fantastic cross section of work by our most important filmmakers from around the Diaspora.”

This year 2010 the CaribbeanTales Film Festival welcomes 3 new Associate Directors who will work alongside Solomon to program, manage and promote the festival: Jamaican filmmaker Mary Wells, whose first feature film Kingston Paradise, recently wrapped production, and is destined for screens later in the year, joins the festival’s management team as the Co-ordinator of the Barbados event. Trinidad-based Producer-Director-TV Personality Lisa Wickham, CEO of E-Zone Entertainment, and Director of the Caribbean Film and Media Academy, (CFMA) will assist with the event production. The CFMA will also host a number of workshops as part of the festival activities. And Mitzi Allen, CEO and Co-owner of HAMA TV in Antigua, also joins the Festival as an Associate Director. HAMA will be covering the Festival, and will be seeking to bring a delegation of OECS producers to Toronto in June.

The CaribbeanTales Film Festival is North America’s only standalone festival showcasing the best of Caribbean cinema from around the world. Founded by Frances-Anne Solomon, the festival has survived, grown and thrived in the highly competitive Canadian festival scene, to become a notable event in the city’s calendar. “For our 5th anniversary we have planned a number of exciting events and initiatives to promote Caribbean film and TV, including a presence at Cannes 2010. It seemed fitting that we kick off this extraordinary year with a discussion in the Caribbean and Barbados is dynamic, central and accessible.”

Contact: Frances-Anne Solomon/ Monique Young