Frances-Ann Solomon

CaribbeanTales Talks the Healing Power of Film at Caribbean Studies Conf.

Dr Keith Nurse
Dr Keith Nurse

NEW ORLEANS – CaribbeanTales Worldwide Distribution (CTWD) presented an important panel discussion on the unique role of film and new digital technologies in healing the historical hurts created by our colonial past, that have fueled divisions between Africa and the Creole cultures of the Caribbean and the Americas. The presentation took place during the 40th Annual Conference of the Caribbean Studies Association (CSA) in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Presenting on the panel were CTWD Chair, Dr. Keith Nurse; renowned filmmaker and Co-founder of Banyan Ltd., Christopher Laird; and filmmaker and ‘art-ivist’, Nicole Brooks. CTWD’s attendance at CSA was made possible by CTWD’s ‘3D Distribution Project’, financed by the ACP Cultures+ Program.

Caribbean Studies is growing in popularity among scholars and universities worldwide. This educational field is a core market for CTWD’s catalog of over 300 titles, many of which are used effectively as curriculum tools on a range of subjects, including history, cultural studies, immigration, sociology, economics, politics, and gender studies.

During the CSA Conference, CTWD also announced its landmark partnership with the Banyan Archives. This unparalleled Collection spans 4 decades and includes more than 3,000 high-quality documentary video recordings of Caribbean rituals, cultural festivals, and hundreds of interviews with celebrated Caribbean artists and icons.

CTWD-CaribbeanStudiesConfChristopher Laird said : “After two presentations at the CSA and the enthusiastic response from those who attended and who heard about the existence of this remarkable entrance into the resources available for Caribbean enquiry and research – which one person described as ‘epic’ – I think the use of video/film as a research tool in a context heavily invested in text is at last getting some traction. The excitement generated was palpable”

“Film records and documents our cultures, both past and living, and has the power to unite territories divided by distance, language and bodies of water. The synergies and similarities throughout the Diaspora are undeniable, haunting, resonant, and healing. Films on Caribbean subjects provide tools for education that did not exist before. They are invaluable for education, documentation and forward development, ” said Frances-Anne Solomon, Founder of CTWD.

8 New Scholarships for Caribbean Film and Television Producers

BRIDGETOWN – CaribbeanTales Worldwide Distribution (CTWD), the region’s premier distribution platform for Caribbean film and television content, has received a 3-year funding commitment to provide eight partial scholarships a year to regional audiovisual content producers to attend its renowned CaribbeanTales Incubator Program (CTI).

The funding is provided by the REACH Project — an initiative of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in collaboration with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Compete Caribbean (CC), and the Young Americas Business Trust (YABT) — that aims to develop sustainable income streams through the monetisation of intellectual property.

“CTWD’s impressive work in the Caribbean region is perfectly aligned with the REACH’s goals in improving the monetization capabilities of producers of creative content. The Caribbean region is bursting with creative talent which with guided mentorship and assistance can turn creative intellectual assets into strategic tools for generating and maximizing new revenue streams. We look forward to a fruitful partnership.” said Ignacio L. De Leon, Innovation Lead Specialist, IDB.

Now in its 6th year, CTI is a year-round program that supports the development, production, and monetisation of strong, original, world-class content from the Caribbean and its Diaspora. The Program, that kicks off every year during the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), is a training and production platform that brings together audiovisual content producers to hone their craft and business skills in the context of an international market environment.

Producers and Mentors at CTI 2014: From L-R: Chartrisse Dolabaille (S. Lucia/Canada), Dr Rita Deverell (CTI Producer and Mentor), Melissa Gomez (Antigua/U.S.A), Camille Selvon Abrahams (Trinidad & Tobago), Faisal Lutchmedial  (Trinidad/Canada), Rodney Smith (Barbados), Peyi Guzman (Dominican Republic) Rene Holder (T&T), Jelani Nias (Jamaica/Canada).
Producers and Mentors at CTI 2014: From L-R: Chartrisse Dolabaille (S. Lucia/Canada), Dr Rita Deverell (CTI Producer and Mentor), Melissa Gomez (Antigua/U.S.A), Camille Selvon Abrahams (Trinidad & Tobago), Faisal Lutchmedial (Trinidad/Canada), Rodney Smith (Barbados), Peyi Guzman (Dominican Republic) Rene Holder (T&T), Jelani Nias (Jamaica/Canada).

The competitive incubator program, which has already hosted over 60 filmmakers from around the region and diaspora, has three distinct parts: it begins with one month of online market preparation followed by a week of intensive workshops and networking opportunities in Toronto during TIFF. This culminates in the CTI Big Pitch, where participants pitch their developed projects to industry professionals over a delicious Caribbean breakfast at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. Finally, three winners graduate to the CTI Production Support phase, where they work with experienced international producers over the course of a year to take their successful projects from pitch to production.

Dr Keith Nurse
Dr Keith Nurse

“This groundbreaking partnership is a perfect fit with the goals of CTWD and in particular, the CTI program: to monetize the intellectual property of audiovisual content producers, so as to encourage the growth of creative entrepreneurship throughout the Caribbean region and Diaspora,“ said Dr Keith Nurse, Chair of CTWD and the region’s leading cultural industries specialist.

The new funding builds on the important work of CTWD’s 3D Distribution Project, a 3-year initiative financed in part by the ACP Cultures+ Programme of the European Union. 3D aims to build capacity for the regional film and television industry through the creation of sustainable income streams and distribution networks.

“These trailblazing partnerships come at a time when the Caribbean region needs them most, offering a viable answer to the region’s core struggle – the need to diversify its economies and find alternatives to more traditional industries like agriculture, banking, and tourism,“ Dr. Nurse concluded.

For more information about the CaribbeanTales Incubator Program, the REACH/CaribbeanTales Scholarships, and to apply to the CTI please visit http://Caribbeantales.ca/CTI.