Wednesday, September 17, 2008

TTFF focuses on Caribbean women filmmakers

Source: Today's Newsday

WOMEN DIRECTORS are set to make their presence felt at the 2008 Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival (TTFF).

The TTFF, which is running until September 30, is an annual celebration of films from and about Trinidad and Tobago, the Caribbean and its diaspora, and Latin America. This year, there are more films in the Festival made by women than ever before, covering a wide range of themes and genres.

Among the women filmmakers are Sonja Dumas and Nalini Akal, whose films – W and Dancescape, respectively – both incorporate the subject of dance, in strikingly different ways. Dumas’s film is a meditation on water and the environment, while Akal’s is a portrait of a dancer who fuses different styles in her work.

Renee Pollonais’ Directions is a wonderfully comedic look at how Trinidadians give (or don’t give) directions. In sobering contrast, Invisible by Elspeth Duncan is a heartbreaking, yet hopeful documentary about a woman and her young daughter living with HIV.

Other films helmed by women to be screened at the Festival are On the Map, by Annalee Davis, an eye-opening look at regional migration and the CSME; Kareen Brown’s The Fiddler, a touching portrait of a well-known street musician; and Wrestling with Angels, an exploration of Caribbean identity through the medium of the music video, by Marsha Pearce.

Prominent female guests of the Festival include Debra Zimmerman, Executive Director of Women Make Movies, award-winning independent film producer Effie T Brown (Executive Producer of In The Cut 2003) and Stephanie James of Shakti Productions who, along with her husband Steven James, produces the popular magazine series Women West Indies.

The TTFF is being hosted at MovieTowne and at other venues throughout the country. For more information,visit the website at and the blog, at


GirlBlue said...

I really wish I could attend this, it would be wonderful to see your's, Renee's and Nalini's in particular cause I know you guys

Lynn Cohen said...

Bravo, bravo!!! Take a bow Elspeth. What wonderful company you keep! How proud you must be.

Isn't it interesting that women making film has to be a catagory.
If they haven't been accepted in this gendre shame on the industry...but it seems so lame in this century that that is so.
I'm glad you are up there recognized and praised with the best of them!

Elspeth said...

GB, 'Invisible' is showing on Sat 20 at 8 p.m., and Mon 22 at 5:30 p.m. I hope you get to see at least some of them.

Thanks, Lynn. And yes, even in 'this century' where so much has changed, anything technological is still largely seen as male domain.