The Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival had great Guyanese input
For the last two weeks, several Trinidadians and Tobagonians, along with visitors to the islands, got to see a glimpse of Guyana through the lens of Film-makers from Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana and other parts of the world. It was the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival entitled “You’re in focus”, that screened works filmed in Guyana or involving Guyanese. Several of the films screened at the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival dealt with subjects such as the adoration of the chirping of “caged birds” in Guyana, the development of the Masquerade band in Guyana and other subjects like racism in post-colonial Britain in the sixties and early seventies involving Guyanese, among other West Indian Immigrants.
In the film the “Bastard Sings the Sweetest Song”, Canadian Director, Christy Garland, recorded how one man kept birds caged to compete them in chirping contests, but the focus shifted to who his mother was, also a caged bird of sorts:
Young Guyanese Film makers also learnt of opportunities to receive funding for their artistic abilities during the workshops and “pitching” sessions.
Cine Guyana screened its film on the Masquerade tradition. Trinidadian Filmmaker, Lisa Wickham, screened “Forward Home”, which looked at Guyana among other Caribbean Countries and how their Diaspora yearn to be home.
And the festival honored Harvey Ove, the legendary Trinidadian director who documented race relations in Britain on the silver screen in his film Pressure. Guyanese actor, Archie Poole, who appeared in the film, was at the screening with Ove, to pay tribute to Filmmakers across the region and the diaspora.
Festival Director and Founder, Bruce Paddington, expressed disappointment that more Caribbean Television and media owners were not at the screenings as the films form valuable content for their various outlets.