By Stephen Weir
The 14th annual Caribbean Tales International Film Festival (CTFF) is over for another year. After eight presentation nights and the screenings of some twenty films, CTFF wrapped up last week with the screening of “Sacred Water”, an odd 3-year old African documentary about Kunyaza (a technique which Rwandese women use to ejaculate).
“CTFF 2019 was a diverse and wonderful year filled with the best films from Caribbean filmmakers,” said Frances-Anne Solomon, CTFF Founder & Executive Director.
At closing night, the following awards were announced.
- Best Feature: Rattlesnakes directed by Julius Amadume.
- Best Documentary: Paradise Discovered: The Unbreakable Virgin Islanders directed by Peter Bailey.
- Best Short Film: Maternal directed by Andrew Simpson.
- Intersect Award: Judgement Day directed by Francesca Hawkins.
- Caribbean Spirit: March of the Mokos directed by Kim Johnson.
“Rattlesnakes was a labour of love for everybody involved. It makes us proud and happy that our film has resonated and found its place in the hearts of its audience,” said British Ghanaian Director Julius Ademume. He and star Jimmy Jean-Louis have high hopes to film in Haiti next year thanks in part to the success of his film at festivals like CTFF.
Earlier this week The Caribbean Camera talked briefly with Trinidadian Kim Johnson about his award-winning short “March of the Mokos”. He is currently the Director of the Carnival Institute of Trinidad and Tobago. He describes the 2017 short documentary about stilt walking in Trinidad and Tobago as being a Carnival art.
The film “centres on the head of Keylemanjahro cultural group and ‘King of the Moko Jumbies’, Glen ‘Dragon’ DeSouza. He not only helps to revive the art form but his talent and teaching of the craft inspires youths encourages other groups to emerge across the country and attracts students from across the globe.”
Will this win propel him towards making a feature film? According to Johnson it all depends on funding.
“The docs are what I produce without a budget, so a feature-length documentary film is difficult,” he told the Camera. “I made one or two in previous years; the dramas are what I try to get funding to produce…I have a few shorts in the pipeline and am trying to get investments for a feature-length drama about boys in prison, based on the memoirs of a friend who worked with them.”