Scholarships boost Caribbean AV group

By Gerald V. Paul

CaribbeanTales Worldwide Distribution (CTWD), the region’s premiere distribution platform for Caribbean film and TV content, has received a three-year commitment to provide eight partial scholarships a year to audiovisual content producers to attend its renowned CaribbeanTales Incubator program (CTI).

Born in England of Trinidadian parents, CTWD founder and CEO Frances-Anne Solomon, said CTI now in its sixth year-round program to support development, production and monetization of strong, original world-class content from the Caribbean and its Diaspora.

The program that kicks off each 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.

Solomon, an award winning filmmaker and visiting lecturer in film at Errol Barrow Centre for Creative Imagination, UWI at Cave Hill, Barbados, and in the film department at St. Augustine, Trinidad, said the funding was 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), which aims to develop sustainable income streams by monetization of intellectual property.

The Incubator program, which has already hosted more than 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 products to industry professionals over a Caribbean breakfast at 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.

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

Gerald V. Paul
Gerald V. Paul