Wednesday 30 September, 2020

Hero, biopic on Trini revolutionary Ulric Cross to open Film Festival

The Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival (tt/ff) will celebrate its 13th year by celebrating the lives of some of Trinidad and Tobago's notable men. 

"HERO: Inspired by the Extraordinary Life and Times of Ulric Cross" will open the annual festival on September 18 at NAPA. Shot in Ghana, the UK and Trinidad and Tobago, the film was inspired by the life and times of Trinidadian Ulric Cross and his contribution to the Pan African movement and his relationships with Tanzania's first president, Julius Nyerere and Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana's first prime minister and president.

The film stars Nikolai Salcedo (Ulric Cross), British actor Joseph Marcell (CLR James), Trinidadian actor Rudolph Walker and a number of Hollywood actors. 

A documentary feature on the life of the late VS Naipaul will also be screened. It only seems fitting that “The Strange Luck of VS Naipaul” is set to premiere on Republic Day (September 24). The documentary is a candid personal portrait of the 2001 Nobel Laureate in the three places that have been the most influential in his career: Trinidad, his ancestral home of India, and Wiltshire, England, where he lived for many years.

The Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival will run from September 18-25 with screenings at various venues including MovieTowne, UWI, Big Black Box, and Grundlos Kollectiv.

At the launch on Tuesday, the 2018 theme, "Love Film" was unveiled, along with a rundown of what cinephiles across the country can look forward to during the action-packed week. 

There will be a special screening of “Sprinter” directed by Jamaican Storm Saulter. Executive produced by Will and Jada Smith, “Sprinter” tells the story of a Jamaican teen who dreams that a meteoric rise in track and field can reunite him with his mother who has lived illegally in the U.S. for over a decade.

In addition to the multitude of shorts and feature films, there will be a number of industry events and workshops, allowing patrons to get a more in-depth look into the world of film.

Activities include a Business Seminar aimed at bridging the gap between the filmmaking community, corporate and financial sector, an acting workshop with LA-based Trinidadian actor Noel Arthur (Scrubs, NCIS, NCIS: LA) and Caribbean Film Mart.

Through the partnership with the High Commission of Canada, three short films with human rights themes will also screen at this year’s festival. “Reel Human Rights” is an incubator programme which saw 15 emerging filmmakers participate in a script-writing workshop facilitated by Canadian-Jamaican film professional Annmarie Morais.

Three were ultimately rewarded with a CAN$5,000 prize to go towards production of their respective films. “Please See Attached” (Andrei Pierre), “Judgment Day” (Francesca Hawkins) and “I Choose You” (Siobhan Millette) will be screened later this month.

Tickets for the opening night gala and film screening of Hero are currently on sale. Tickets cost $250 each and are available at NAPA box office, 11am-6pm daily and the ttff office, 199 Belmont Circ., Mon to Fri, 9:30 AM-1:30PM.

The world premiere of Hero at NAPA will be preceded by a cocktail reception on Tuesday, September 18 at 6.00pm. The film's director, producers and members of the cast and crew will be present.


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