Thursday 1 October, 2020

The ttff/18 Youth Jury is in

ttff/17 Youth Jury in session

ttff/17 Youth Jury in session

The Trinidad and Tobago film festival (tt/ff) has announced its selection of the BPTT Youth Jury for 2018. The tt/ff has once again teamed up with leading sponsor BP Trinidad and Tobago (BPTT)  to give five young people the opportunity to develop a critical appreciation of independent film. Jurors are also encouraged to lend their voices and opinions to the festival, to work together, network and be part of the growing local film industry.

Applications were received during May to July from young adults between the ages 16 to 21 who were requested to submit a 250-word essay about their favourite film and why they chose it. Of the many applications received, the most endearing and expressive essays were narrowed down and the following were successfully chosen as the jurors:

-Kirstin De Lorme, 19, UWI 

-Kela Sunshine Roberts, 19, St. Joseph Convent (San Fernando)

-Deja Sandy, 19, Naparima Girls High School

-Sudai Tafari, 18, Mount Hope Secondary

-Kioni Wallace, 16, Bishops High School (Tobago)

The young jurors will have the opportunity to work directly with renowned journalist and film critic BC Pires, who has diligently mentored the Youth Jury panels since the programme began in 2014. Under the experience and guidance of Pires, the Youth Jury will decide a winning film and its director will be presented with a trophy at the ttff/18 awards ceremony on Tuesday, September 25.

The jurors will view and critically analyse six feature-length fiction films dealing with themes and issues affecting young people. This year’s films up for competition are:

-"Brown Girl Begins" (directed by Sharon Lewis /2018/Canada)

-"El Chata" (directed by Gustavo Ramon Perales/2017/Puerto Rico)

-"Las Hijas de Abri" (directed by Michel Franco/2017/Mexico)

-"Le Rêve Francaise" (directed by Christian Faure Copie/2017/France)

-"Looking for Zorro" (directed by Wigner Duarte/2017/USA)

-"Sprinter" (directed by Storm Saulter/2018/Jamaica)


The experience of being part of the Youth Jury has proven to be a life-changing opportunity for past jurors, for some it has even progressed from just a love of cinema, to actively working on their own film projects or within the tt/ff as volunteers and/or interns. 

Christopher Lou-Hing who served on the ttff/16 Youth Jury and is now a film student at UWI expressed how working with BC Pires and the tt/ff helped him to advance not only his studies but also a blossoming career in the film industry. Lou-Hing said, “Being on the youth jury was my first taste of film criticism. The guidance from BC (Pires) would later prove to be really helpful in my studies by sharpening my critical eye. After participating in the youth jury I felt surer of my abilities as a critic and it helped me to appreciate film as an art form. Sitting on the jury helped me realise that I wanted to pursue a career in the film industry and opened the door for my internship with tt/ff”.

Nick Rampersad who served on the tt/ff/17 Youth Jury said being on the panel helped him to form deep friendships with some of his fellow jurors that they are now working on their own film project. “My experience serving on the trinidad + tobago film festival Youth Jury 2017 was a life-defining experience and one that further cemented my love for filmmaking," he said. "The friendships forged on the youth jury and by extension the tt/ff are lasting. It’s through this special bond, two of my fellow youth jurors and I are now in the pre-production stage of our own film”. 

Nick is also working as an intern at this year's festival and plans to pursue a degree in filmmaking.

Speaking on last year’s Youth Jury, mentor BC Pires said, There are not enough superlatives to describe what a pleasure it is to be working with these young people…they rose to their task amazingly well.

"If our Parliament could see how they spoke to one another. They were passionate and went to their task of listening to one another with, I think, a real honesty, humility, and respect for the other person’s point of view. I think they might all consider a career in dispute resolution.”



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