FilmTT GM's Speech at the Launch of the trinidad+tobago film festival 2019 – Carifesta Edition
From Left to Right: Nneka Luke, General Manager, FilmTT; Danielle Dieffenthaller, ttff; Bruce Paddington, ttff; Rodelle Phillips-Simmons, Communications Manager, Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts; Myles Lewis, Head, Corporate Social Responsibility, NGC.
Speech – Nneka Luke, General Manager, FilmTT
trinidad+tobago film festival 2019
Press Conference – Monday July 29th 2019
Port of Spain, July 29th 2019: Dr. Bruce Paddington and the organizing team of the trinidad+tobago film festival 2019, fellow sponsors, members of the media and other specially invited guests.
My name is Nneka Luke and I am the General Manager at FilmTT. On behalf of The Trinidad and Tobago Film Company, our parent company CreativeTT, and our line Ministry, the Ministry of Trade and Industry, we are pleased to participate as a Supporting Sponsor in the 14th edition of the trinidad+tobago film festival. The film company, in both iterations as TTFC and FilmTT, has been a Sponsor since the 2 festivals’ founding in 2006, and acknowledges the ttff’s valuable role in developing both audience appetite for local and Caribbean content, and developing capacity in the local sector through training and industry-building programmes; both key areas of focus in FilmTT’s mandate. In line with this, our sponsorship this year will focus on two industry panels; one for filmmaker networking, and one that will shine a spotlight on the possibilities for greater regional co-production collaboration; the ttff will be sharing more information on these activities.
We are also looking forward to seeing at least three new local productions premiere at this year’s festival, these commissioned through the Take One programme from the Ministry of Culture, Community Development and the Arts. The additions to the local feature film canon are important indicators of the continuing potential of T&T’s content producers.
I would like to use this opportunity to also share a bit about the work that FilmTT has been doing in the past year. As you would be aware, FilmTT’s mandate since 2006 has been to facilitate the growth and development of the indigenous film and audio-visual sector in Trinidad & Tobago, to provide Film Commission services to local and incoming productions, and to promote the country as an exciting and attractive location.
The Strategic Plan for the industry that was developed and approved in 2018 has been guiding all of our projects and activities in the last year, prioritized for greatest impact in recognition of the financial constraints that have affected the country, and our company, in recent times. In January 2019, FilmTT launched a series of production tools to assist both local and incoming producers:
• an updated Production Directory to find professional production services and non-creative suppliers for upcoming productions.
• a Locations Database featuring locations and festivals across Trinidad and Tobago.
• a 30-page Production Guide that provides general information on shooting in Trinidad and Tobago.
• We recently added a 28-page Rebate Guide that explains how the Production Expenditure Rebate Programme works, and how to access it.
These production tools are all housed on our website, and are accessible at any time.
We also launched web-based film commission software, called MovieSite, which is improving FilmTT’s operations in both our development and film commission capacities. I am sure you would agree that key to developing the sector is access to reliable data, and MovieSite improves FilmTT’s ability to track, document and report on, among other areas, all productions that shoot in Trinidad and Tobago.
As was reported back in early April in the Newsday, FilmTT has been tracking key information on the amount of money spent on shooting in T&T. From October 2018 - June 2019, a total of 17 local and international productions have spent approximately TT$12.6 million on services on the ground in Trinidad and Tobago, have hired approximately 523 locals in production, used 765 room nights, and shot in 48 locations across the islands. At the end of September 2019, we will be updating these figures, and will be tracking these high-level data points year on year going forward, as one indicator of how the industry is performing.
Finally, I would like to mention our Film Friendly Network that we have been building over the past year, strengthening our working relationships with key agencies and Ministries who have a part to play in improving production conditions for creating content in Trinidad and Tobago.
Soon, we will share more information on this and other projects, including an upcoming Business of Film training programme designed to address the current capacity gaps.
We look forward to this year’s activities at ttff/19, and to continuing to work with the ttff and all our stakeholders for the ongoing development of the Trinidad and Tobago film industry.
Thank you for your time.