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RBC Royal Bank is a proud sponsor of Trinidad & Tobago Film Festival 2012
Budding filmmakers, spanning the region from the Bahamas to French Guiana, will soon receive an exciting opportunity to learn from award-winning professional film artists, as RBC Royal Bank and the trinidad+tobago film festival (ttff) present RBC Focus: Filmmakers’ Immersion at the ttff/12, which takes place from September 19 to October 2.
Now in its seventh year, ttff is the largest event of its kind in the English-speaking Caribbean and celebrates expression and empowerment through film. In 2011, RBC Focus was introduced to the festival as part of the bank’s commitment to developing emerging artists in the region. This talent lab returns in 2012 and will engage promising Caribbean filmmakers in an intensive four-day development programme. They will be exposed to group discussions and exercises on a range of documentary filmmaking techniques geared to enhancing their creative voice.
Each filmmaker will enter RBC Focus with a concept for a feature-length documentary and, over the course of the programme, will develop a detailed treatment that will be presented in a competitive pitch session for a grand prize of TT$20,000. The facilitators who will guide the process and determine the pitch finalists are two internationally respected film industry professionals: Jamaican-American filmmaker and teacher Alrick Brown and documentary story consultant Fernanda Rossi, born and raised in Buenos Aires and based in New York for the past 17 years.
The talented ten are: Tyler Johnston (the Bahamas), Willy Rollé (French Guiana), Olivia McGilchrist (Jamaica), Michelle Serieux (Jamaica/St Lucia) and John Barry, Mariel Brown, Sonja Dumas, Francis Escayg, Abigail Hadeed and Natalie Wei (T&T).
A Belief in the Power of the Arts to Enrich Lives
An initiative like RBC Focus is not unique to the Caribbean, as globally RBC supports a range of emerging artist programmes. Suresh B. Sookoo, CEO Caribbean Banking RBC, reaffirms the company’s belief in the power of the arts to enrich lives and enhance our communities. “This is why we are committed to the development of emerging talent in the markets in which we serve,” said Mr. Sookoo. “We want to create opportunities and enhance prospects that can take their careers to the next level.”
For the last two years, RBC has been expanding its emerging artist footprint in the Caribbean through partnerships with organisations, festivals and programmes, partnerships that encourage budding artists to reach for their professional aspirations while broadening their networks. For instance, at the Bahamas International Film Festival 2011, RBC was the exclusive sponsor of “First Look”, a programme for emerging filmmakers. Similarly, over the last two years, RBC has sponsored the Jamaica Reggae Film Festival, the Side Stage performances at the Saint Lucia Jazz Festival, and the Art Rules Aruba educational arts programme.
RBC is no stranger to partnering with organisations that provide platforms for emerging artists to hone their crafts while producing viable work. Examples of these include the RBC Canadian Painting Competition, which gives exposure to Canada’s budding visual artists; and the Toronto International Film Festival, where for the past ten years RBC has been at the forefront of developing promising film talent through the RBC Emerging Filmmakers Competition. Likewise, at the New York Film Festival, the RBC Emerging Visions programme is a day-long symposium that showcases up-and-coming filmmakers while creating networking opportunities with important industry players.
For the next few weeks, the lens of the film-going public in Trinidad and Tobago will be fixed squarely on the trinidad+tobago film festival. As a flagship Caribbean sponsorship for the bank, Mr. Sookoo also confirmed: “RBC Royal Bank is proud to continue to support the ttff and RBC Focus: Filmmakers’ Immersion. Through our involvement over the last two years, we have seen first-hand the strides these emerging filmmakers have made after participating in the programme. Improvement in their skills ultimately means growth of the film industry in the region. We are happy to be a part of this effort, as it dovetails with our desire to be a strategic partner in our communities.”
As the region gears up for ttff/12 from September 19 – October 2, RBC is once again proud to partner with the festival for RBC Focus: Filmmakers’ Immersion. Excitement, education and numerous opportunities are in store for participants as we prepare for lights…camera…focus!