AFTT 2017 WRAP REPORT
July 24 - 30, 2017 Port Of Spain
AFTT 2017 was a splendid success!
Now in our third year AFTT has grown tremendously and has solidified a place in the Trinidad and Tobago festival calendar as an important and stimulating event not to be missed.
Once again our Grand Opening at The Central Bank Auditorium, the Main Programme & AFTT Jr. at The Little Carib Theatre, our Classic Series at The UWI Film Programme and the Movie Maxi Series on the Brian Lara Promenade were highly anticipated and enjoyed by all.
This year we proudly launched NollyWatch and hosted our first guest filmmaker. These new initiatives were welcomed with open arms by our patrons whose numbers grew by more than 50% from our inception in 2015. With limited advertising due to budget constraints, this growth was attained for the most part by word of mouth, and speaks volumes of the quality and appeal of our festival.
“African cinema can offer us models for developing a rich and vibrant industry right here at home in the Caribbean.
Africa Film T&T is meant to be a fresh source of inspiration.
The stories we believe about ourselves, and others, shape how we move through the world.”
— Asha Lovelace
AFTT Festival Director
Our Opening Night was the hottest ticket in town with over 400 guests in attendance.
It was a night of film and festivity with moving addresses from the ever engaging Dr. Hollis "Chalkdust" Liverpool, H.E Xoliswa Nomatamsanqa Ngwevela, High Commissioner of South Africa and AFTT festival director Asha Lovelace who assured us that AFTT is meant to be a fresh source of inspiration.
This was followed by the film Frontières by Burkina Faso filmmaker Apolline Traoré, one of the leading ladies in contemporary African cinema. The evening went on in fine AFTT style with South African wine, cocktails, music, Nigerian hors d'oeuvres and great conversation.
We launched AFTT 2017 with our Movie Maxi screening on the Brian Lara Promenade.
Now a fixed feature of AFTT, this was a wonderful evening of ‘pop up’ cinema with the Nollywood favourite “Just Not Married”. Crowds gathered, grabbed food from nearby vendors and sat together engaged and entertained.
This year we were delighted to honour Med Hondo, one of the pillars of African cinema in our African Classics Series.
We screened two of his films that have been out of circulation for decades. This was a rare treat for our audience at the UWI Film Programme studio, who were captivated by his militant style of filmmaking and by the unsettling relevance of colonial ideologies that still persist 50 years after the films.
Once again, for AFTT Jr. we carefully selected films specifically for children and they loved it.
We were also thrilled to welcome our friends from the St. Dominic’s home and several camps to participate in this festival and get a taste of African cinema.
AFTT 2017 presented for the very first time NollyWatch - an entire day of screenings of Nollywood films.
Nollywood is now the second largest film industry in the world and we were proud to co-curate this wonderful day of Nigerian cinema with the Abuja International Film Festival and feature Nollywood’s highest grossing film thus far.
In keeping with our commitment to programming films that not only entertain but also celebrate the diversity and creativity across the African continent, AFTT’s 2017 Main Programme screened an array of beautiful and intriguing films that left our audiences spellbound, contemplative and most of all talking. Our carefully selected programme of shorts, documentaries and feature films brought a steady flow of excited spectators all wanting to see more.
2017 was a milestone year as we welcomed our first guest filmmaker, hailing from Nigeria, Mr. Onyeka Nwelue. It was an honour to host Mr. Nwelue, an award-winning novelist, filmmaker, professor, blogger and T.V. personality, as he brought a wealth of knowledge and perspective to his Q&A session after the screening of his documentary film, The House of Nwapa. AFTT also facilitated a discourse in the Spirituality in Traditional Igbo Religion and Cosmology featuring Mr. Nwelue at The Philosophical Society of Trinidad & Tobago in Barataria. The evening opened up an enriching and rousing discussion in keeping with our mission to provide dialogue, learning opportunities and development between the Continent and Trinidad & Tobago.
Branded the hottest Afrobeats party in town, AFTT Fever was a great addition to the AFTT list of events.
Euphoria lounge was pumping as everyone danced the night away to great selections from Fela Kuti to Machel Montano to Dj Davido and the very latest afrobeats music.
Our AFTT Market brought a lovely touch of colour and craft to the theatre lobby.
AFTT memorabilia including custom totes, t-shirts, hoodies and a beautiful selection of African and African inspired products were on sale to all our patrons.
After an uplifting week of great events and movies, AFTT 2017 closed with the screening of the beautiful South African film ‘Vaya’. This moving film has been sweeping up awards across the festival circuit. We were pleased the have H.E High Commissioner of South Africa give some positive and inspiring closing remarks.
Africa Film Trinidad and Tobago 2017 exceeded our expectations.
AFTT 2018 here we come!
We would like to once again thank our kind sponsors, who have the vision to realize the power of creativity and for supporting this incredible and important venture.
The AFTT team.