‘Trinidad Remains’ Shines At LA And London Film Festivals

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The UK-TT Film Trinidad Remains is making waves on the international festival circuit. 

The film was selected as one of 500 films from 5,000 submissions for the London Short Film Festival in January 2024. One month later Trinidad Remains formed part of the line up of over 140 films at the 32nd Pan African Film & Arts Festival in Los Angeles, California, USA.

The brainchild of UK-based, Trinidadian filmmaker Karen Martinez, Trinidad Remains premiered at the trinidad + tobago film festival (ttff) in September, 2023 where it won the Best Narrative Short Film Award. 

This film is the product of a pioneering UK-TT collaboration. UK-based T&T writer-director Martinez, joined forces with UK’S award-winning producer Natasha Dack-Ojumu of Tigerlily Productions, and Trinidadian producer Lisa Wickham of Imagine Media International, to bring to life the story of a British woman visiting her ancestral home for the first time.

Emotional and evocative, the story sells itself. Dack-Ojumu, alongside Martinez, secured funding for the short from the British Film Institute (BFI) and C15 Studios, while Wickham secured funding from FilmTT and TASC Enterprises Limited. Wickham also formed strategic partnerships with instrumental organisations such as the Chaguaramas Development Authority (CDA), the Airports Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (AATT), the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS), the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts and the Ministry of Trade and Industry, to successfully execute the film.

The script was inspired by Martinez’ experience as a Trinidadian living in London for over 30 years and is based on a storyline from Scattered, the feature script that Martinez is developing with Dack Ojumu and Tigerlily Productions, also funded by BFI.

Shooting for the film took place in January 2023, with a local crew of 32 persons supporting the UK-Spain team. Among the local crew were emerging filmmakers who benefited from hands-on training on the set of Trinidad Remains, as part of FilmTT’s series initiative “Meet the Practitioner- Lessons with Lisa” under the guidance of Wickham.

In front of the camera, acclaimed actors Syntyche Bishop and Kevon Brooks were cast alongside British actress Leonie Elliot, known for her starring role in BBC’s Call the Midwife. This, as the lush terrains of the Northern range formed the perfect backdrop to this compelling story, underscoring the inextricable link between the land and its people.

aptains of industry at a private investor screening, praised the cinematography and original storytelling, applauded the stunning visuals of the natural landscapes and the authenticity with which the actor’s delivered their lines. With rave reviews received from audiences, producers Dack-Ojumu and Wickham look forward to full support for the production of the TT-UK feature film, Scattered, scheduled to be shot in Trinidad over the next year. “People want to see more”, Martinez observed, “they want to see how the characters develop and how the journey ends.”

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