25th September, 2018: – The Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival’s (TTFF) efforts to help develop a more robust financial market for film financing in Trinidad and Tobago has included education initiatives targeting decision makers from some of the country’s top companies about the film industry and their role as potential investors in local productions. In addressing the creatives and film makers present at the TTFF’s Business Seminar on Thursday 20th September, 2018, Mr. Norris Herbert, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Trade and Industry congratulated the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival for the successful implementation of the festival’s 13th instalment. He reiterated the Ministry’s commitment through FilmTT to “develop and implement projects designed to positively impact industry development, and attract productions to shoot in Trinidad and Tobago”.

The Permanent Secretary noted that the TTFF has also been one of the key contributors to capacity building in the film sector through annual training and information exchange on all aspects of the film industry. He said, The Ministry of Trade and Industry, as the line Ministry for FilmTT and CreativeTT, recognises the value of the creative sector, and particularly the film sector, in the Ministry’s ongoing work to diversify our economy away from traditional energy sources”.

Highlighting examples of films produced in Trinidad and Tobago he added that “the last few years have provided examples of T&T films that have not only screened locally, but through the development of business strategies for the production, are finding audiences and potential sales regionally and internationally.  Through film festivals, film markets and sales and distribution companies, there is reinforcement of the need for the business infrastructure behind the creative idea”. He encouraged participants to use the Business Seminar to equip themselves with the tools to approach their next production with consideration of the full film value chain, from development to exhibition.

Dr. Bruce Paddington, Founder and Festival Director emphasised the importance of the financial and business aspects of the film industry and expressed gratitude to the Ministry of Trade and Industry for its contributions to the development and growth of sector. He affirmed that the TTFF will continue to fulfil its mandate of building film audiences, expertise, capacity building and training”.

Panel presenters included Mr. John Morgan; Ms. Lisa Wickham; Mr. Gian Franco Wilson Mr. Jason Lindsay and Dr. Keron Niles. Panellist encouraged the creatives and industry stakeholders present to make the right connections with Industry specialist and visualise the business and financial potential in the sector. Discussions covered areas such as funding, distribution, the recoupment life cycle as well as co-production.