UNESCO and EU to promote Caribbean cinema at the Berlinale’s European Film Market

The content originally appeared on: News Americas Now

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service

For the first time, the European Film Market (EFM) will have a stand dedicated to Caribbean cinema. The UNESCO programme Transcultura: Integrating Cuba, the Caribbean and the European Union through Culture and Creativity, funded by the European Union, will host this space with the aim of promoting the Caribbean film industry in one of the sector’s most important international markets.

The EFM will be held from 16 to 22 February during the Berlin International Film Festival – Berlinale, where more than 10,000 representatives of the international film and media industries from over 100 countries are expected.

‘The Caribbean is a place rich in cultures, traditions and mutual influences, which makes it an endless reservoir for creativity and innovation. UNESCO, through the Transcultura programme, is committed to supporting the region’s cultural and creative industries and making their stories accessible to the world,’ said Alessandra Borchi, Transcultura Programme Coordinator.

Under the slogan ‘Meet the creative impulse of diversity’, Transcultura‘s ‘Cinema from the Caribbean’ stand will offer a promotional display window to institutions and festivals from 10 countries in the region, including the International Havana Film Festival, the production house Collectif 2004 Images from Haiti and the National Film Commission of Barbados. These, in turn, will particularly focus on promoting the work of young filmmakers from their countries.

Supporting young people to promote diversity

Transcultura is also supporting the participation of five young Caribbean producers in the EFM’s Toolbox programmes. With projects ranging from an LGTBI+ documentary in Jamaica to a feature film about motherhood in Trinidad and Tobago, the young producing filmmakers will attend a three week professional mentoring programme aimed at providing business, marketing and networking tools to underrepresented groups in the film industry.

In addition, the talent development programme Berlinale Talents welcomes a female filmmaker from Saint Lucia for the first time. Transcultura supports the participation of Zenzii Michelle Serieux in these training workshops to boost her project ‘Imagine Caribbean’ which promotes young filmmaking in the rural community of Mamiku in her country.

With the financial support of 15 million euros from the European Union, Transcultura represents UNESCO’s most ambitious cooperation initiative in the Latin American and the Caribbean region. It aims at creating professional opportunities for young people in the cultural and creative industries through exchange and cooperation in the Caribbean and with the European Union. The 17 beneficiary countries of Transcultura are: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago. To date, around 3,000 people have participated in the activities organized by the programme.

The ‘Cinema from the Caribbean’ stand is number 137 at the Marriott Hotel and it is integrated by:

The Motion Picture Association of Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados Film Commission, Havana Film Festival (Cuba), Dominican Republic Film Commission, Collectif 2004 Images (Haiti), Jamaican Promotions Corporations, The Audiovisual and Film Association of Saint Lucia, Hairouna Film Festival (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines), The Back Lot International Documentary Festival (Suriname) and FILMCO (Trinidad and Tobago).

Caribbean filmmakers participating in the Toolbox Programmes: Letay Tamara Williams (Jamaica), Sophie Walcott (Trinidad and Tobago), Klieon C. John (Saint Kitts and Nevis) and Leidy Laura Gonz?lez (Dominican Republic).

Berlinale Talents: Zenzii Michelle Serieux (Saint Lucia)

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