27 Oct Opening Night of AC16 FilmTT’s Opening Remarks
Nneka Luke, General Manager, FilmTT
Opening Night | Animae Caribe Animation and Digital Media Festival
Tuesday 25th October, 2016
I would like to acknowledge my colleagues from CreativeTT, Mr Calvin Bijou, newly-appointed Chair of CreativeTT, and our special guest, Dr Keron Niles of the Economic Advisory Development Board in the Ministry of Planning and Development.
Good evening to you all.
It is indeed a pleasure to be here this evening as we celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Animae Caribe Animation and Digital Media Festival in Trinidad and Tobago. This is truly an amazing accomplishment, not only for animators and filmmakers but for the country as a whole, and FilmTT is proud to have been a sponsor of this Festival since inception in 2001.
At that time, the film company was a small department within the Tourism and Industrial Development Company Limited (TIDCO). As recently-appointed General Manager, I am pleased that the company’s leadership at that time had the foresight and understanding to recognise the value of the animation sector as an integral component of a successful film industry. This Festival is a cornerstone in the sector’s development, and we at CreativeTT and FilmTT are honoured to recognise and participate in this event today; we congratulate the team at Animae Caribe on their perseverance and dedication over the years.
In our role as the state company responsible for the strategic development of the audio-visual and film industry, setting a firm foundation is critical to drive success for all. In that vein, FilmTT’s focus on industry development meant that we directed our support to the Animated Ideas Bootcamp, which took place yesterday. This was a type of creative incubator where aspiring and established animators had the opportunity to be mentored by leading, international animators in the areas of idea creation, story construction, environment and design, and to pitch their projects for further feedback.
Programmes such as the Bootcamp not only add to the ever increasing bank of local film content, but also equip aspiring animation entrepreneurs with the knowledge, tools and techniques to create world-class productions that could potentially invite both local and foreign investment AND penetrate international markets, both essential to long-term economic sustainability.
As you know, diversification continues to be crucial to the evolution of our national economy, and for us at CreativeTT, the creative genius of our citizens in the areas of film, fashion and music, is at the heart of our efforts.
Today I attended the media launch of Youth Business Trinidad and Tobago’s hosting of Global Entrepreneurship Week, taking place November 14-20. Global Entrepreneurship Week is an annual event that takes place in 160 countries, intended to inspire millions to engage in entrepreneurial activity, while connecting them to potential collaborators, mentors and even investors. For the 6th year, Youth Business T&T has taken up the challenge to host the event here, exploring and encouraging entrepreneurship in ICT, agri-business, and more. The organisers indicate that for their symposium on November 18 focused on Creative Industries, the interest and excitement from potential attendees around this field is quite high. This speaks to the potential for more content creators and creative administrators to enter the market, and the continued need for us to work together to strategically build viable sectors with strong foundations so that the content can find audiences, and create income.
In the coming year, FilmTT will continue to facilitate the development of the local film industry through a tight programme of activities. This includes the creation of a 5 – 10- year strategic action plan for the industry that will assess where we are now, set a vision for where we want it to go, and establish action plans for how to get there.
Key to our work will also be rebuilding Trinidad and Tobago’s regional and international film industry network as a means of facilitating new opportunities and access for local content creators. Through these and other plans, FilmTT’s goal is to ensure that Trinidad and Tobago’s audio-visual and film industry becomes a commercially viable, long-term contributor to national wealth.
So on behalf of CreativeTT and FilmTT, congratulations once again to Animae Caribe for spearheading the growth of the animation sector in Trinidad and Tobago, and best wishes for
a successful Festival.