The Caribbean film industry is for the first time in its history being promoted at one of the sector’s most popular international markets with a dedicated stand at the European Film Market (EFM).
Jamaica is among the 10 Caribbean nations participating in this year’s staging of the film market.
UNESCO, as part of the implementation of the European Union funded Programme Transcultura, integrating Cuba, the Caribbean and the European Union through culture and creativity, has joined hands with the Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale) to enhance the Caribbean film industry representation and access to European Film Market opportunities.
Transcultura is funding the region’s participation at the Berlinale which ends February 22. The festival will attract more than 10,000 representatives of the international film and media industries from over 100 countries.
“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 program, is committed to supporting the region’s cultural and creative industries and making their stories accessible to the world,” said Alessandra Borchi, Transcultura program 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 ten countries across 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.
Transcultura is also supporting the participation of five young Caribbean producers in the EFM’s Toolbox programs. 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 program aimed at providing business, marketing and networking tools to underrepresented groups in the film industry.
With the financial support of Euros15 million from the European Union, Transcultura represents UNESCO’s most ambitious cooperation initiative in the Latin American and the Caribbean region.
It aims to create professional opportunities for young people in the cultural and creative industries through exchange and cooperation in the Caribbean.
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, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.
To date, approximately 3,000 people have participated in the activities organised by the programme which was implemented in 2020.