CAN GOES TO CANNES – Caribbean Audiovisual Network makes inroads for regional movie-making
The Caribbean Audiovisual Network (CAN) is reporting successful outcomes from its first participation in the prestigious Cannes Film Festival and Market this year under the banner – “Unity is Strength”.
This initiative, was the brain-child of Tony Coco-Viloin, Guadeloupe Film Commissioner and CAN Vice-President and presented the Caribbean, for the first time as a region with a wealth of diverse locations, and world-class technical and human resources for international film projects.
The 34-member delegation was led by the Guadeloupe Regional Council, in partnership with the Caribbean Export Development Agency, who facilitated the participation of the Bahamas, Barbados, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago. CAN Executive Secretary, Ava-Gail Gardiner who was part of the delegation expressed special thanks to the two organizations for making CAN’s participation possible.
Tonika Sealy, Caribbean Export Senior Services Advisor recognized the importance of strategic partnership with the Film France network. “The opportunity to be a part of the Film France stand at the Pantiero International Village, for example, was priceless. Such an association brings tangible meaning to CARIFORUM EU collaboration in this sector and is a gateway to further more tangible partnership such as the negotiation of co production opportunities with France and other European countries.
The key feature of the visit was the pitching of three (3) new films from the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and Trinidad & Tobago and four (4) feature film projects in development from Guadeloupe. The participants reported that this effort was beneficial since it yielded significant results in generating sales, distribution and broadcasting opportunities.
“Our participation in Cannes gave us a broad perspective on the global film market and actual trends as well as direct contacts with buyers around the world for the distribution of our film LOVE CHILD. We met with distributors from Spain, Germany, NY and Los Angeles, and have been invited to several Festivals,” said Leticia Tonos, a Producer/ Director – from the Dominican Republic.
Justine Henzell, a producer from Jamaica was also positive about the experience. “Jamrock Films was delighted to be able to accompany our film GHETT’A LIFE to the Cannes Film Market 2011. It was a fabulous opportunity to pitch the project to a panel of judges and we were delighted to win the pitch competition from such a well-prepared field of participants. Ghett’a Life is represented by Jinga sales agency, who organized a screening that was attended by media and buyers as well as interested festival attendees.”
Another highlight of the three day Caribbean showcase at the prestigious festival was the launch of the documentary from Trinidad “Lioness of the Jungle” with a dynamic two hour performance by the queen of calypso herself, Calypso Rose who is the subject of the documentary.
A major outcome of the programme was the launch of the Caribbean Film Commissions Group which aims to represent the Caribbean as a resource network and to facilitate technical collaboration among countries across the region at multiple-levels.
Nicholas Traube, President of Film France addressed the delegation and invited guests at the Pitching Session, noting that the partnership between the Guadeloupe Regional Council and the Caribbean Audiovisual Network (CAN) and its spin off movements such as the Caribbean Film Commissions Group, would serve as a source of inspiration for the European Network of Film Commissions.