GATFFEST 2017 'From the Streets to the Screen

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gatffest.jpgGATFFEST, the rebranded Greater August Town Film Festival, is hailed as the Caribbean's premier community film festival and this year the event marks its significant five-year milestone under the theme "From the Streets to the Screen."

The festival of films got its 2017 staging rolling with the official launch last week at the The Atrium, Faculty of Medical Sciences Teaching and Research Complex, UWI.

An initiative of the UWI Community Film Festival and Centre for Tourism and Policy Research, at The University of the West Indies (UWI) the mission of the GATFFEST Film Festival is to serve as a platform for local and international exposure of film makingtalent - directors, producers, casts and crews. The UWI Community Film Project, a community-based initiative supporting the UWI Township Project , offers training in film and video production for youth in a number of underserved communities.

According to the organizers, the festival was introduced in 2013 as an avenue to showcase the films produced by the graduates of the UWI Community Film Project. However, GATFFEST has evolved and now provides an ideal opportunity to showcase new and emerging filmmakers who are telling stories through a mix of short films and documentaries. The film festival features premieres and special events and panel discussions with stakeholders in tourism, academia and the film industry. The event also includes after-film discussions with filmmakers.

Professor Ian Boxill, Chairman of Gatffest explained that "The Festival has provided a platform for our graduates but more importantly for those persons who have an interest and who have made films. GATFFEST provides an outlet for them. It's largely a community festival and most of the local material is mobilized from among the communities. While the festival focuses on community building and development we want our filmmakers to compete with those from across the world and in attracting regional and international films, it shows them what they need to aspire to."

Activities during the event include film workshops and the screening of local, regional and international SHORT films along with an Awards Ceremony. Spanning the genres: drama, comedy, action, sci-fi, documentary, animation and suspense, the festival caters to a wide audience. The premiere film for 2017, Children of the Incursion, is a documentary which explores the psycho-social impact, seven years later, of the Tivoli incursion on the children who lived through the ordeal.

Patron of GATTFEST is Professor Sir Kenneth Hall

 

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