Animated short wins FilmTT’s The Pitch – Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Dionne Mc Nicol-Stephenson, chairman, FilmTT;  second-place winner Solange Plaza; and Leslie-Ann Wills-Caton, general manager, FilmTT. -
Dionne Mc Nicol-Stephenson, chairman, FilmTT; second-place winner Solange Plaza; and Leslie-Ann Wills-Caton, general manager, FilmTT. –

Jason Lindsay of Full Circle Animation is the winner of FilmTT’s The Pitch. His production titled She Coming Back took the $15,000-prize, beating Solange Plaza into second place, with Kevin Adams placing third.

The six filmmakers from the Business of Film: Script to Screen Programme presented their script ideas for a short film (5-25minutes) before a panel of industry judges on August 6. On September 30, FilmTT then hosted its first-ever live show, The Pitch, on TTT to reveal the winners, said a media release from FilmTT.

Commenting on his win, Lindsay said the story did not exist before the Script to Screen project.

“I always wanted to do something about that culture of the barrel but I could not find the right project or story for it…Through the (workshop) sessions things, you know, became clearer, the story was originally a lot more direct, and then we started to hear about universality, I started becoming a little more fantastic about it and trying to approach a little more indirect so that it’s a little less sad,” Lindsay said in the release.

Since the completion of the Script to Screen programme, She Coming Back has entered script competitions and made it as a quarter-finalist in both the Los Angeles International Screenplay Awards and the Screenwriters Network – Solokow Award, Coverfly’s The Red List Top20 for sci-fi shorts, and FilmTT’s additional Pitch prize, a screening at the Pan African Film Festival in LA (2022/2023) courtesy the international judge, Sherrese Moise, the release said.

I Dream of Calypso which earned second place for Plaza’s JIS Productions Ltd and Adams’ Trinigoodfellas Film & Video Production titled Love for Steel, were also awarded development funding by FilmTT. Their family-friendly shorts will feature elements of Trinidad and Tobago’s culture in the respective genres: action/adventure, romance, comedy/drama, and animated sci-fi adventure.

The winners were selected by a panel of local and international judges with a cross-section of industry expertise in programming, production, marketing and distribution.

One of The Pitch’s judges, Lorraine O’Connor, manager at C15, was in high praise of the competitors’ work.

“I was really impressed with the quality and the level of the scripts.

Also the ideas, a lot of interesting ideas, fantasy and animation and we really did see a progression from the initial stage of judging to the final stage of judging. It really has a lot of benefits, we really need to fine-tune our stories and our content, because that is really what people are looking at first,” O’Connor said in the release.

The Script to Screen Programme was a FilmTT initiative that was brought to life with the support from partnering organisations Stage 32, exporTT and TTT. The programme intended to position stakeholders at a greater advantage through access to business opportunities and professional growth, the release said.

Local and international industry professionals facilitated the sessions which included practical components and funding incentives. The workshops aimed to bridge the gaps by providing filmmakers with the proper story/script writing skills, production tools, and marketing and distribution guidelines.

On the future of the Script to Screen programme, general manager of FilmTT Leslie-Ann Wills-Caton said in the release, “The hope is to produce an actual programme that invites film industry professionals to present their story in front of a panel (like on Shark Tank) to acquire funding and potential distribution. The intention is for professionals to learn the art of pitching and be encouraged to create content in the process.”

Chairman of FilmTT Dionne Mc Nicol-Stephenson said, “FilmTT is committed to focus on storytelling and creating content that contributes to the sustainability of our film industry and we are confident that this cohort of filmmakers are prepared to do business and make a scene as soon as the opportunity presents itself.”

To keep up-to-date with this and other initiatives, follow/like FilmTT’s Facebook and Instagram pages: @discoverfilmtt.