What is Ordinary?

‘Going Beyond’ Barbados Short Film

‘Going Beyond’ is a short Film which, according to writer/ director Damien Pinder ‘explores the rising issue of child custody deprivation and the psychological effects it can have on both child and deprived parent, when in this situation an estranged wife denies her husband the right to speak to or see their son…’

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The film which won Best Editing at the 2014 Barbados Visual Media Awards was Pinder’s Capstone thesis for his BFA in Creative Arts. ‘The idea for the film came about because I wanted to do something that was topical in Barbados, which had an appeal that can resonate beyond geographical locations; and I felt as if this was something that continues to be an issue globally.’

Filmmaker Damien Pinder

‘Going Beyond’ featuring Clish Gittens, Rotchell Gibbons and Kyei Hope will be featured at the Caribbean Tales International Film Festival 2015 making it the only film produced in Barbados to do so.


AFROPUNK / D.C.: ‘The Most Wicked Party’

AFROPUNK is coming to DC

AFROPUNK has announced AFROPUNK DC to happen August 6th at an undisclosed location, the next stop on The Most Wicked Party Event Series in conjunction with Redd’s Wicked Apple and Mango. Fresh off of a highly successful AFROPUNK Chicago featuring performances by Danny Brown and Hannibal Buress, AFROPUNK DC will host performances by Living Colour, Thundercat and DC natives Black Alley. Redd’s Wicked Apple is continuing its partnership with cultural collective group, AFROPUNK, to curate the events that merge the multi-dimensional worlds of urban alternative music, art, food and technology. 

Additionally, AFROPUNK will be creating content specifically for DC, as they do for all their events, called Born To Be Different. The DC stop, hosted by Rosemary Fiki will feature acclaimed DC visual artist Cita Sadeli Chelove and the great Chef KPE. To RSVP, click here:


Call for Projects: Caribbean Film Mart + Film Database

The call for submissions for the inaugural Caribbean Film Mart, which will take place from 24-27 September 2015, is now open.

 The Caribbean Film Mart will be held in Port of Spain during the 10th edition of the trinidad+tobago film festival (ttff), and is seeking Caribbean fiction feature films and creative documentaries in development or pre-production.

 The primary goal of the Caribbean Film Mart is to foster direct relationships between the Caribbean and the international film industry, by stimulating and creating viable cinematic co-productions.

According to Emilie Upczak, ttff’s Creative Director: “The Mart is poised to introduce the unique voices and aesthetic of Caribbean film and filmmakers to the international film industry, through four days of meetings, presentations, and networking events. International producers, sales agents and film funds will meet one-on-one with filmmakers who will have opportunities to forge partnerships that could lead to the successful funding and distribution of their films.”

 The selected filmmakers will have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with, and pitch their projects to, international film producers, film commissioners, sales agents and film funds, forging partnerships that can lead to the production and distribution of their films. The Mart will include panel discussions, networking receptions and a location tour, and participants will also be invited to attend the ttff/15 awards ceremony.

 All applications must be for projects in development or pre-production to be made in the Caribbean. Either the producer or the director must be a Caribbean citizen or resident, or from the Caribbean diaspora, or an international filmmaker living and working in the Caribbean.

ttff15_cfm call for submissions - grp discussion

 All submissions for the Caribbean Film Mart must be made online at no later than 22 May 2015. There is no submission fee.

 The Caribbean Film Mart will be held in English, with interpreters provided as needed. Application materials should be submitted in English.

 If you have any questions, visit our FAQ page: (see full criteria listed below). 

 The project is co-financed by the ACP Cultures+ Programme, funded by the European Union (European Development Fund) and implemented by the ACP Group of States.

 Selection criteria:

  • The main criteria for selection are the viability and quality of the projects and the demonstrable talent of the directors and/or producers.
  • Each project will be considered on its own merits.
  • If selected for the Caribbean Film Mart, a completed screenplay (for fiction projects) must be submitted to the ttff by August 15th.
  • Again, the project MUST be made in the CARIBBEAN and either the producer or the director must be a Caribbean citizen or resident, or from the Caribbean diaspora, or an international filmmaker living and working in the Caribbean.

 Specific conditions:

  • For selected projects, one representative, either the producer or director, must be present for the duration of the Caribbean Film Mart.
  • Selected projects will receive industry accreditation for the Caribbean Film Mart.
  • Economy class airfare and accommodation will be provided for one representative per project for successful overseas participants.
  • You may only apply if your film is still in the development or pre-production stage. However, if you have shot a teaser or trailer, you may still be eligible to apply.
  • If you are selected, you must submit your completed script by August 15th.
  • Each applicant may submit only one project.

 Information required:

  • Title of film
  • Director, producer and writer
  • Estimated running time
  • Logline
  • Synopsis
  • Treatment
  • Notes of intention from the director and the producer
  • Script (if completed, in original language)
  • Top sheet of the budget in local currency with the US exchange rate
  • Financial plan including financing secured for the project if any
  • Director’s résumé
  • Producer’s résumé
  • Links to work of the director and producer

 The Caribbean Film Mart is being implemented in association with the Fundación Global Democracia y Dessarollo from the Dominican Republic, the Association for the Development of Art Cinema and Practice in Guadeloupe, the Foundation of New Latin American Cinema and the Festival Régional et International du Cinéma de Guadeloupe.


ttff15_cfm call for submissions - b+w speed dating

In addition to the Caribbean Film Mart, the ttff will also unveil the Caribbean Film Database—a website of feature-length independent Caribbean Narrative, Documentary and Experimental feature films from 2000 to the present. The Database will also include a select number of Caribbean classics, contain a bibliography of film resources, a Caribbean Women in Film page and links to other film festivals, film commissions and schools in the region.

“We wanted to create an online resource that was easily accessible, well organised and reflected the visual palette of the Caribbean film movement. This resource will allow filmmakers in the region to more easily collaborate, will give audiences greater ability to access films and filmmakers from the region, and provide the international industry with a one-stop shop for Caribbean film,” said the ttff’s Art Director, Melanie Archer, who is coordinating the Caribbean Film Database.

For more information on the Caribbean Film Mart, send an email to; for the Caribbean Film Database, contact

 The trinidad+tobago film festival (ttff) celebrates films from and about the Caribbean and its diaspora, as well as from world cinema, through an annual festival and year-round screenings. In addition, the ttff seeks to facilitate the growth of Caribbean cinema by offering a wide-ranging industry programme and networking opportunities.








‘Check It’ Doc. Explores Transgender|Gay D.C. Gang

‘Check It’ is about a about a gay African-American gang struggling to survive in one of Washington D.C.’s most violent neighborhoods. As one of their mentors says in the film, “The Check It is the only documented gay gang in America, maybe the world.” Being gay on these streets carries a dangerous stigma—and standing up for who they are is much more than an issue of pride for the Check It—they are literally risking their lives. It’s a deeply intimate portrait of five childhood friends—founding members of the gang—as they try to claw their way out of that life through an unlikely avenue—fashion.

The film is close to being finished, but could use help in securing funds to assure its completion. This is not just an amazing story but its also a good cause to help at-risk kids.


For more information on the Film and how to donate please click the link below:

•  Also visit the film’s FB page (

•  Tweet about the campaign: @CheckItFilm #CheckIt #CheckOutCheckIt

•  Share the campaign with your friends!

Check It



Jamaica Film Festival 2015 – Call For Submissions

Jamaica film festival

The Festival accepts submissions from filmmakers anywhere.

 Visit for more information on the Festival and Submission details. 

Courtesy Tammi Browne-Bannister for 


New Voices in Black Cinema at BAM

New Voices in Black Cinema returns for its fifth year with narrative features, documentaries, and shorts that redefine the black experience in America and around the world.

Presented in partnership with ActNow Foundation. Since its founding in 2005, the ActNow Foundation has been a production company and advocate for diverse, independent filmmakers and playwrights interested in producing work reflecting the infinite range of African-American and Latino experiences across the globe. ActNow hosts regular events in Brooklyn to showcase the best in independent theater and film. Additionally, they are dedicated to fostering the growth of New York’s brightest and most talented through regular panels, speakers, and workshops.

Part of BAMcinématek

*[From BAM website]

The Festival Runs from March 26-29 2015 in Brooklyn New York.

Here’s a trailer for one of the films to be featured at the festival; the Nigerian horror written and directed by C.J. Obasi: ‘Ojuju’





HBO Announces Diverse/ Emerging Writers Fellowship

HBO has announced that the company is looking for original content from new, emerging writers from diverse backgrounds through the #HBOAccess Writing Fellowship now in its second year.
The fellowship follows the success of the HBOAccess Directing Fellowship and underscores HBO’s desire to continue to develop new creative talent from diverse backgrounds.

Application process opens on 4 March 2015 and submissions will be accepted via Withoutabox. Find out more here:


Kudos To Caribbean Film at Rotterdam Film Festival

In another sign that Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean’s film industry is beginning to take off, a number of regional filmmakers and films made their mark at the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) in the Netherlands, which ran from January 21 to February 1.

Included among these filmmakers was a T&T contingent comprising Damian Marcano, Vashti Harrison, Christian James and Christopher Din Chong. Also attending IFFR from T&T was Annabelle Alcazar, Programme Director, trinidad+tobago film festival (ttff).

IFFR, which celebrated its 44th anniversary this year, is one of the older film festivals, and one of the most prestigious, frequently appearing on top-ten lists of festivals. Its focus is on screening films by emerging independent filmmakers from around the world, particularly those with an interest in telling daring stories that embody authentic representations of the cultures from which they come.

One such film was writer and director Damian Marcano’s debut feature, the urban drama God Loves the Fighter. A world premiere at the ttff/13, where it won two awards, God Loves the Fighter proved a hit with Rotterdam’s audiences, ranking 42nd out of the 160 feature films up for the festival’s audience award.

Also screening at IFFR was Field Notes, Vashti Harrison’s short, black-and-white experimental documentary about supernatural folklore characters of T&T. Field Notes was previously a selection of the ttff/14, where it won the jury prize for best local short documentary.

T&T filmmaker Christian James was also at IFFR, where he participated in the Rotterdam Lab for film producers, of which the ttff is an official partner. The lab is an opportunity for filmmakers from around the world to meet with producers with a view to forming co-productions in order to get their films made and seen.

James attended the lab after winning the bpTT-sponsored Best Film in Development award at the ttff/14, for a drama about the notorious mass murderer Boysie Singh.

“My experience at the IFFR 2015 was nothing short of incredible,” said James. “There were 58 producers and I made it my duty to meet every one at least once. However, there were a few producers I personally connected with, and now have four potential collaborators/co-producers.”

He continued, “I believe foreign producers want to co-produce with us here in the Caribbean as they recognise the fresh voice that we can bring to the world cinema table.”

In addition to the success of the T&T filmmakers, there was also success for filmmakers from Cuba and the Dominican Republic.

The Project of the Century, the second feature by Cuban writer-director Carlos Machado Quintela, was an IFFR selection, and won one of three Hivos Tiger awards for best feature. Quintela’s first feature, The Swimming Pool, was a ttff/13 selection, while his follow-up short,Bullock, won the jury prize for Best Narrative Short at the ttff/14.

Also from Cuba, writer-director Carlos Lechuga and his producer, Claudia Calviño, won the Wouter Barendrecht Award for their film Santa and Delfín, currently in pre-production. Their first feature, Melaza, won the jury award for Best Narrative Feature at the ttff/13. At the ttff/14, Lechuga attended the RBC Royal Bank Filmmakers’ Immersion, while Calviño was a part of the European Audiovisual Entrepreneurs Producers’ Lab.

Finally, another Caribbean feature screening at IFFR was Sand Dollars, by Laura Amelia Guzmán of the Dominican Republic and Israel Cárdenas of Mexico. Their previous feature,Jean Gentil, won the jury prize for Best Narrative Feature at the ttff/11.

The trinidad+tobago film festival (ttff) celebrates films from and about the Caribbean and its diaspora, as well as from world cinema, through an annual festival and year-round screenings. In addition, the ttff seeks to facilitate the growth of Caribbean cinema by offering a wide-ranging industry programme and networking opportunities. The ttff is presented by Flow and given leading sponsorship by bpTT, and supporting sponsorship by the Embassy of the United States of America. For further information visit

Beyond Publishing II. – ‘Rob the Robot Boy’ + Creator Alexandre Haynes

In October of 2014 we published an article featuring Beyond Publishing’s Delvin Howell and his quality comic book ‘Offset’. Because of the quality work these youngsters in Barbados are producing I thought it would be great to kick off the year off by featuring Part II of CitySugarr’s chat with Beyond Publishing with ‘Rob the Robot Boy’s’ Alexandre Haynes. I’m excited about the possibilities for the New Year and take this opportunity to thank you for stopping by and sticking around to see this thing grow.

Mark Jason Welch 

How did you come up with the idea for ‘Rob’ and how long have you been working on it? 

Rob is a novel about a human boy in a robot body. His is name is Rob and the novel follows his small life within the large world that he lives in.


As he explores the world he discovers the world not only for himself but for the reader as well, a way of indirectly telling a bigger story through many smaller stories. With a whimsical theme many serious concepts about humanity and our place in the world can be explored. For me “Rob” started as an idea I had in school, a bit of how I viewed the world and how persons behaved like machines. The character “Rob” himself was a pretty generic looking design but as I developed the idea I realized I could show a lot of feeling through his shape and actions. The decision to make Rob a child though was a big one, based on a few ideals I wanted him to convey. For one thing he shows the innocence of a child himself caught up in a world created by adults and poses the question, ‘At which point do we become machines?’ Are we machines when we completely conform to the world we are born into or are we machines from the start and is there no hope of getting out? Those are just a few of the concepts I’m exploring with the story right now, I’m working on a second issue which develops the story deeper.

lift off

How has the reception been for the comic book? Have you managed to locate an audience outside of the Caribbean?

So far it has been moderate, it’s been picking up pace since I showed with Beyond Publishing in Summer of 2014 at Animekon. They have really helped me a whole lot and for that I am very thankful. I am hoping that readers who would’ve bought the first book would be more excited for the second issue to come. I have not really been able to expand out of Barbados but it’s a work in progress

Has it been difficult to legitimise yourself as a comic book artist (in the Caribbean) and is there room for the art form?

It has not been too easy to establish myself as an artist. To be honest, being an artist on a whole in Barbados is actually quite difficult, but there’s definitely a need for comic artists here and also writers. We have many influences here in the Caribbean in terms of cultures and ideas and people through a history of migration and all these factors create a perfect breeding ground for art…just art on a whole. For persons wanting to dive into the comic book aspect of it, many stories can be realized in visual form solely from the folklore of many territories within the Caribbean coupled with influences from the outside of the region many variations can be created. All we really need are for persons to take the time to realize how much potential there is here and work at bringing it out.

What’s the best way for folks interested in new exciting artists like yourself to purchase your work and keep up with ‘Rob’ and your other works?

The best for persons to purchase my books and to keep up with what we are doing is to visit Beyond Publishing.

The View
The View by Alexandre Haynes. All artwork in the article by Alexandre Haynes from the series ‘Rob The Robot Boy’ from Beyond Publishing


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