History has been made in the Trinidad and Tobago film and television industry with the signing of a partnership agreement between TTT Ltd (the state broadcaster of Trinidad and Tobago) and the Filmmakers Collaborative of Trinidad and Tobago (FILMCO). This groundbreaking arrangement puts local content producers at the forefront of TTT’s programming and promotional schedules. The promise to air more local content on the nation’s television station was signalled in August last year (2018) during the launch of the rebranding of the station, when the name was changed from Caribbean New Media Group (CNMG) to TTT Limited – a name which dates back to August 24, 1962, when the station first came on air.
Founded in January 2017, FILMCO is a non-profit organisation dedicated to creating a sustainable ecosystem for film and television producers and directors in Trinidad & Tobago and the wider Caribbean and to being a leader in the sustained development of a diverse audio-visual industry.
The deal between the two organisations will allow for the payment of licensing fees to filmmakers, coordinated and curated by FILMCO, based on content type and duration. It will also see local content given pride of place on TTT three nights a week during prime time, in the first instance.
TTT’s Chairman, Lisa Agard, says,
“Partnering with FILMCO is instrumental to fulfilling the mandate of having local content at the centre of the network’s programming. We are excited that TTT is able to contribute to the growth of our local film industry. Our local actors, producers and storytellers will now be featured on free to air television in every home in Trinidad and Tobago; and that’s something worth celebrating!”
Local film industry veteran and founding member of FILMCO, Dion Boucaud adds,
“This deal lays the foundation for the development of a sustainable industry – one which will support jobs in every sector of the society and train, inspire and provide a platform for this and future generations of storytellers.”
According to FILMCO’s Danielle Dieffenthaller – an independent producer and director –
“This deal is fifty years overdue! It allows us to earn a living in our field and to see ourselves, once again, on our television screen. It also allows a new generation to understand themselves as Trinbagonians while instilling a renewed sense of national pride.”
Following on the heels of the launch of TTT Limited, there is new confidence that local content is key to shaping the development of our society. Newly appointed Acting CEO, Lisa Wickham added, “I am pleased that TTT can create a space and platform where local content can be showcased, because this is the direction in which we’re heading as a network.”