UNESCO and EU promoting Caribbean cinema at the Berlinale’s European Film Market
Press Release
February 21, 2023

UNESCO and EU promoting Caribbean cinema at the Berlinale’s European Film Market

For the first time, the European Film Market (EFM) has a stand dedicated to Caribbean cinema at the Berlin Film Festival. The UNESCO programme Transcultura: Integrating Cuba, the Caribbean and the European Union through Culture and Creativity, funded by the European Union, is hosting this space with the aim of promoting the Caribbean film industry in one of the sector’s most important international markets. More than 10,000 representatives of the international film and media industries from over 100 countries are expected to attend the February 16-22 Berlin International Film Festival-Berlinale, a release from the Communications officer of the Transcultura programme states.

“The Caribbean is a place rich in cultures, traditions and mutual influences, which makes it an endless reservoir for creativity and innovation. UNESCO, through the Transcultura programme, is committed to supporting the region’s cultural and creative industries and making their stories accessible to the world,” said Alessandra Borchi, Transcultura Programme co-ordinator.

Under the slogan ‘Meet the creative impulse of diversity, ‘Transcultura & Cinema from the Caribbean’ stand offers a promotional display window to institutions and festivals from 10 countries in the region, including the International Havana Film Festival, the production house Collectif 2004 Images from Haiti and the National Film Commission of Barbados. These, in turn, will particularly focus on promoting the work of young film makers from their countries.

Supporting young people to promote diversity, Transcultura is also supporting the participation of five young Caribbean producers in the EFM’s Toolbox programmes. With projects ranging from an LGTBI+ documentary in Jamaica to a feature film about motherhood in Trinidad and Tobago, the young producing film makers will attend a three week professional mentoring programme aimed at providing business, marketing and networking tools to under represented groups in the film industry.

In addition, the talent development programme, Berlinale Talents, welcomes a female film maker from Saint Lucia for the first time.

With the financial support of Eur15 million from the European Union, Transcultura represents UNESCO’s most ambitious cooperation initiative in the Latin American and the Caribbean region. It aims at creating professional opportunities for young people in the cultural and creative industries through exchange and co-operation in the Caribbean and with the European Union. The 17 beneficiary countries of Transcultura are: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.

To date, around 3,000 people have participated in the activities organized by the programme.

The ‘Cinema from the Caribbean’ stand is number 137 at the Marriott Hotel and it is integrated by:

The Motion Picture Association of Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados Film Commission, Havana Film

Festival (Cuba), Dominican Republic Film Commission, Collectif 2004 Images (Haiti), Jamaican

Promotions Corporations, The Audiovisual and Film Association of Saint Lucia, Hairouna Film Festival-

St Vincent and the Grenadines, The Back Lot International Documentary Festival -Suriname, and FILMCO-Trinidad and Tobago.

Vincentian film maker, Aiko Roudette has taken her own works and that of a number of other creatives from St Vincent and the Grenadines to the festival.