Sand Dollars, the tender story of an elderly French woman in a relationship with a much younger woman from the Dominican Republic, won the Best Fiction Feature prize last evening at the awards ceremony for the 2015 trinidad+tobago film festival (ttff/15).
Directed by Israel Cárdenas and Laura Amelia Guzmán, the film beat three other films in the official competition to nab the coveted prize.
The Best Documentary Feature went to Aleksandra Maciuszek's Casa Blanca, the moving tale of an elderly woman and her middle-aged son who has Down syndrome, as they navigate daily life in Havana.
Casa Blanca also received a special mention for artistic merit by the Amnesty International Human Rights Prize jury.
In the Trinidad and Tobago film categories, Sean Hodgkinson's Trafficked, about three friends on holiday who become drug mules, walked away with the Best Fiction Feature prize, while Kim Johnson's Re-percussions: An African Odyssey, about attempts to propagate T&T's national instrument in Nigeria, won Best Documentary Feature.
The prize for best project at the first ever Caribbean Film Mart went to Kidnapping Inc of Haiti, by Gaethan Chancy, Bruno Mourral and Raoul Peck.
Here is a full list of the awards:
Best Fiction Feature: Sand Dollars, Israel Cárdenas and Laura Amelia Guzmán, Dominican Republic/Mexico/Argentina
Best Documentary Feature: Casa Blanca, Aleksandra Maciuszek, Cuba/Mexico/Poland
Best Short Film, Narrative: Mommy Water, Julien Silloray, Guadeloupe
Best Short Film, Documentary: Papa Machete, Jonathan David Kane, Haiti/USA/Barbados
Best Trinidad and Tobago Fiction Feature: Trafficked, Sean Hodgkinson
Best Trinidad and Tobago Documentary Feature: Re-percussions: An African Odyssey, Kim Johnson
Best Trinidad and Tobago Short Film, Fiction: Fade to Black, Christopher Guinness
Best Trinidad and Tobago Short Film, Documentary: Riding Bull Cart, Rhonda Chan Soo
People's Choice Award, Best Narrative Feature: Sally's Way, Joanne Johnson, T&T
People's Choice Award, Best Documentary Feature: Vanishing Sail, Alexis Andrews, Antigua
People's Choice Award, Best Short Film: City on the Hill, Patricia Mohammed and Michael Mooleedhar, T&T
Amnesty International Human Rights Prize: My Father's Land, Miquel Galofré and Tyler Johnston, Bahamas/Haiti/Trinidad and Tobago
Amnesty International Human Rights Prize, Special Mention for Artistic Merit: Casa Blanca, Aleksandra Maciuszek, Cuba/Mexico/Poland
RBC: Focus Filmmakers' Immersion Pitch Prize: Kojo McPherson, Guyana
Caribbean Film Mart Best Project Award: Kidnapping Inc, Gaethan Chancy, Bruno Mourral, Raoul Peck
Best Emerging Trinidad and Tobago Filmmaker: Michael Rochford
BPTT Youth Jury Prize for Best Film: Girlhood, Céline Sciamma, France
BPTT Youth Jury Prize Honourable Mention: Güeros, Alonzo Ruizpalacios, Mexico
BPTT Youth Jury Prize, Special Mention for Cinematography: The Greatest House in the World, Ana V. Bojórquez and Lucía Carreras, Guatemala/Mexico
Image: A still from Sand Dollars
Courtesy Trinidad-and-Tobago Film Festival 2015 (ttff/15)