Double Feature: “Jean Gentil” + “Better Mus’ Come” Top T&T Film Fest

October 4, 2011

Words by Jesse Serwer

The 2011 edition of the Trinidad & Tobago Film Festival, which brought features, documentaries and shorts from across the Caribbean to Port of Spain the last few weeks, concluded Sunday with Storm Saulter’s Jamaican period piece Better Mus’ Come (which we’ve been talking up in this space seemingly forever) taking home the People’s Choice award for best feature. Winning top honors from the festival’s jury was a film we hadn’t yet heard of, Dominican Republic-shot Jean Gentil. Directed by Laura Guzmรกn and Israel Cรกrdenas, a husband and wife team from DR and Mexico, respectively, Jean Gentil follows an educated, middle-aged Haitian man living in Santo Domingo who faces an existential crisis after he’s unable to secure work. All sorts of intriguing cross-cultural connections there. Watch the trailer for Jean Gentil, which recently screened at Lincoln Center in New York and has been picked up for distribution by Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna’s Canana Films, below, and check the trailer for Better Mus’ Come if you haven’t yet had the chance to.

Also taking home awards from Trinidad were Alex de Verteuil and Elizabeth Topp’s โ€™70: Remembering a Revolution, a documentary about the 1970 Black Power uprising in T&T, which won for best local feature film; Hit Me with Music, Miquel Galofrรฉ’s dancehall documentary, which won the jury prize and people’s choice awards for best documentary; and Chinee Girl,ย  Natalie Wie’s documentary about Chinese women in T&T, won the people’s choice award for best short.