Movie enthuses, Caribbean Diaspora, Trinidadians and Tobagonians residents in New York recently had the opportunity to view Positive and Pregnant, a film produced in Trinidad and Tobago, which had its premiere international screening at the New York International Film Festival on May 1st. The film has received rave reviews since it was first screened in Trinidad and Tobago to coincide with the international observance of World Aids Day in December 2010.
Positive and Pregnant is a short film produced in Trinidad and Tobago by the Walker-Lela Foundation, a charitable organization, with one of its objectives to assist in the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) of HIV/AIDS. It also seeks to make its audiences more aware of the treatment opportunities available to HIV positive expectant mothers and to encourage persons to be tested for HIV. The Executive Producer for the piece is the Embassy of the United States of America’s President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). The Docudrama was produced by a team of emerging filmmakers. They are the founders of the Walker-Lela Foundation for Women’s Empowerment; Candice Lela-Rolingson and Film Director Stacy Lela. The screenplay was written by Nyron Rolingson, video production was done by FORCEFED Productions. The film features an all-local (Trinidad and Tobago) cast of burgeoning and experienced actors. Jeanine Lee Kim is the lead actress, with Duane Dario “3D” Dixon, Naomi Abiola, Pauline Mark, Lylah Persad in supporting roles. HIV+ activist Lorna Henry appears as herself.
The film first premiered in Trinidad and Tobago at the National Academy of Performing Arts on November 29, 2010, commemorating World AIDS Day. The event was hosted by the HIV/AIDS Unit of The Ministry of The People and Social Development and supported by
The Trinidad and Tobago Film Company. On May 1st, in New York, NY, Positive and Pregnant premiered internationally at the New York International Film Festival.
The New York International Independent Film Festival was founded in 1993 and is one of the largest independent film festivals in the world. The New York International Independent Film and Video Festival have been recognized by the film and entertainment industry as one of the leading film events on the independent festival circuit. The festival hosts film, music and art events in the two entertainment capitals of the United States: New York and Los Angeles. The scope of the festival ranges from high profile to novice, so one experiences an array of films and individuals driven by independent movie making.
The twenty four minute docudrama has been making impact globally, being screened at CaribbeanTales Film Festival, in March 2011 at the George Washington House Barbados to a full house receiving rave reviews. The film will be used in Women’s Panorama and outreach to the Dhow Region of Tanzania in Africa to educate women and families on the Prevention of Mother/Parent to Child Transmission of HIV (PMTCT) with hosted by Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF) in Tanzania Africa from 18th – 26th June 2011.
The production has also been invited to Portobello Film Festival / Caribbean Film Corner, The Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival and many more.
Over the past few months, hundreds in Trinidad & Tobago have taken part in an interactive outreach, with an ultimate goal of eradicating the transmission of HIV/AIDS from mothers or parents to children in Trinidad and Tobago, the Caribbean and Africa by the year 2015. This is only a small step, but there is optimism that it will inspire people to become part of the larger mission.