It was out of the need to connect with Guyanese who were interested in seeing films by Guyanese and Caribbean filmmakers that the Timehri Film Festival was born three years ago, according to Romola Lucas, one of its founders. And while the business community and the government
And while the business community and the government have not fully bought in to the festival financially, Lucas is heartened by the response at the community level, in places such as the juvenile centres and the prison.
An attorney by profession, Lucas was fed up of looking at movies “made in Hollywood and tired of seeing movies with stories bearing no relation to my life experience.”
She took matters into her own hands and with the assistance of another first formed the Caribbean Film Academy (CaFA) and later the local film festival that not only showcases Guyanese films but those from other Caribbean countries.
“I’m Guyanese and I love film. I felt very sure there were other Guyanese who love film and wanted to see films by Guyanese and Caribbean filmmakers. I wanted to connect with those people, and watch films with them,” Lucas told Stabroek News in a recent interview.
She had also hoped that there were people in Guyana who wanted to become filmmakers, who would use the festival to explore their interest and be inspired by the work of other artists.
Apart from being involved with the festival since its inception, Lucas has been promoting Caribbean film for the past five years in New York and always wanted to bring films to Guyana in a meaningful way.
Lucas is an accomplished attorney as well and according to her website she has a broad range of experience in transactional matters. Her areas of experience are estate planning, probate and administration, and non-profit law corporate law. Her clients include individuals, senior, small businesses, artists – filmmakers, dancers, writers – and members of the LGBTQ community.
As to what is next for the Timehri Film Festival, Lucas said they plan on expanding the screenings to more remote parts of the country, having more schools participate in the screenings, continuing to bring great Caribbean cinema to Guyanese audiences, and offering a full complement of filmmaking classes/workshops.
As to the motivation behind the name of the festival, Lucas said she never liked the fact that the name of the country’s main airport was changed from Timehri to the name of a person, (Dr Cheddi Jagan) even a former president.