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Trini filmmaker wins two awards at Toronto film fest

A still from filmmaker Paul Pryce’s film “The Deliverer.” He recently pitched a series version of the film at the Toronto International Film Festival last week.
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A Trinidadian filmmaker recently won two awards at the Toronto International Film Fest last week.

At the festival’s CaribbeanTales Film Incubator — a coinciding segment that gives a platform specifically for Caribbean filmmakers to showcase their projects — actor and movie maker Paul Pryce took home the incubator’s People’s Choice and the Best Pitch awards for his television series “Serpents Mouth.” In preparation for the event’s pitch competition, entrants are tasked with completing a workshop, which Pryce found extremely helpful.

“It was really wonderful,” he said. “We worked really hard to prepare the pitch because we never pitched like this before, and we ended up winning, and that was because we did really tremendous amount of work.”

The immersive three-day workshop preps and equips filmmakers work with mentors who assist them with tips on crafting and pitching their projects within a time frame, and also presenting it to audiences with confidence, according to Pryce.

He says before and during his pitch, he emphasized presenting his very thrilling series idea, and offered up his winning personality to sell it.

“My pitch was very clear — I showed what the story was, and I think I’m pretty charming because when I talk to people I’m genuine,” he said. “I guess to win those are some of things made it successful, clear, and profession­al.”

And keeping it short and sweet helps because one of the ways audiences are looking for is to be highly impressed in a short amount of time.

“We have four minutes, and I think less is more because if you get too much rope to hang yourself, you won’t get to the main point — you have to leave people wanting more,” he said.

His series is an adaptation of his forthcoming feature film, “The Deliverer.” In the Trinidad-based film about a man trying to stop the government from taking over his community, the story also delves into the drug trafficking world and political bribery.

He said that in pitching his feature version of the film to the audience, he realized the importance of story telling.

“What I learned is that it’s all storytelling and telling a very concise story,” said Pryce. “It’s really about selling the emotion and captivating the audiences.”

And one of those ways that people is creating and forming a multimedia format of bringing those stories to light, according to Pryce.

Pryce foresees big things in the year to come. Last year he was at the Cannes Film Festival for the word premiere of his thriller film “Come Out, Come Out.” And this year, his series showed at the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival and will also show at the Montreal Black Film Festival this week. He said he was meeting with different studios to shop his series, and will enter post-production for his feature length version of the series, which is co-directed by Ron Morales.

He said as a Caribbean filmmaker he was excited to bring forth stories related to the island experience and was honored at being able to show his projects to international audiences.

“It’s all great and just wonderful,” he said. “Last year I was at Cannes short film fest for another film, so it’s great to be here for another film fest. I’ve been lukcy to already meet new contacts and it’s great to see West Indian material so well-received.”

Reach reporter Alexandra Simon at (718) 260–8310 or e-mail her at asimon@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @AS1mon.
Updated 5:13 pm, September 28, 2018
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