Our collaborative is growing!
—Published on 7th Feb, 2023.
We are excited to announce that our FILMCO family is expanding to include seven new members. Since FILMCO’s inception in 2017, our mandate has been to create an ecosystem that can support Caribbean film producers, writers and directors who are committed to telling Caribbean stories. We have been working hard to build our community by offering the kind of meaningful support, services, visibility and access that can benefit our members. We’re delighted that our efforts are being noticed and we encourage more members of the film fraternity to join our family. Without further ado, let’s introduce our new members:
- Andrei Pierre
- Darpan Varuna Parsan
- Jian Hennings
- Princess Donelan
- Rene Holder
- Rhian Vialva
- Vonley Smith
Click here to learn more about the benefits of becoming a member!
About our new members
Andrei is a fun-loving storyteller from Trinbago with an eye for humanity. He works on diverse projects and maintains an ethnographic approach to story-telling, paying especially strong tribute to our West-Indian heritage.
Darpan Varuna Parsan
Varuna has been an Indian Cultural activist for the past 15 years. Having learnt Indian Classical Music and Drama from the Bharatiya Vidya Sansthhaan, she developed a great appreciation for the performing arts. She has directed and taken on lead roles in many live stage performances over the years. Five years ago, Varuna decided to form Parsan Productions, an NGO dedicated to preserving Indian culture via film and theatre. Her pilot film project is ‘Aagman – The Arrival’, which is an Indian local film about the personal lives of the East Indian Immigrants, featuring seven original Hindi songs written and composed by Parsan Productions’ Artistic Director, Dr. Neera Varsha Parsan.
A writer/director from Trinidad and Tobago, after completing his feature-length student film Back to Freeport, Jian was granted the Take One film grant by the Trinidad and Tobago Government, resulting in his second narrative feature project, Grace & Saleen. This second directorial effort was met with film festival screenings throughout the world and honored with ‘Audience Award – Feature Narrative’ and ‘Best Feature’ prizes at the Trinidad & Tobago Film festival and the Caribbean Tales International Film festival.
Jian hopes to continue his filmmaking journey with the same levels of creative excitement, and honesty that attracted him to writing/directing narratives so many years ago. “Filmmaking is the ultimate art form! It combines the visual and the audible, the pressures of team-based execution, and the solitary stresses of drafting a story worth telling. It has forced me to age one year for every week spent on set, and I honestly couldn’t imagine myself happier anywhere else in the world”.
Princess Donelan has been involved in film for over 20 years. Born in Trinidad to Grenadian parents, she grew up in Grenada, returning to Trinidad to pursue her dream of working in the arts. She acted in six seasons of the popular TT soap opera, ‘Westwood Park’, and subsequently began working in production. She has been the location manager and fixer for various international and local film and television productions, including HGTV’s ‘House Hunters International’ and National Geographic’s ‘Locked Up Abroad’; the feature length documentary, ‘Forward Ever: The Killing of a Revolution’; she was associate producer of the Trinidad and Tobago feature film, ‘God Loves the Fighter’. Most recently, Princess was lead location manager (Tobago) for CBS’ reality series, ‘Amazing Race’ and fixer for BBC Studios on ‘The Story of Michael X’. She has also worked with the trinidad+tobago film festival and Box small Festival (Scotland) during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Rene Holder is an animation producer and creative strategist who has balanced being creative and the needs of business for over the past decade. Rene has6 been involved in both the local and regional animation industry as a practitioner, business owner, consultant and sector lobbyist through various roles. These include as Chief Operational Officer of Lab 206, Interim President and Vice President of the Trinidad and Tobago Animators Network, Creative Director of one of the leading Digital Agencies in the Caribbean and now the co-founder of Farr Group Limited with offices both locally in Trinidad and internationally in Estonia.
Rhian Vialva freelanced in the film industry for 10 years, working on the production of documentary and fiction films as well as in television. Simultaneously, she also worked on eight editions at the trinidad+tobago film festival (ttff), the most recognised film festival in the region. At the 2015 edition, she coordinated the inaugural Caribbean Film Mart.
Since 2016, Rhian has worked on films such as: ‘The Mercy of the Jungle’ (2018) winner of the FESPACO 2019; ‘Tantas Almas’ (2019) which premiered at Busan International Film Festival and won the Etoile d’Or at Marrakech International Film Festival; ‘En Route pour le Milliard’ (2020) Cannes Official Selection 2020 and others.
Rhian is the founder of Pitch Black Productions, a production company that facilitates co-productions between Europe and the Caribbean. She is currently developing ‘The Roaring 70s’, a co-production between Trinidad & Tobago, Belgium and Rwanda.
Vonley W. Smith, is a Caribbean filmmaker and storyteller born on the island of Barbados, his work integrates the unspoken tension and lived realities of Caribbean people. From the early age of 14, Smith began producing AMVs (animation music videos). His work in the AMV circuit was recognized across the globe generating thousands of YouTube views and subscribers. Smith continues to then establish his name in the local film industry, studying for his Bachelors in Fine Arts majoring in film.
His latent talent was forged, and what emerged was a cultural practitioner who told stories of underrepresented groups and highlighted the cultural consciousness within his community making him a household name in Barbados. He received Barbados’ highest local awards, along with becoming the victor of the 48hr Film challenge and also became the Winner of the Caribbean Broadcast Media and LiveUp/UNAIDS HIV “Man Up” Video Competition. His short films have been screened at regional and international film festivals, including Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival (2017), Hairouna Film Festival (2021) and Caribbean Tales International Film Festival (2021). Vonley is currently working towards his debut feature film.