The differences between the North and the South of the island are very real. On the one hand, Southerners are known for their hospitality - often deemed as warmer, friendlier and more welcoming than the Northerners. I will not fight that. South is seen as more "country" which I have no problem with, when compared to the smoggy, smokiness I encounter over Port of Spain on my drive in to the city daily. But if you are looking for a variety of things to do, then you will note the mass exodus up the highway as bored Southerners hit the asphalt for the "bright lights" of Port of Spain. This is not to say that there are not things to do in South and Central but we are talking about variety now. I often do not make the trip into the capital for various reasons - too tired, it too far, I have no designated driver, so what's the point. Yet, if the draw is good enough, or the friends special enough, I will make the effort so it is not as if I am dying to be in the capital every weekend.
However, there are things that just should not be either. The Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival is on and this is a great thing. I fully subscribe to this - to getting people involved and invested in our artform, our culture, our talent as a people, as a region. I feel as though every man, woman and child should be exposed to this and should be part of this and be proud of this.
So when someone asked me if I was going to the festival, I said no. I don't feel I have the energy or want to make that effort to drive to one area for what is being dubbed a "national" film festival. Maybe "national" means once we include Tobago, but what about the rest of us? However, I do sincerely encourage those who can, to support our film festival, support local talent - support what is ours. In much the same way we can ram out the Stadium when dancehall and hip hop artistes come to the island, we should support local culture. I hope next year we can have some opportunities here in South and Central to be more involved.
For more info on screenings and on the TTFF, click here