Students learn HIV/AIDS awareness through local film

The film is a powerful piece which delves into the issues surrounding parent to child transmission of the virus and the emotional, social and personal forces at play on an HIV positive, pregnant young woman and her family and friends. It is the brainchild of business woman, now filmmaker Candice Lela-Rollingson.

The film was funded primarily through the US Embassy and the hundred-plus students were greeted with a warm and motivating open address by US Ambassador, Beatrice Welters, who impressed upon them the importance of the fight against HIV/AIDS and encouraged them to strive for excellence and to have compassion for all.

Marketing Manager of the Trinidad and Tobago Film Company (TTFC), Rudolph Hanamji, spoke to the students about opportunities available for using film as a powerful vehicle for treating with issues affecting their lives. One such opportunity is the TTFC's Secondary Schools Short Film Festival (SSSFF), which provides skills training in the rudiments of filmmaking and a chance for students to transform their stories into film projects to be shared with the nation and the world at large.

As part of its mandate to increase awareness of and appreciation for the local film (audio/visual) industry, the TTFC has committed to providing support to taking Positive and Pregnant, short films from the SSSFF and other local productions into the communities, through outreach initiatives such as the popular TT Film Nights.

Even as Positive and Pregnant is being accepted to major international Film Festivals, Lela-Rollingson is expected to apply for the Production Assistance and Script Development (PASD) grant funding programme offered by Trinidad and Tobago Film Company, for help in producing a sequel to the film which will explore the male perspective of this story.

Students of the UTT Animation and the UWI BA in Film Studies programmes are also expected to apply. This proves beyond a doubt that the local film (audio/visual) industry is a growing sector which offers many revenue-generating and career opportunities for young persons and those who are young at heart. All filmmakers are reminded that the PASD call is open until today.

For more information on the PASD Programme, SSSFFF and other TTFC initiatives, visit or contact the TTFC at 625-FILM (3456) or

1. Members of the Walker-Lela Foundation, Her Excellency Beatrice Welters (centre) US Ambassador to Trinidad, Stephanie Van Hoff of the US Embassy and Rudolph Hanamji Marketing Manager TTFC at the screening of the ‘Positive and Pregnant’.jpg

2. Students enjoy question and answer session after the screening of the HIV/AIDS docudrama, ‘Positive and Pregnant’.


"Students learn HIV/AIDS awareness through local film"

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