As the 2012 Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival draws nearer, Michael Mooleedhar, director of this year’s entry The Cool Boys uses the word “opportunity” to describe this region’s budding creative sector. The 27-year-old filmmaker plans to utilise this opportunity to move to the next stage of his career and contribute to the overall elevation of the local/regional film industry. Armed with a Film Degree from the University of the West Indies (UWI), and having done his break through documentary film Queens of Curepe (2008), Mooleedhar has collaborated with Patricia Mohammed on Coolie Pink and Green (which won People’s Choice award ttff 2009) and Seventeen Colours and a Sitar (2010), Kim Johnson on The Audacity of The Creole Imagination (2010) and countless other productions. Often described as a “boy wonder” by many of his contemporaries, Michael is currently stepping up his game by pursuing a MA in Creative Design Entrepreneurship at UWI and is due to finish in December 2012.
He shared, “I’m presently enrolled in this revolutionary programme that deals with design and the business of creative products. I wanted to go back to school to learn about the business side of my industry as I realised how much of an artist I was becoming and how much of the business aspects and needs for my chosen craft I had been overlooking”. Mooleedhar affirms that the film industry in Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean is a wide open field of opportunity for the innovative and creative willing to take on the challenge of an industry in its early stages of development. “I would really like to see the Caribbean producing more feature films especially now as technology allows for cheaper production costs and I believe a country as culturally rich as T&T should be producing at least two feature films a year.” In addition to touring and having his previous film projects screened and sold around the world in countries such as India and Canada, Mooleedhar recently directed a TV cooking series for CNC 3 entitled Christmas Cooking with Khalid which featured renowned chef Khalid Mohammed. However, he admits that his latest undertaking The Cool Boys was his greatest test and learning experience to date. “It was my first time directing actors on such a large set and with a budget. I took on the challenge and believe it was a critical experience in my career to get me to the next level of filmmaking.”
The Cool Boys which was written for a production call that was put on by the Trinidad and Tobago Film Company, reflects many real experiences and characters from Mooleedhar’s own life. “Film is the genius art form, the universe has to conspire with you to create the film you want to make. When sound and visuals work perfectly together magic takes place,” he said. He views the working relationship between Patricia Mohammed and himself as one that has contributed immensely to building the regional film industry. He divulged that they both presently are at work on future projects and have plans to make feature films and to form a formal brand to represent all of their productions. He further stated, “As a filmmaker my team and I are truly thankful for the support from The Trinidad and Tobago Film Company who funded The Cool Boys. We fully appreciate the cooperation of family, friends, corporate entities as well as the encouragement fellow practitioners, critiques and fans.” As an artiste, a visionary and a young entrepreneur, Michael Mooleedhar has big dreams for himself and the industry and is working hard towards making them become a reality.
• The Cool Boys will show during the 2012 trinidad+tobago film festival on the following dates:
Friday, Sept 21 at 6.15pm, MovieTowne PoS,
Monday, Sept 24 at 3.30pm, UWI, Centre for Language Learning Monday, October 1 at 6.30pm, MovieTowne PoS
Monday, October 1 at 6 pm, MovieTowne Tobago