Hairouna Film Festival
The premiere film festival of St. Vincent and the Grenadines
The Hairouna Film Festival (HFF) is the first festival of its kind in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG). We are a free, outdoor film festival that travels around the islands of SVG bringing incredible Caribbean cinema into the hearts of up to nine different communities. Taking over football pitches, car parks and beach bars, our collaboration with North Eleven – a professional outdoor projection company from Trinidad – enables us to create amazing cinematic experiences in vibrant and varied outdoor settings. We are an equal opportunities social impact project that uses film to engage, revitalize and celebrate our beloved Caribbean culture. We seek to build and strengthen the Vincentian film industry through workshops, scriptwriting competitions and by connecting filmmakers with mentorship opportunities.
Filmmaking is without a doubt a central skill in our contemporary world. Not solely for feature films or documentaries, filmmaking skills are needed to create an array of video content. Videos are now essential to global communication. Given this context, there is a strong case for St. Vincent and the Grenadines to embrace this industry for job opportunities, global reach and cultural development.
Aside from the economic advantages, film is an innate tool for transmitting cultural beliefs. As stated by our director in her opening night speech in 2019, “storytelling is as natural as breathing and nobody loves to tell a story or hear a story more than Caribbean people. Stories are in our blood and we tell them to each other every day – in the barbershop, at work, on the phone to your cousin in foreign. Whether it’s a Bible story, what happened to you at the bus stop yesterday, or a sweet piece of commess delivered via a network of he-tell-she-she-tell-me-me-tell-he, stories are our life, our memories, our identity.”
We support the movements for environmental protection exemplified in our efforts to reduce waste, print only essential things, and reuse as many items as possible in the execution of our project. We also support movements for women’s rights by highlighting female filmmakers and promoting female perspectives in workshops. Our festival bears the name ‘Hairouna’ (meaning Land of the Blessed) which is the indigenous pre-colonial name given to St. Vincent by the Kalinago people. We gave the festival this name in order to honor the indigenous communities and to keep their stories alive in our memories.
At the heart of what we do is a deep sense of pride and love for Caribbean culture. The joy of seeing our people amplified and celebrated on-screen, the gift of having the chance to experience and create is the light that keeps our project moving. Although the festival’s vision is rooted in the Caribbean, our gaze extends beyond the boundaries of our islands to encompass the globe. Our core principles are the universal values of compassion and inclusion. We hope that no matter where you are or who you are, you feel welcomed into our HFF family.
The HFF Squad