11 New York Premieres and two World Premieres of Caribbean-centered feature films and shorts bringing the richness and variety of Caribbean cinema to Brooklyn, home to the largest population of Caribbean nationals in the United States.
Main Website and Tickets HERE
It begins with Opening Night film Yardie, an adaptation of Victor Headley’s novel and the directorial debut of international film star Idris Elba (Star Trek: Beyond, HBO’s “The Wire”). It continues with a textured look into Haiti’s religious divide between Vodou and Christianity in Douvan Jou Ka Leve [The Sun Will Rise] (Généus, 2017); an insightful look into renowned reggae producer, Blacker Dread’s, life in Being Blacker (Dineen, 2018); a program of Caribbean diaspora shorts; the Puerto Rican historical sovereignty documentary 1950: The Nationalist Uprising (Davila Marichal, 2017), which screens with An Excavation of Us (Bruno, 2017); the Victor Jara Collective’s, The Terror and the Time (1978) and In the Sky’s Wild Noise (1983), thorough and poetic examinations of Guyana’s colonial and political heritage; the critically-regarded Dominican crime fable Cocote (Aria, 2017); and Closing Night film, the epic, poetic Jamaican documentary Black Mother (Allah, 2018).
Our Festival Artist is Nyugen Smith. His visual art is featured above and our website and promotional material.
Thursday, March 14
7:00PM: Yardie (NY Premiere)
Friday, March 15
6:30PM: Douvan Jou Ka Leve with The Crying Conch (NY Premieres)
8:30PM: Being Blacker with For Gregorio (NY Premieres)
Saturday, March 16
4:30PM: Caribbean Diaspora Shorts Block
7:00PM: Panorama: Jamming to the Top (Brooklyn Premiere) with Lifted (World
9:30PM: 1950: The Nationalist Uprising with An Excavation of Us (NY Premiere)
Sunday, March 17
1:30PM: Retrospective - The Terror and the Time and In the Sky’s Wild Noise
6:30PM: Black Mother
Opening Night Film
UK/Jamaica, 2018 | 101 mins
Set in 1970s Kingston and 1980s London, Idris Elba’s directorial debut presents the life of a young Jamaican man named D, unsure of the adult he wants to become, but committed to avenge the murder of his beloved big brother Jerry Dread. Dispatched to the United Kingdom from Jamaica by his mentor, drug don and music producer King Fox, D reconnects with his childhood sweetheart and for the first time can envision a life without turmoil. But before he can be convinced to abandon his life of crime he encounters the man who shot his brother 10 years earlier, and embarks on a bloody, explosive quest for retribution.
Q+A with Sheldon Shepherd
Closing Night Film
Jamaica/USA, 2018 | 77’
In a visual clash between the sacred and the profane, this visually striking yet intimate documentary captures Jamaica in ways never interpreted on film. Khalik Allah’s rhythmic portraits of hope and survival via prostitutes, graybeards, rappers, Rastafarians and very pregnant women reflect their and the contrasts of the island nation they call home.
Q&A with Kahlik Allah
1950: THE NATIONALIST UPRISING
José Manuel Dávila Marichal
Puerto Rico, 2017 | 105 mins
Electrifying, revealing and timely, this documentary revisits a seminal event in Puerto Rico’s history: the ten days in October 1950 when one hundred people, members of the island’s Nationalist Party, took up arms to overthrow the rule of the United States and establish Puerto Rican sovereignty. The insurgents, outnumbered and ill-equipped, were crushed by the police and the National Guard, and either killed or imprisoned. Buttressed by archival film and photographs and animated reenactments, 1950: The Nationalist Uprising presents the testimonies of five Puerto Ricans who participated in this almost forgotten struggle. They speak about the consequences of the uprising on their lives, and the ideal of freedom that burns within them still.
AN EXCAVATION OF US
Haiti, 2018 | 11 mins
The shadows of Napoleon’s army fall upon their boat traveling through the mysterious cave named after Marie Jeanne, a female soldier who fought in the Haitian Revolution. It is this battle inside her cave that will become the most successful slave revolution in history.
Jamaica/UK, 2018 | 90 mins
Made with intimacy and insight, this is the story of Blacker Dread, a renowned reggae producer and record shop owner from Brixton, the traditional home of London’s Jamaican migrants. Focused on a tumultuous time in Blacker’s life—the death of his mother and the prospect of his first prison sentence—the documentary widens to become an affecting portrait of Blacker’s family and friends. The film then makes its way to Jamaica, where Blacker’s partner, Maureen, is ensuring their young son maintains exceptional grades, having been excluded from school in the UK. With boundless empathy for its subjects, Being Blacker offers an excellent understanding of the challenges that Britain’s Caribbean community continues to face.
USA/Puerto Rico | 9 mins
Gregorio Guerra migrated from Puerto Rico to New York in 1964. More than 40 years later, we catch a glimpse of his current life in Queens and his coping with a bad health diagnosis.
Q&A with Cristóbal Guerra
Nelson Carlo De Los Santos Aria
Dominican Republic, 2017 | 106 mins
A rapturous crime fable set in the Dominican Republic’s Cocote follows Alberto, a kind-hearted gardener returning home to attend his father’s funeral. When he discovers that a powerful local figure is responsible for his father’s death, Alberto realizes that he’s been summoned by his family to avenge the murder. It’s an unthinkable act — especially for him, an Evangelical Christian. But as pressure mounts, he sees few ways out. Questions of faith, tradition and honor course through this electrifying film, which, seemingly at the speed of thought itself, jumps between film formats, colors, and aspect ratios, radically envisioning a community torn asunder by senseless violence.
DOUVAN JOU KA LEVE (The Sun Will Rise)
Haiti, 2017 | 51 mins
Haitian filmmaker and actress Gessica Généus undertakes a journey to understand what she calls Haiti’s “illness of the soul”—the country’s fraught religious divide between Vodou and Christianity. With her mother’s bipolarity as her poignant point of departure, Généus skillfully interweaves traditional interviews and ethnographic-style observation with poetic narration as she seeks to connect the dots of her family’s, and her island’s fractured history. The result is a moving meditation on both mental illness and a nation’s as-yet unassuaged inner turmoil.
Q&A with Gessica Généus
THE CRYING CONCH
Haiti, 2017 | 20 mins
In this modern fable, a man is drawn into following in the footsteps of the historic Haitian slave leader Mackandal, who is trapped in a curse which started centuries ago.
PANORAMA: JAMMING TO THE TOP
USA, 2018 | 74’
Through their preparation for an annual steel band competition known as Panorama, we see how the vibrant, newly-formed Steel Xplosion overcome several challenges and obstacles facing the pan community in Brooklyn as they struggle to keep the music form alive. Fighting to get into Panorama, viewers get a raw look into what life is like in the pan yard and why pan players are willing to sacrifice so much for the opportunity to play pan in Brooklyn and to compete on a national stage.
Q&A with Christine Shaw and Davone Alexis
LIFTED – World Premiere
Trinidad & Tobago, 2019 | 25 mins
Carlos, a Venezuelan refugee who lives in Trinidad with his mother and older brother, finds respite from his troubled life by learning the art of stilt-walking.
THE TERROR AND THE TIME and
IN THE SKY’S WILD NOISE
The Victor Jara Collective
Guyana, 1978, 1983 | 105 mins
Inspired by Chilean dissident Victor Jara, and Guyana’s connection to the Third Cinema movement, The Victor Jara Collective presents two seldom seen documentaries.
The Terror and the Time (1978) focuses on the 1953 upheavals in what was then British Guiana. This documentary was essentially banned by the Guyanese government, and it would be five years before the collective made their second and final film, In the Sky’s Wild Noise (1983). A mid-length work, it features the late historian and activist Walter Rodney, author of the seminal book How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. A self-styled “guerrilla intellectual” whose thinking influenced the black power movements in the US and the Caribbean, Rodney was assassinated by a car bomb in Guyana in 1980.
Q&A with Lewanne Jones of the Victor Jara Collective
Caribbean Diaspora short films
Juan Pablo Daranas Molina
USA/Cuba, 2018 | 12 mins
A Cuban immigrant tries to find her place in New York City.
THE BOOK OF JASMINE - NYC Premiere
Barbados, 2017 14 mins
A young Spiritual Baptist undergoes the mourning ritual to seek guidance to suppress her desires for the woman she loves.
USA, Canada, Trinidad and Tobago, 2018 | 7 mins
In New York City, Rajni is a homesick nanny to an upper-middle-class family. She keeps in touch with her own daughter, Mosaic, back in Trinidad by video-chatting with her. When Mosaic realizes that her mother will not be there for her birthday party, Rajni obsesses over how she can join her.
CROSS MY HEART
USA/Jamaica, 2018 | 14 mins
A teenage girl from the US visits her family in Jamaica and uncovers a secret that changes the way she sees the people she loves.
DADLI - New York Premiere
Antigua and Barbuda, 2018 | 14 mins
Tiquan, a 13-year-old Antiguan, recounts bits of his daily life in his small village and community.
HABANA BOXING CLUB - New York Premiere
Cuba, 2018 | 10 mins
A closeted young boxer in rural Cuba must face off with his best friend and rival for a chance to escape his hyper-masculine society.
HIEROPHANY - New York Premiere
USA, 2018 | 11 mins
Living on the margins of American society, a Florida boy comes into contact with the sacred.
SHE PARADISE – World Premiere
Trinidad & Tobago, 2019 | 14 mins
A teenage girl finds that becoming a glamorous soca-music dancer is a lot harder than she first reckoned.