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Home African Caribbean Launch Of Windrush Caribbean Film Festival 2024

Launch Of Windrush Caribbean Film Festival 2024

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FULL FILM LIST

21 June, The Riverfront, Wales

Hero: Inspired by the Extraordinary Life and Times of Mr. Ulric Cross – Frances Anne Solomon; 1hr 50m
In 1941 Ulric Cross, a young man from Trinidad, leaves his island home to seek his fortune. He survives the War as the RAF’s most decorated West Indian. Then, his life takes another course and he becomes part of the movement of history. Cross’ long life spanned key moments of the 20th Century including independence in Africa and the Caribbean. It is the hitherto untold story of those Caribbean professionals who helped to liberate Africa from colonialism. Drawing on events of his life, the film recreates the inner journey of a Caribbean hero. Ultimately, it is about us, about who we are as Caribbean people, and citizens of the world.

22 June, The Riverfront, Wales

Homegrown – Corinne Walker (UK/Barbados, 2023); 14m 45s

Inspired by true events, Homegrown follows Bajan worker Nicole, a young, hardworking fruit picker working on a UK fruit farm on the hottest day of the year. Drawn to the UK under false pretences of good pay, she is ready to work hard and endure exploitative conditions for financial reward. But as the temperatures rise and promises are broken, Nicole must take matters into her own hands in this dark drama which uncovers the reality behind our food supply chain.

Mosiah -Jirard (USA, 2023); 40m

Marcus Mosiah Garvey, a Jamaican-born political activist and founder of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), is on trial in New York in 1923. Following the leadership of J. Edger Hoover & the BOI (later, the FBI), the government has charged Garvey with mail fraud in connection with selling stocks for the Black Star Line – a shipping line designed to forge a link between North America and Africa. Garvey sees the trial for what it is: an attempt to end the movement by way of character assassination. Realizing his counsel is not up to the task, Garvey fires him and resolves to defend himself. As the trial plays out, flashbacks show glimpses of Garvey’s life before the trial and his relationship with his wife Amy Jacques Garvey. This is the first-ever narrative film about his life.

22 June, Ritzy Cinema, London

Paria’s Pearl – Suelyn Choo, Kerron Lemmessy, (Trinidad & Tobago, 2022); 6m 31s
Paria’s Pearl is a fabulation of an alienated Chinese identity and it transforms through make-up, fashion, music, dance and performance into being, via Dragon mas. Witness the creation of my Trini-Chinese identity.

Black Stroke – Olivia Smart (UK, 2023); 12m
Drowning isn’t an option as three people tackle their biggest fear. We follow the stories of three individuals learning to swim for the very first time in just eight weeks.

Save Me (Amani Simpson, UK, 2021); 33m

Save Me is a social impact short film written and directed by Award-Winning Youth Coach Amani Simpson which follows two teenagers, connected through trauma, who embark on a mini cab journey in search of freedom. Tensions flare when a teenage girl strikes up a friendship with a local schoolboy in this British short film. Themes of child sex abuse and cyberbullying are treated unflinchingly, but there are positive messages for teens.”

Returned -Janet Marrett (UK, 2023); 11m 25s
A psychologist attempts to conceal her past until she is forced to confront it, starring Michelle Greenidge.

Dementia: The Island Journey – Rianna Patterson (UK/Dominica, 2023); 45m 2s

Rianna explores holistic treatments for dementia and engages in traditional experiences in a quest to understand the recipe for the meaning of quality of life.

Like Water – Mthuthuzeli November (UK, 2020); 9m 10s
Like water acknowledges the resilience of our ancestors, passed down from generation to generation. A world unkind to our people, yet somehow, we survive. A world that that has conditioned us to not see the beauty of our skin, hair, culture and our people. But like water we flow, like water we change shape. We remain resilient.”

Homegrown – Corinne Walker (UK/Barbados, 2023); 14m 45s (description on page 1)

Ivan – Jazz Pitcairn (Cayman Islands, 2023); 8m 30s
When a hurricane threatens to destroy her home, a young mother struggles to keep her family safe.

The Happiest Time – Mia Harvey (UK, 2022); 19m

Aisha spends the last year with her terminally ill brother Bidaoui. She knows from their mother’s sudden death, that memories are all that she will have left. Together they look back at their childhood in Trinidad, searching for old memories, but also facing some of the hard truths. Aisha’s lifelong caring of Bidaoui through his drug abuse.

That Great British Documentary -Joan Hillery (UK, 2023); 60m

Shot over ten years and prompted by the death of her father, filmmaker Joan explores Britain’s colonial past and the legacy her dual black and white heritage has had on her life.

Iconography: Roy Cape – Mikhail Neruda Gibbings (Trinidad & Tobago, 2022); 40m

Iconography’ is a fun and educational, deep-dive docu-series.
We reveal the untold stories of musical giants and cultural icons in Trinidad and Tobago, through the voices of the legends themselves, many of whom have limited recorded interview material available for public viewing, as a result of rising to prominence before the popularity of recorded video documentaries and the internet.

Secret Lives : The Untold Story of British Hip Hop – Eunice Olumide (UK, 2024); 38m 50s

Secret Lives: The Untold Story of British Hip Hop highlights the pioneers of the unknown underground UK rap scene. A transformative approach from the popular focus on purely commercial talent, the film presents an inimitable perspective on why, in the present day, the founders of the genre have been written out of history. Focusing on the impact of the evolution of technology and the role of accents to an artist’s success.

Who We Were, Who We Became – Darshan Gajjar (UK, 2023); 11m 2s
Who We Were, Who We Became, is a short poetry film threading together the memories, faith and culture of the Windrush generation, forming a new window into the Windrush immigrant story.

Burnt Milk – Joseph Douglas Elmhirst (UK, 2023); 9m 43s
As Una takes a moment of solace to make her traditional condensed milk pudding, ‘Burnt Milk’, she is flooded with spiritual imagery that takes her back to Jamaica. There is an ominous undertone to the past and present colliding, a sinister power to the strong pull of the island and an intensity to the rituals that summon her back in. While she continues to make her simple sweet dish, there is a complex darkness and hypnotic beauty to the duality of the worlds

RèD-Fabienne Orain-Chomaud (France/Guadeloupe, 2023); 25m 45s
Once upon a time… there was a young girl whose kindness was matched only by her beauty. She lived in the Mortenol city, in Pointe-à-Pitre, with her mother. She was very attached to her grandmother who lived far from the city, in the deep Abymes. As she prepares to parade at Carnival, draped in a red satin hat, Rèd receives a call from her grandmother who wants to give her a magical object before she makes her first parade. Night will soon fall, the road to the deep sea is long and Pointe-à-Pitre is full of dangers. But Rèd sets off without delay.

Mosiah – Jirard (USA, 2023); 40m (description on page 1)

 

Windrush75: Forging Ahead – R (UK, 2023);22m
Windrush75: Forging Ahead is a documentary which features three young London based creatives of Caribbean heritage speaking about their lives, artistic expressions and visions for the way ahead. Their thoughts are woven with the stories of their family’s earlier generations, those who immigrated to the UK from the Caribbean. It highlights their aspirations and determination for a new life in Britain along with their experiences of racism, resilience and strong community bonds.

Civic – Dwayne LeBlanc ( USA, 2022); 19m
CIVIC is a short film that follows Booker on his first trip back home to South Central, L.A. after several years of self-imposed exile. Without any clear motive, or even a warning, Booker returns to the place that holds his origins and the people who shaped him. Framed almost exclusively inside of his car, CIVIC tracks Booker’s fleeting and fragmented encounters around his old streets.

Then or Now – Roswitha Chesher, Will Tuckett, (UK, 2020);35m 13s
We are living through times where every action we take – responding to a call to arms, deciding to remain passive – has become a political act. Small or large, personal or public, our actions seem to hold more weight than before. Creating work for Ballet Black in this climate felt very different to previous collaborations; still exciting, but with great responsibility. Whose story should the dancers be telling in a time of such political and social change?

Sheilding Sheila – Joyce Ann Grey-Carter (UK, 2022); 44m 59s
Stuck between a rock and a hard place’, she finds herself struggling to maintain a normal existence as a result of being forced to shield. Engulfed in personal tragedy, she becomes overwhelmingly possessed by her raging, internal, demonic sickness, coupled with the uncontrollable, external forces triggered by the Covid-19 Pandemic restrictions. In order to not risk losing her husband, and her own ‘affected’ sanity and wellness, she resorts to taking matters into her own hands irrespective of the Covid restrictions that attempts to ‘steal her life from her’. She holds onto the hope of ‘faith’ as a cure for all her ills.

23 June, Windrush Square, London

The following films will be shown:

Like Water, Who We Were Who We Became, Black Stroke, Burnt Milk, Secret lives: The Untold Story of British Hip Hop, Returned, Windrush 75: Forging Ahead

Super Sam – Sandi Hudson-Francis (UK, 2019); 44m
The filmmaker invites us on a journey to explore the life of a Windrush Generation immigrant through her intimate portrait of Clovis Salmon, who left Jamaica in 1945 to work on sugar plantations in America before settling in Brixton in 1954, where he purchased a Super 8 film Camera and began documenting life around him.

23 June, Mockingbird Cinema, Birmingham

Flame – C’drick Fremont (Guadeloupe, 2023); 3m
A young man fascinated by the sun, reflects about his place in the Universe until his place founds him.

The Light is Fire, Too – Dwayne LeBlanc (Bahamas/USA 2021); 3m
At an indeterminate point in the ocean, somehow an undefined space transforms into a Black space. The image becomes a testament of how Blackness manifests in freefall. This is Blackness here, anywhere, and nowhere.
Inseparable from this scene, is the history of Black bodies transported along this very route as cargo. The film strives to create an alternate after-image. Their exuberance, the celebration in their bodies, complicate the history that defined this passage.

 

Save Me – Amani Simpson (UK, 2021); 33m (film description on page 1)

Results Day – Omari McCarthy (UK, 2023); 10m
Curtis dreams of leaving Handsworth while Jordan dreams of ruling it. But opening their A-level results reveals a surprising twist – Curtis, despite all his revision, has not done as well as he hoped, while Jordan, despite not revising at all, has done better than anyone expected. Curtis is disappointed. His results have altered the perception of himself, Jordan and the trajectory of his life. Jordan’s only worry is the reaction when he takes his results home. The looming threat of an uncertain future causes the tension between them to escalate into an argument putting them at odds with each other. As they make up and part ways the bitter-sweet reality of their fates finally sets in… Their exam results mean things will never be the same again.

Fearless – Noella Letitia Mingo, (UK, 2022); 1hr 11m
Women who are in their 70s, 80s and 90s today, have lived through and been part of some of the most pivotal moments in women’s social history. Fearless is a heartwarming and informative documentary that features six women aged between 78 and 90 who as young people left everything behind to start new lives far from home. All were part of the generation of people from British colonies invited to help rebuild the mother country after WWII. They came and thrived despite the tumultuous times and often hostile reception they received. Today, these pioneering women are almost invisible to modern society. Until now, their voices haven’t been heard.

Fearless interweaves achieve footage from pivotal moments in recent history with the women’s memories and stories. These are the moments and movements that impacted women then and now. They include taking on traditional men’s work, the Notting Hill Uprising and fight for racial equality, and the workers’ rights changes forced by women like the Grunwick factory strikers.

29 June, Ritzy Brixton
Closing ceremony + Awards

Online only Films

Otros hombres – Geury Calderon Castro (Dominican Republic, 2022); 9m 12s
Perla and Wilo, of Haitian nationality, are kidnapped along with other fellow citizens. Both are sold to a landowner, they face forced labor that divides them into different tasks. Pearl must fight against an uncertain future that surrounds her, forcing her to cling to a mysterious stone given to her by her father.

Tula Lives! – Thijs Borsten, Rens Polman (Netherlands/Curaçao, 2023); 45m

The documentary ‘Tula Lives’ follows singer Izaline’s journey to Curaçao with musician and friend Thijs Borsten as they explore an island’s historical event — the slave uprising led by Tula over 200 years ago. The film showcases the significance of Tula and that revolt, which is remembered on Dia di Tula (Tula Day) on August 17th. Through interviews with experts and visits to important locations, the documentary sheds light on the legacy of Tula and its impact on modern Curaçaoan society.

Some Sweet Day – Rasheed Peters (USA, 2023); 19m 36s

Some Sweet Day is an intimate exploration of the question: “”When flesh and heart fail, what remains?” This story follows the filmmaker and his mother, Camille, as they navigate life after the loss of a husband and father. It’s a story of wrestling with tough emotions, regrets, and the lasting impact of grief.

Santiago of the Women – Rosamary Berrios (Puerto Rico, 2022); 1hr 4m
It is a look at the metaphor between the myth of the appearance of Santiago in Loíza and the cultural resistance of the community. The title Santiago of the women, alludes to one of the three effigies of the same Santiago Apostle. These projects a specific and local mythology that refers to universal themes of the relationship between the past and present, social, physical and geographical transformations.

All the experience of the celebrations to Santiago is kept in memory. They are perhaps an annual renewal passage that reminds us of the character, vitality and function of the Loiceña woman as a pillar of the community.

Hard to Reach – Darryl Foster (UK, 2022); 13m 51s
When an anxiety-fuelled mentor takes his disruptive teenage student on a photography trip, an altercation on a train leads to a cathartic exchange that changes them forever.” 

Sugarlands – Akley Otlon (Saint Vincent & the Grenadines) 2022);45m

Out of all the Caribbean islands plundered and conquered by the British, St. Vincent and the Grenadines was one of the last to be colonised; and the only territory that has recorded less than a century under the system known as chattel slavery. Follow Vincentian historian Dr. Adrian Fraser, walking through the remnants of the colonial plantations, and explaining his findings on the legacy of the transatlantic slave trade.

This Light is Fire, Too – Dwayne LeBlanc, (USA, 2021); 3m 4s

This Light is not only a Light, its Fire Too is a portrait of bodies moving in a moving vessel, somewhere between Miami and the Caribbean. At an indeterminate point in the ocean, somehow an undefined space transforms into a Black space. The image becomes a testament of how Blackness manifests in freefall. This is Blackness here, anywhere, and nowhere.

For further information or to speak to any of the directors please email [email protected] or call 07595 979 889.

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