2012 DC Caribbean Filmfest
June 1–June 4
In recognition of Caribbean Heritage Month in June, AFI Silver is proud to once again host screenings of the DC Caribbean Filmfest, now in its 12th year.
The festival is co-presented by Caribbean Association of World Bank and IMF Staff (CAWI), Caribbean Professional Network (CPN), Institute of Caribbean Studies (ICS) and TransAfrica.
AFI Member passes accepted at all screenings.
FIRE IN BABYLON
This energetic documentary looks back at the legendary West Indies cricket team that rose to prominence in the 1970s and '80s. Led by the dynamic Clive Lloyd, the team used the game of cricket to battle oppressive forces of prejudice on the playing field through superior athleticism and a bold, insuppressible spirit. Amidst the turbulent backdrop of European race riots, South African apartheid and civil unrest in the Caribbean, the West Indian players were thrust into the world's spotlight as a dynamic force with which to be reckoned.
DIR/SCR Stevan Riley; PROD John Battsek, Charles Steel. UK, 2010, color/b&w, 82 min. NOT RATED
Post-screening dessert reception in honor of the 50th anniversary of the independence of Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago
CALYPSO ROSE: THE LIONESS OF THE JUNGLE
Living legend Calypso Rose is an ambassador of Caribbean music, a charismatic character and the uncontested diva of Calypso music. Traveling to Paris, New York, Trinidad and Tobago and back to Africa, pieces of the story and facets of her life are revealed. This is a film, not only about memory and the exchange and discovery of world cultures, but about the journey of a militant and authentic woman, an Afro-Caribbean soul, an exemplary artist, far from the glitz and glitter, at the dawn of her life.
DIR Pascale Obolo; PROD Philippe Djivas, Jean Michel Gibert, Thierry Planelle. Trinidad and Tobago, 2011, color, 85 min. NOT RATED
STONES IN THE SUN [Wòch nan soley]
In the midst of increasing political violence in their homeland, the lives of three pairs of Haitian refugees intersect in 1980s New York City. A haunted young woman (Patricia Rhinvil) struggling to forget the atrocities she's experienced reunites with her husband in Brooklyn, where he scrapes by as a livery cab driver. A single mother striving for assimilation in a tony Long Island suburb takes in her sister (Edwidge Danticat), a teacher and political activist who is unable to reconcile their violent youth with her sister's seemingly banal lifestyle. And a newly married man (Thierry Saintine), the host of a popular anti-government radio show, finds his estranged father (a recently ousted military leader) on his doorstep, desperate for shelter. Now, they all must confront the disturbing truth of their pasts, as we slowly learn the history of their interlocked lives. – Courtesy of Tribeca Film Festival
DIR/SCR Patricia Benoit; PROD Karin Chien, Ben Howe, Mynette Louie. Haiti/US, 2012, color, 95 min. In English, Haitian Creole and French with English subtitles. NOT RATED
SING YOUR SONG
A patriot to the last and a champion for worldwide human rights, Harry Belafonte is one of the truly heroic cultural and political figures of the past 60 years. Told from Belafonte's point of view, the film charts his life, from his birth and boyhood in New York and early life in Jamaica, to his return to Harlem as a teen, where he discovers the American Negro Theater and the magic of performing. From Harlem to Mississippi to Africa and South Central Los Angeles, this documentary takes audiences on a journey through Harry Belafonte's life, work and, most of all, his inspiring social conscience!
DIR/SCR Susanne Rostock; PROD Gina Belafonte, Jim Brown, Michael Cohl, William Eigen, Julius R. Nasso. US, 2011, color, 104 min. NOT RATED
In the run-up to the most important day of their lives, two young Dominican baseball players confront competition and corruption to achieve their big league dreams. For 16-year-old Dominican baseball players, the only real chance to escape crushing poverty comes every July 2, the day they become eligible to sign professional baseball contracts. This documentary provides an intimate portrait of two prospects as they navigate the calculating, mercenary and often corrupt elements that surround major league baseball's recruitment of the island's top talent.
DIR/PROD Ross Finkel, Trevor Martin, Jonathan Paley; PROD Isaac Solotaroff. US/Dominican Republic, 2011, color, 77 min. In English and Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED
In Person: director/screenwriter Howard Allen and producer Mitzi Allen
A young married couple, Michael and Lisa, are about to lose their home, when their luck changes dramatically. While on a photoshoot at an historic site, Michael discovers an ancient vase and sells it to an antique dealer. The couple get little time to celebrate their good fortune before strange things begin to happen. They are introduced to a Jamaican mystic (Carl Bradshaw) who informs them that the ancient relic was not really a blessing but a curse. Howard Allen's highly anticipated new horror/thriller is based on Caribbean mythology and set in Antigua and Barbuda.
DIR/SCR Howard Allen; PROD Mitzi Allen. Antigua and Barbuda, 2011, color, 100 min. NOT RATED
A HAND FULL OF DIRT
In Person: producer Lisa Harewood
Archie Redman is a middle-aged man chasing a fading dream. In his obsession to hold onto his failing business — a small hotel — he has sacrificed everything. His marriage is broken, his debts have risen beyond his reach and he has a severely damaged relationship with his father. Thousands of miles away, Archie's son Jay faces worries of his own. Recently graduated from university, Jay is stuck in limbo, penniless in a cold, unforgiving city and unable to legally work until his father pays his school debts. Suddenly, an opportunity to resolve his problems and secure his future presents itself, but to take it, he must commit the ultimate act of betrayal. – Courtesy of Zanzibar International Film Festival
DIR/SCR Russell Watson; PROD Lisa Harewood. Barbados, 2010, color, 93 min. NOT RATED
ELZA [Le bonheur d'Elza]
In Person: filmmaker/actress Mariette Monpierre
Bernadette (Mariette Monpierre), a single mother in Paris, tries to provide her daughters with everything. She is thrilled when her eldest daughter, Elza, is the first in the family to graduate from college, earning a master's degree summa cum laude. But Elza breaks her mother's heart by running away to their native Guadeloupe in search of a distant childhood memory: the father she barely remembers. This feature debut by writer/director Mariette Monpierre offers an unusual insider's view of lush island culture as she captures the passion and contradictions of this family. – Courtesy of the Pan African Film Festival
DIR/SCR/PROD Mariette Monpierre; SCR Mama Keïta; PROD Eric Basset, Gérard Lacroix, Edgard Tenembaum. Guadeloupe/France, 2011, color, 78 min. In French with English subtitles. NOT RATED
FORWARD HOME: THE POWER OF THE CARIBBEAN DIASPORA
In Person: executive producer and author Keith Nurse
Produced and directed by award-winning Trinidad-based filmmaker Lisa Wickham, this documentary film illuminates the findings of executive producer Keith Nurse's ground-breaking research project, "Strategic Opportunities in Caribbean Migration," which studies four Caribbean countries and their counterpart communities in global cities: Jamaica and London; Guyana and Toronto; Suriname and the Netherlands; and the Dominican Republic and New York City.
DIR/PROD Lisa Wickham. Trinidad and Tobago, 2011, color, 50 min. NOT RATED
An "against the odds" action drama set in the politically turbulent inner city community of Kingston, Jamaica, in which Derrick, a determined teenager, realizes his dream of becoming a champion boxer despite a country, community and family conflicted by a divisive political system. Derrick's journey of discovery takes the audience through his coming of age and the realization that anything that divides cannot be good. The ignorance of divisiveness gives way to the triumph that comes with unity. This is a wholly Jamaican film with all investors, cast and crew being committed to an authentic depiction of what life is and what life can be in the inner city of Kingston. Its positive message of overcoming adversity and ignorance will inspire audiences at home and abroad.
DIR/SCR/PROD Chris Browne. Jamaica, 2011, color, 104 min. NOT RATED
DESIRES & DECEPTIONS
This is the feature-length cut of the fourth season of the television series NOH MATTA WAT!, the first dramatic series ever produced in Belize. A Belizean politician resolves to go straight and steer clear of the petty corruptions and daily hurly-burly of public life, and at the same time tries to reconnect with the family he lost along the way.
DIR/SCR S. Torriano Berry; PROD Denvor Fairweather. Belize, 2012, color, 107 min. NOT RATED