The 29th Annual Washington, DC International Film Festival, will be held this year from April 16 – 28.  We are happy to say, there are several Caribbean films in the lineup.  Let’s take a look at what they are:

glamour1The Glamour Boyz Again: The Mighty Sparrow and Lord Superior on the Hilton Rooftop
by Geoffrey F. Dunn
Documentary Feature
Trinidad & Tobago | 2015
Check here for screening dates and times

This charming documentary features a remarkable performance by two of Calypso’s most venerated figures, the Mighty Sparrow (Dr. Slinger Francisco), and Lord Superior (Andrew Marcano), which was filmed atop the rooftop of the Hilton Hotel overlooking Port of Spain, Trinidad. Sparrow is celebrated as the “Calypso King of the World,” Superior its conscience and soul. With intimate reminiscences by both musicians, whose friendship dates back 60 years, Sparrow’s execution, with Supie playing an accompanying guitar and singing back-up vocals, is arguably his best rendered acoustic performance ever recorded. In addition to the performances and interviews, the film includes rare archival footage and photographs including various scenes from Carnival celebrations in the late-1940s and 1950s, along with street scenes from throughout Trinidad and Tobago. Together Sparrow and Superior take us back to a time, both musical and political, that is no more. Geoffrey Dunn’s earlier film, Calypso Dreams, won the Filmfest DC 2003 Audience Award.—FilmFest DC website.

The PANLARA Youth Steel Orchestra, DC’s own steel pan orchestra, will perform before and after the screenings on the Hilton rooftop. PANLARA is an organization that provides an arts and cultural forum for youths from diverse communities in the D.C. metropolitan area. It creates performance opportunities to market and enhance talents of artistic youths. They aim to share their African Caribbean culture through steel pan music.

Fighter1God Loves the Fighter
by Damian Marcano
Narrative Feature
Trinidad & Tobago | 2013
Check here for screening dates and times

Hot off of its soldout screening at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, as part of the inaugural Caribbean Film Series, GLTF is headed to DC.

Mean streets are mean streets, whether they are in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen or the Laventille ward east of the lighthouse in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. It is here, where steelpans were born, that Damian Marcano, who hails from the Marvant neighborhood, has set his fever dream of a crime drama about locals just trying to get by in a cruel and unforgiving world. Lustily performed in the regional patois Marcano calls “Trini,” God Loves the Fighter is omnisciently narrated by local vagrant/poet King Curtis (Lou Lyons) and follows the fortunes, tragedies, and hard-won redemptions of young go-getter Charlie (Muhammad Muwakil), drug lord and pimp Putao (Darren Cheewah), amoral kingpin “Stone” (Abdi Waithe), and good-natured prostitute Dinah (Jaime-Lee Phillips). Their stories are as old, and perhaps as inevitable, as mankind itself, but there’s an undeniable dignity to their survival instincts, rendering the film a harrowing, eye-opening feature-length debut.—Eddie Cockrell – FilmFest DC website

Watch the trailer:

pan1PAN! Our Music Odyssey
by Jerome Guiot
Docudrama Feature
Trinidad & Tobago | 2014
Check here for screening times and dates

AN! Our Music Odyssey combines documentary footage of hundreds of musicians competing at the 50th annual Panorama steel drum festival in Trinidad with evocatively produced historical re-enactments detailing the origin of what the filmmakers call “the most amazing sound invented in the 20th century.” The pan drum, or steelpan, certainly does produce a joyous sound, although it can take craftspeople seven years to become skilled at “tuning” the drums, the elaborate process for turning metal into music. In profiles of various competing pan groups, which can number 120 members, we see the instrument’s reach. Musicians from around the world discuss the pan drum’s allure. Some of the surviving originators of the pan movement recall its often violent beginnings, when rival gangs clashed over who had the best sound and when police harassed kids—who admittedly were stealing empty oil drums from U.S. and British military bases.—Dave Nuttycombe – FilmFest DC website

Watch the trailer:


Happy Festivalling!!