This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Belize International Film Festival, one of the film festivals in the Region, showcasing a significant number of Caribbean films.  This year’s Festival will be held from July 17-19, at the Belize Ocean Club.  Let’s take a look at the Caribbean films there this year.

congo beat the drumCongo Beat the Drum
by Ariel Tagar
Documentary Feature
Jamaica/Israel |2014 | 57 mins

Two musicians from Tel Aviv, Israel travel to Jamaica to record an album with forgotten reggae artists from the past. The film follows Ariel Tagar (Kalbata) and Uri Wertheim (Mixmonster), from their basement studio in Tel Aviv, all the way to the Kingston ghettos, looking for their favourite singers of days gone by. In Jamaica, they encounter a strange, often challenging culture while trying to achieve their goal. A unique musical journey into the forgotten corners of reggae of the seventies and eighties, and a rare glimpse into the smoky, dusty world of Rub-a-Dub and its past champions.

Watch the trailer:

DWIstill6Deal With It
by Shamira Raphaela
Documentary Feature
Netherlands/Aruba | 2014 | 58 mins

A film about destructive family patterns & unconditional love Shamira Raphaela (31) travels the world as a TV director. Her life is in sharp contrast with that of her father and brother, who are both in and out of jail. In this intimate family portrait, we enter the chaotic and colorful world of Shamira’s father Pempy, a drug dealing addict, and her brother Andy, who’s following in his fathers criminal footsteps. They both counter their seemingly desperate lives with lots of resilience and humor. Simultaneously,its’ impossible for Shamira to remain unaffected by the vicious circle trapping her father and brother.

Watch the trailer:

To learn more about the film and the filmmaker, visit her website.

Dreadlocks-story2Dreadlocks Story
by Linda Ainouche
Documentary Feature
Jamaica/India | 2014 | 83 mins

DREADLOCKS STORY is a historical page which exhibits the bonds of survival of African and Indian culture in Jamaica in view of up-front anti-slavery and anti-imperialist struggles! Due to British colonists, Indians and African descendants have met in the plantations and created something absolutely unique and indispensable to express what they had been oppressed by.

The film has been shot in 4 countries (India, Jamaica, France and the USA), in 4 languages (Hindi, Jamaican Patois, French and English), with 4 local crews. That has sharpened the director’s flexibility!

Watch the trailer:

To learn more about the filmmaker and her work, visit her website.

forward everForward Ever: The Killing of a Revolution
by Bruce Paddington
Documentary Feature
Trinidad&Tobago | 2013 | 150 mins

Forward Ever: The Killing of a Revolution, directed and produced by Caribbean filmmaker Bruce Paddington, explores the achievements and shortcomings of the People’s Revolutionary Government (1979-1983) of Grenada as it attempted to forge a new revolutionary society. The film focuses on the year 1983, with gripping and previously unseen archival footage, as well as firsthand recollections of persons who witnessed the tragic events of October 19. It examines the circumstances surrounding the execution of Prime Minister Maurice Bishop and his close colleagues, whose bodies were never recovered. With its the multiple perspectives and different narratives, the film explores this key event in the recent history of the Caribbean and raises questions which must be answered.

Watch the trailer:

To learn more about the film, visit the Facebook page.

pan-musicPAN! Our Music Odyssey
by Jerome Guiot
Trinidad & Tobago | 2014 | 80 mins

Pan, an instrument, an ensemble and music, created in Trinidad during the 1940’s by urban street gangs turned into orchestras, shaping oil drums into tonal instruments. Today Pan has adherents from all over the world. Still Trinidad remain the Mecca, where each year man and woman who stake all on their art and passion come to compete for the world championship of Pan, the Panorama, with philharmonic orchestras of over 100 musicians. The fictional part, the violent story of the ones who through their struggle, carried the destiny of this new instrument, bring the keys to the understanding of the modern characters and of this global human adventure.

Watch the trailer:

To learn more about the film, check out the website.

poetry-islandPoetry is an Island – Derek Walcott
by Ida Does
Documentary Feature
St. Lucia | 2014 | 80 mins

A celebration of Derek Walcott’s poetry and Caribbean culture.  Derek Walcott, Literature Nobel Laureate has traveled the world while remaining closely connected to his beloved island St. Lucia. As a poet, playwright, painter and even as a flmmaker, Derek Walcott has been hymning the Caribbean for over 60 years. This documentary presents an intimate portrait of him, set in his beloved native island St. Lucia. The place he always longs for, when he is taken to far away places by his universally acclaimed work. What moves and inspires this great poet? Who are the people whose lives became poetry through his writings? And how do they experience the gift of language of their friend, their mentor, and their father? This flm explores the poetry of Derek Walcott, the landscapes and people that inspire it. The flm observes Walcott in places essential to his work and life, and gathers the thoughts of some of his closest childhood friends. Most importantly, this documentary is a celebration of the greatest gift Walcott has given the world: his poetry.

Watch the trailer:

To learn more about the film, visit the website.

A Story About Wendy 2
by Sean Hodgkinson
Narrative Feature
Trinidad & Tobago | 2014 | 63 mins

Following on from A Story about Wendy (2012), when she was dumped by her fiancé and sought to get her life back together, Wendy Phillips returns in the second chapter of her adventures. Excited to start work at Quirky TV as Simone Davies’ personal assistant, Wendy proves that she is dedicated and efficient. But when she inadvertently discovers information that reveals what really happened to Simone’s previous assistants, Wendy realises that her life is in danger.

Watch the trailer:

If you’re in Belize or planning to visit during the time of the Festival, stop by and check out the films.

Happy Festivalling!!!