JAMAICAN INTERNATIONAL REGGAE
FILM FESTIVAL 2014
MAY 16th - 18th
In Honor of Robert Nesta Marley
February 6, 1945 - May 11, 1981
In 2014 the Jamaica International REGGAE FILM FESTIVAL moves to the United States, presenting the first US showcase of Reggae Film Festival films in San Diego, California, May 16-18 at the WorldBeat Cultural Center in the city’s central Balboa Park.
DEAR JESUS – (UK) Produced, written & directed by DanielleScott-Haughton (Best Short Feature 2013)
Dear Jesus follows Mercedes, a young Black British fashion journalist whose life is thrown into disarray when her mother gets ill and leaves her in charge of their Jamaican restaurant in London. Her boyfriend has strict ideas about how their relationship should continue and she and finds solace in her prayers which she writes down in her laptop. The 5 part British TV series is by WONDERLONDON
FIRE IN BABYLON - (UK) Stevan Riley (Best Documentary 2012)
Award-winning feature documentary about how an underdog team of Caribbean island cricketers overcome white racism to become the great West Indies cricket team of the 1970's/80's. Documentary footage, rocking reggae music and a sharp commentary make this film as entertaining as a feature film.
HILL AND GULLY (USA) Director Patrice Johnson (Best Feature Film 2013)
Hill and Gully is an urban Cinderella story, set during 2008, the election year of Barack Obama. When the momentum that electrifies the nation, influences the lives of three generations of women, an unhappy, single mother, her agoraphobic mother, and her angry ten year old daughter, they become transformed through the efforts of a psychiatrist who challenges them to speak their deepest wishes. As each does, they discover a new found sense of freedom; the mother; the power of forgiveness and the love of a shy photographer, her mother; the courage to conquer her fears and her daughter, the family she always wished she had.
JUST ANOTHER FRIDAY (JA) Director Judith Faloon-Reid (Best Jamaican Feature 2013)
Jamaica’s first Christian movie, the story takes you through the conflicts between a Christian teen and her worldly brother, a husband and wife and the influences of their visiting relatives. When Leon and his friends decide to go partying on Good Friday, they realize that although Friday nights are usually made for having fun, Good Friday is not Just Another Friday. As the teens work out their conflicts, the adults also face their own dilemmas. With the underlying theme that tomorrow is promised to no-one, Just Another Friday provides a stark reminder that old and young alike need God.
LAND OF LOOK BEHIND (USA) Directed by Alan Greenberg (Documentary Honour Award – 2013)
Land of Look Behind is a 1982 documentary/film about Jamaica, originally started out as a documentary on Bob’s funeral but turned into something more. It was filmed in May and June of 1981 by Alan Greenberg, and was the director’s first film. The film’s cinematographer was Jörg Schmidt-Reitwein, an associate of Werner Herzog.
The film begins with footage of Jamaica’s wild interior region called the Cockpit Country. A young, poverty-stricken teenager listens to the reggae music on his radio which gives him plenty of inspiration to continue his daily struggle as the lyrics of Bob Marley, which when he hears seem to help him leave his troubles behind and help to give him a faith. It also features footage of the funeral of reggae musician Bob Marley. A number of Rasta’s are interviewed and performers Gregory Isaacs and Mutabaruka are also featured, also Father Amde Hamilton of The Watts Prophets performs a spoken word piece during Marley’s funeral service.
The film has been said by many to be the best ever film to have been made about Jamaica, capturing something that no other film before it or since seems to have done, this can be backed up by the claims of one of the worlds greatest film makers: Werner Herzog has said in the film’s DVD commentary that “This film achieves things never seen before in the history of cinema.” The American director Jim Jarmusch writes in the DVD liner notes that Land of Look Behind is “striking…beautiful…near-perfect.”
ONE LOVE – (Norway/JA) Director Rick Elgood (1:51 mins)
Reggae stars Cherine Anderson and Kymani Marley star as Kassa, a free-wheelin rasta man who falls for a straight laced gospel singer Serena, when they both meet as they enter a music contest. Serena's father the pastor forbids her to see him and wants her to marry one of his church members. Meanwhile the record boss organizing the contest, tries to get Kassa's band to sign to his label on his terms not theirs. By using heavy tactics, he pushes the band to fight back.
ONE SONG - (AUSTRIA) Written and Directed by: Catalina Molina
Father by day and musician by night; as a single parent, Coni barely Jmagets by. A faded photograph is the only reminder of his daughter's mother. But one day, shortly after Coni seems to be over her, she shows up again.
REGGAE IN THE RUFF (USA) Don McConnell – 60 mins.
Reggae in the Ruff is a 60-minute documentary that examines the lifestyle, philosophy and music of Johnnie Walker and the Disappointers, a group of Rasta elders living in the hills of Jamaica's Blue Mountains. They survive by living close to nature, working the land organically and harvesting wild fruits and bush medicines from the jungle. For over 30 years in obscurity they have also been creating a unique yet familiar style of Roots Reggae music – and they are ready to bring their positive music ‘out of the hills to the world’. Photographed by independent filmmaker Don McConnell, Reggae in the Ruff captures the remarkable beauty of Jamaica and its fascinating culture and hypnotic music. The film blurs the lines between anthropology and music documentary, while offering a rare and authentic glimpse into what it is to be a Rasta elder in the 21st century
RISE ABOVE PROFANITY – (UK/JA)
Introducing Nomaddz, the unusual rhythmic, rapping, singing group of performance artists whose work has won them Puma sponsorship
ROCKSTEADY – THE MOVIE (USA)
A good-natured coming-of-age movie with a rocking reggae soundtrack by Steel Pulse, whose lead singer David Hinds co-stars, the film tells the story of B.C. Cook and his widowed mother, the sole Caribbean familybarely surviving in a small town in upstate New York. B.C. has a talent for driving cars and dreams of becoming a Hollywood stunt driver, but hasn’t the wherewithal to enroll in a training school so he enters stock-car races at the local dirt track, where the season-ending grand prize of $10,000 will cover the trip to California and tuition, too. A dream, a team, an interracial love story, and a reggae soundtrack the result is an entertaining, sleekly produced indie film.
STRANDED IN DANGRIGA – (BELIZE)
A jealous husband wants to take advantage of a famous radio DJ’s accidental stop in small-town Dangriga to introduce him to his talents as a drummer, but he goes to extreme measures to prevent the DJ from meeting his attractive wife, with hilarious results.
TEAM X – (Cine Jamaica – Animation) Stephen ‘BigBomb’ Williamson
Jamaica is under the grip of a crime boss whose rule seems endless. Team X is recruited to bring him down.
THE CROFT – (JA) – Written & Directed by Wayne Benjamin
Jamaica’s first horror film. A writer takes a cottage in the hills to finish an overdue novel, but finds that a strange apparition is much more than meets the eye.
THE KEEPER OF ZION GATE – The Joseph “Culture” Hill Story (2012)(Israel)
Produced by Guil “Rasta” Bonstein and Ronen “Mr Vibes “Davidesco
This short movie (23mins) is a work of LOVE livicated to a fascinating and inspiring Rastaman, Joseph Hill .His contribution to Reggae music will always be remembered and Highly Raspected .We are happy to present to the world these unique and rare pictures , filmed during his second Tour to Israel in 1996.
Joseph Hill arrived to Israel with Albert Walker and musicians from London for one concert to be held at the 4th Ahziv Reggae Beach Festival. He was first captured on camera at arrival to Ben Gurion Airport. Sussuma , an African ensemble directed by Nana Dadzie were there to give him a welcome reserved in Ghana to Kings and Queens .Then he had the time to visit Jerusalem , party at the legendary Soweto Club in Tel Aviv ,and to drive to the Jordan River and the Lake of Galilee . Ronen Davidesco aka Mr. Vibes, was there with his camera. No production budget, just a vision… one day, the world will see the love vibes, the generosity, the sense of humor, of this extraordinary human being named Joseph Hill.
Now the time has come: celebrating the 50th anniversary of Jamaica independence , it is our modest contribution for you all to enjoy 24 minutes with an humble Rastaman , a true African , a proud Jamaican , a man with a smile on his lips and a dance in his feet , a fabulous performer , songwriter , musician , singer and composer , the Two Sevens Clash man , the Cumbolo man , the One Stone man , the beloved Joseph Hill . RIP
Shalom, Salaam, Peace, One love!
THE ROAD THROUGH THE BLUE MOUNTAINS OF JAMAICA (JA) Director Barbara Blake Hannah
Take the eco-journey through the high-altitude region where Jamaica’s famous Blue Mountain coffee grows. Magnificent views, rare flowers, trees, waterfalls, with stops at world-famous Strawberry Hill Hotel, Newcastle Army Camp, the Gap Café, the Section coffee region and the 13 waterfalls that splash down the mountains to the river at Buff Bay.
TRUE BORN AFRICAN – THE WINSTON JARRET STORY (USA)(Dir.Nic Nakis)
This this is the first ever film to document the life of legendary Reggae artist Winston Jarrett, a film made by Nic Nakis from the USA.
Born in 1940, Jarrett’s introduction to the music industry was as a member of Alton Ellis’s backing band The Flames in the early 1960s, formed when Ellis’s original singing partner Eddie Perkins emigrated to the US, singing on hits such as “Dancecrasher”, “Cry Tough”, “Rocksteady” and “Girl I’ve Got a Date”.While with Ellis he wrote songs such as “Sunday Coming” and “True Born African”. In 1967, Jarrett parted ways with the UK-bound Ellis and with fellow Flame Edgar “Egga” Gardner formed The Righteous Flames with Junior Green, and the trio recorded for Arthur “Duke” Reid’s Treasure Isle label and then for Clement “Coxsone” Dodd’s Studio One label.
In the 1970s, tired of recording for others without receiving adequate payment, Jarrett self-produced much of his output, releasing it on his own Attra, Human Rights and Humble labels.Jarrett recorded as a solo artist in the late 1970s and 1980s, releasing the Wise Man album in 1979 and Rocking Vibration in 1984. He re-formed the Flames, releasing the album Jonestown in the late 1980s and in the early 1990s recorded a tribute album to Bob Marley, also featuring Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer.
USAIN BOLT - The Fastest Man Alive (59mins) (FRANCE)
An intimate portrait of athlete Usain Bolt, the fastest man in the world. In the London 2012 Olympics, Bolt will try to retain his three Olympic titles and his three world records. On the night of the 100m final, over four billion viewers will watch him as he attempts to enter the history books by becoming the first man ever to retain the 100m gold medal.
French producer/director Gael Leiblang secured exclusive access to Usain Bolt, and has been filming up close and personal with him over the last 12 months as he prepares for the biggest race of his life. Made with his complete co-operation, it features Bolt in his home environment away from the cameras. It also features all the people who have helped get Bolt to the top of his profession – his relatives, his best friends and the Jamaican national coach.