Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 22nd 2013 Contents B3
Ghanaian/British film legend John Akomfrah
is visiting T&T for the first time under a
shower of praise for his latest documentary,
The Stuart Hall Project, which makes its
Caribbean premiere at the film festival here.
The festival is paying tribute to Akomfrah,
screening five of his films, including Stuart
The film explores the life and ideas of the
leftist Jamaican/British academic, broadcaster
and commentator, who created and popularised
cultural studies and is credited with developing
the concept of multiculturalism.
“As an alternative history of Britain in the
last half century, The Stuart Hall Project...
could hardly be bettered,” went the review in
the UK Guardian.
The film “does justice to Hall’s words and
his remarkable career,” said the Telegraph.
The Stuart Hall Project was also well-
received at the Sundance Film Festival earlier
Plaudits have become par for the course in
Akomfrah’s near-30-year career. Like Hall,
Akomfrah is admired for his intellect and
fresh—sometimes controversial—way of look-
ing at issues.
Akomfrah was born in Ghana in 1957. His
father was a member of Kwame Nkrumah’s
Cabinet. The family, fearing for their safety,
fled the country after the 1966 coup.
Many of Akomfrah’s films deal with the
struggle of migrants and social unrest.
In 1982 he and other like-minded artists
founded the iconic Black Audio Film Collective,
which for 16 years sought to use different
media to express black thought in inventive
His first film, 1986’s Handsworth Songs—
which will be screened at MovieTowne tomor-
row, looked at the race-based riots in that
district the previous year.
The last “week” of the 2013 T&T Film Fes-
tival, measured from today, runs to ten days
of extraordinarily good programming, with
the choice ranging from art-house through
independent to gritty realism and comedy. If
you’ve never been to a film festival, this week
is a good time to start, and the film choice
today constitutes a particularly good illustration
of the best things about film festivals. There
are, for example, no fewer than five Q&A ses-
sions with film directors immediately following
the screening of their films; you won’t go to
The Hobbit and find Peter Jackson waiting to
answer your questions afterwards.
Guardian Media Ltd is the official media
partner of the festival.
Today, though, you will find two of
Trinidad’s leading feature filmmakers, festival
founder Bruce Paddington, and Alex de Ver-
teuil, the co-director of Remembering a Rev-
olution, the definitive work on Trinidad’s Black
Power disturbances and army mutiny of 1970.
Both will be at the Little Carib Theatre, Wood-
brook, de Verteuil at 12.30 midday and
Paddington at 8 pm, to answer whatever the
audience might throw at them in respect of
The Blue and the Gold, de Verteuil’s film about
the disappearance of the blue-and-gold macaw
through the destruction of its habitat, and
Forward Ever: The Killing of a Revolution,
Paddington’s incisive documentary about the
murder of former prime minister Maurice
Bishop, and the death of idealism in Grena-
The most outstanding film screening today,
however, is neither from this region nor this
time period: the Chinese classic film, Spring
in a Small Town will show at 3.30 pm at Movi-
eTowne, Port-of-Spain. This is exactly why
film festivals exist: to give film buffs oppor-
tunities they would not otherwise enjoy, such
as the chance to see a grand old film on a big
screen. It is today’s daily BC on TV festival
The most outstanding film of the remainder
of the festival is probably Beasts of the South-
ern Wild, which was nominated for Best Direc-
tor, Best Picture, Best Lead Actress and Best
Adapted Screenplay Oscars. It screens at 5.30
pm at the Little Carib and, since director Benh
Zeitlin will be present, you will probably be
out standing in the street yourself if you don’t
get tickets today.
But there are several other films that are
just as good, or better. BC on TV’s own festival
favourite, The Dream of Lu, will be picked for
the festival’s last day of regular programming
on October 1 at 5.30 pm at MovieTowne, Toba-
go. The festival’s official closing film, Tula:
The Revolt, screens at 8 pm on October 1 at
the Little Carib, with director Jeroen Leinders
present for a Q&A, and the only T&T feature
narrative, the crime drama God Loves the
Fighter, screens for the last time at 6 pm at
MovieTowne Port-of-Spain, with director
Damian Marcano present for a Q&A—another
likely sell-out audience.
Film festival honours
Ten days, a hundred films
A still from the
Stuart Hall Project.
Stories continue on Page B4
Best for BC: Spring in a Small Town.
The Dream of the Celt
sheds light on the
horrors of colonialism —Page B29
Jazz band Élan Parlé set
to stage its first concert
in almost a decade
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