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Third Horizon Film Festival Puts A Spotlight On Caribbean Creatives

The festival will be broadcasting to a global audience, sharing Caribbean culture through penetrating cinema, insightful discussions, and electric music and visual art.

Third Horizon Film Festival Puts A Spotlight On Caribbean Creatives

Deemed one of the "25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World" by MovieMaker Magazine in 2019, the Third Horizon Film Festival returns for its fifth edition. This year the festival will be hosted hybrid style with a thoughtfully curated mix of in-person and virtual screenings beginning June 24, 2021, through July 1, 2021, in Miami, Florida.

For the first time, the festival will be broadcasting to a global audience, sharing Caribbean culture through penetrating cinema, insightful discussions, and electric music and visual art. Tickets are now available via thirdhorizonfilmfestival.com.

Virtual attendees can access the festival directly on the website or through the official Third Horizon Film Festival app, available on Amazon Fire T.V. Stick, Apple T.V., and Roku. Those interested in an in-person viewing experience can attend four screenings and three parties hosted at the Nite-Owl Drive-In and one screening and extended panel discussion at the Pérez Art Museum Miami.

"We've envisioned this edition of the festival as an underground Caribbean television station sending an urgent signal out to the world for one week in the middle of a historic summer; we're aiming to bridge diasporas and regions with this one," says Jason Fitzroy Jeffers, Co-Festival Director and Co-Executive Director of parent organization Third Horizon, an award-winning Caribbean filmmaking collective. "The Caribbean is the crossroads of the world, between the east and the west, the old world and the new. We are descended from people all across the globe: Taino, African, Asian, Spanish, French, Dutch, you name it. The stories forged in this cultural furnace-which come to life in the incredible films we're screening-have so much to share with the world."

With its move to a hybrid model with virtual screenings, THFF has expanded from four days to seven, featuring its largest and most robust lineup yet of 12 feature films, three medium-length films, and 46 short films.

"Our ongoing evolution has guided this year's film program as a celebration of thoughtful cinema from the Caribbean, its diaspora and beyond, but just as much as by the seismic events of the past year," says Jonathan Ali, Director of Programming. "This is the most inclusive we've ever been in our selection, with the most countries we've ever had represented in our lineup. It's a deliberate mix of fiction, non-fiction, hybrid, and experimental work, reflecting an outlook of global solidarity in this moment of precarity and potential, and also promises an unforgettable viewing experience for audiences."

As is tradition, the festival will feature a virtual artist exhibition featuring the engaging work of Miami-based Haitian-American artist Edny Jean Joseph and New York-based Trinidadian-American/Barbadian-American artist duo Intelligent Mischief. The festival will also host three parties at Nite Owl Drive-In curated by acclaimed Trinidadian-Venezuelan DJ and event producer Foreigner, one of the most exciting creatives on the underground L.A. scene.

Finally, the festival will host three panels, in addition to a three-day seminar immediately preceding the festival called Caribbean Film Academy, details of which are soon to be announced. Together, the workshops and seminar offer Caribbean filmmakers worldwide an opportunity to gather to learn from some of the leading voices in Caribbean cinema virtually.

"There are very few film programs in the Caribbean, especially the English-speaking Caribbean, giving students an in-depth understanding of the industry and craft, and many of our most talented, emerging filmmakers often have to head abroad to further their education and careers," said Romola Lucas, Co-Festival Director and Co-Executive Director of Third Horizon. "For those who can't go overseas to attend film school, we are bringing film school to them with this program."

OPENING NIGHT FILM: LIBORIO

Thursday, June 24, 8:30 pm | Nite-Owl Drive-In and Tropical Market

Set in the Dominican Republic in the 1920s and based on a true story, Liborio chronicles the life of its title character. This peasant disappears in a hurricane and returns as a prophet. He says he's been given a mission to bring the good and take away the evil, curing the sick and teaching by example. People begin to assemble by his side. They move to the mountains to have total freedom and develop their dream of an independent community - everything changes when the invading US Marines want to disarm and disband the community. Liborio wants to avoid a confrontation, but they know they can't run forever. (Dominican Republic)

*Followed by the festival's Opening Night Party party DJed by Foreigner

STATELESS: Screening and Panel Discussion

Saturday, June 26, 3 pm | Pérez Art Museum Miami

Stateless, the new film from Michèle Stephenson, the critically acclaimed filmmaker of American Promise, looks at the complex politics of immigration and race in the Dominican Republic and Haiti. In this dangerous climate, a young attorney named Rosa Iris mounts a grassroots campaign, challenging electoral corruption and advocating for social justice. As Rosa balances her congressional run with her dedication to her family and community, the full scope of her fight is revealed. (Dominican Republic/Haiti)

*Followed by an extended discussion with Stephenson, the film's subject Rosa Iris Diendomi, and France Francois, founder and CEO of In Cultured Company, an organization that works on conflict resolution and reconciliation between Haitians and Dominicans. Moderated by Third Horizon filmmaker Monica Sorelle.

WEEKEND DOUBLE FEATURE: SHE PARADISE & STUDIO 17: THE LOST REGGAE TAPES

Saturday, June 26, 8:30 pm + 10:30 pm | Nite-Owl Drive-In and Tropical Market

In She Paradise, Sparkle is a naïve 17-year-old girl seeking community and excitement when she stumbles upon a free-spirited dance crew who invite her to their next audition. Welcomed despite her lack of street smarts, she soon meets Skinny, a rapper who's immediately taken with her wide-eyed innocence. Navigating this thrilling yet sinister new world that revolves around nightlife and cash, Sparkle finds her fate in the hands of those with power in this seemingly postcard-perfect setting, with misogyny brewing beneath the surface. (Trinidad and Tobago)

Studio 17 tells the compelling story of the Chins, the Chinese-Jamaican family behind one of the actual birthplaces of reggae music. Located in downtown Kingston, Studio 17 became a legendary recording studio right at the heart of the music revolution that began after Jamaican independence from Great Britain in 1962. (UK/Jamaica)

*Preceded by a warm-up lime at the drive-in at 6:30 pm curated by Foreigner.

CLOSING NIGHT FILM: BANTÚ MAMA

Thursday, July 1, 8:30 pm | Nite-Owl Drive-In and Tropical Market

In Bantú Mama, a French woman of African descent escapes after being arrested in the Dominican Republic. She finds shelter in the most dangerous district of Santo Domingo, where a group of children takes her in. By becoming their protégé and maternal figure, she will see her destiny change inexorably.

*Followed by the festival's Closing Night Party party DJed by Foreigner and guests

The festival was founded in 2016 by Third Horizon, a Caribbean filmmaking collective. Its films, such as Papa Machete and T, have screened at some of the world's most prominent film festivals such as Sundance, BlackStar and TIFF, with T being awarded the coveted Golden Bear for Best Short Film at the 2020 Berlinale, the Berlin International Film Festival, known as one of the "big three" film festivals in the world alongside Cannes and Venice. In 2020, Third Horizon merged with the NYC-based nonprofit Caribbean Film Academy-co-founders and joint producers of the festival-to create the new and expanded Third Horizon.

Third Horizon is proudly supported by Knight Foundation, which supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, please visit knightfoundation.org.

Third Horizon is also proudly supported by JustFilms / Ford Foundation. As part of the Ford Foundation's Creativity and Free Expression program, JustFilms funds social justice storytelling and the 21st-century arts infrastructure that supports it. The projects and people it supports inspire imaginations, disrupt stereotypes, and help transform the conditions that perpetuate injustice and inequality. For more, please visit fordfoundation.org.

THIRD HORIZON FILM FESTIVAL 2021

FILM SCHEDULE

THURSDAY, JUNE 24

8:30 pm

LIBORIO

Dir. Nino Martínez Sosa | 77 mins | 2021 | Dominican Republic/France | Spanish and French with English Subtitles | Fiction

In the Dominican Republic early in the 20th century, Liborio, a peasant, disappears in a hurricane and returns as a prophet. He says he's been given a mission: to bring the good and take away the evil, curing the sick and teaching by example. People begin to congregate by his side and they move to the mountains to have total freedom and develop the dream of an independent community. Everything changes when the invading US Marines want to disarm and disband the community. Liborio wants to avoid a confrontation, but he knows that they can't run forever.

LIBORIO will be screening both online at in-person at Nite Owl Drive-In

10:30 pm

OPENING NIGHT PARTY FEATURING FOREIGNER

In keeping with its history of epic opening night parties, Third Horizon Film Festival 2021 will kick off with a session under the stars with Foreigner, the Trinidadian/Venezuelan DJ who's set L.A.'s underground scene on fire with his debaucherous and wildly inventive parties such as Junkyard Jourvet and Road Block Rally.

FRIDAY, JUNE 25

6:00 pm

SHORT FICTIONS: PROGRAM 1

Four dramatic shorts from the Caribbean and its diaspora that reflect an impressive range of styles and themes.

TUFF GUY

Dir. Yannis Sainte-Rose | 23 mins | 2021 | Martinique | French French Creole with English subtitles | Fiction

Following an inappropriate remark towards a woman, a young man finds himself plunged into a parallel world where he will undergo a series of remarks and micro-attacks usually reserved for women.

NO ENTRY

Dir. Kaleb D'Aguilar | 13 mins | 2021 | United Kingdom | English | Fiction

Against the backdrop of the Windrush scandal, a Jamaican mother, Valerie, struggles to keep her relationship with her son Eli intact. Valerie suffers in silence as she battles with the government's hostile environment tactics. She keeps the threat of deportation a secret, while her psychological state begins to deteriorate and she grapples with the fear of losing her son and the country she calls home.

PARIS IS HERE

Dirs. Léa Magnien and Quentin Chantrel | 17 mins | 2020 | French Guiana | French and French Creole with English Subtitles | Fiction

The peaceful life of Georges, an introverted French Guyanese teenager, gets complicated when he falls in love with Gisele, a dreamy girl who hopes to see Paris more than anything.

COUSINS

Dir. Mandy Marcus | 13 mins | 2021 | United States | English | Fiction

A Brooklyn teenager is reunited with her Guyanese cousin for the funeral of a relative. On the last day of the wake, the girls venture out into the city alone.

8:00 pm

PARTY DONE

Dir. Ian Harnarine | 46 mins | 2021 | Trinidad & Tobago | English Creole with English Subtitles | Non-Fiction

A popular Trinidadian television host utilizes viewer tips in an attempt to make a dent in the country's soaring murder and crime rate. His controversial techniques put him at odds with criminals and the law.

9:30 pm

RIGHT NEAR THE BEACH

Dir. Gibrey Allen | 80 mins | 2020 | Jamaica | English | LGBTQ+ Fiction

After the death of famous runner Jeffrey Jacobs, the Jamaican public becomes enamored with the details of his life and speculates as to the motivation behind his murder. Jeffrey's father, a reserved and kind farmer, struggles to grieve while inundated by the inescapable coverage. Through moments of blinding rage and quiet contemplation, the camera is a window into a life burdened by the death of a child that will never know justice. Against a backdrop of beautiful vistas, Right Near The Beach takes a lyrical approach to its subject-rather than treat the murder as a voyeuristic mystery, the film challenges us to contemplate the anguish of loss while everyone else debates the value of one person's life.

SATURDAY, JUNE 26

11:00 am

SHORTS: THIS WOMAN'S WORK

History and myth, poetry and reality embrace one another in these four filmic conjurations of the feminine, from Guyana to Scotland, Cuba to the USA.

PATTAKI

Dir. Everlane Moraes | 21 mins | 2018 | Cuba | Spanish with English subtitles | Experimental Non-Fiction

In the dense night, when the moon lifts the tide, beings trapped in the daily life of water scarcity are hypnotized by the powers of Yemaya, the goddess of the sea.

DOLL THOMAS

Dir. Ashanti Harris | 22 mins | 2019 | English | Scotland | English | Experimental Non-Fiction

Doll Thomas, is a document of artist and filmmaker Ashanti Harris' research into the historical relationship between Guyana and Scotland, and the hidden legacies of a female diaspora. In the film, Harris applies Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak's theories of translation as a methodology for speculating history and elaborating on the complex and extraordinary life of Doll Thomas, from the limited archival information documenting her existence. (Audience content warnings: The work makes reference to difficult and traumatic histories including the transatlantic slave trade and the colonial subjugation of women.)

SPIT ON THE BROOM

Dir. Madeleine Hunt-Ehrlich | 11 mins | 2020 | United States | English | Experimental Non-Fiction

For more than a century and a half, a group of African-American women belonging to a clandestine organization have acted as agents of goodwill in their communities. This visual essay conveys the history of the United Order of Tents, a secret society that originated in the aftermath of the American Civil War. The strength of this multigenerational sisterhood is shown through an amalgamation of historical reenactments and contemporary sequences.

WHEN ANGELS SPEAK OF LOVE*

Dir. Helen Peña | 13 mins | 2021 | United States | English | Non-Fiction

When Angels Speaks of Love, is a ritual portrait of a Miami woman as she grieves her sister's passing and prepares for new life in Clearwater, Florida.

1:00 pm

FILMMAKER In Focus: MORGAN QUAINTANCE

Morgan Quaintance is one of the most vital artist filmmakers working today. His practice reflects a strikingly unique approach to film form, and his growing body of work sits at an arresting confluence of the personal and the political. Having screened two of his films at THFF20, we are pleased this year to present this focus on Quaintance featuring three new and recent works.

SURVIVING YOU, ALWAYS

Dir. Morgan Quaintance | 18 mins | 2020 | United Kingdom | English | Experimental Non-Fiction

The transcendental promise of psychedelic drugs versus a concrete and violent experience of metropolitan living: these two opposing realities form the backdrop for an adolescent encounter told through still images and written narration.

MISSING TIME

Dir. Morgan Quaintance | 15 mins | 2020 | United Kingdom | English | Experimental Non-Fiction

Through a focus on alien abduction, cold war history, and Britain's colonial history, Missing Time considers the relation between amnesia, concealed histories, state secrecy, and the constitution of the self.

SOUTH

Dir. Morgan Quaintance | 28 mins | 2020 | United Kingdom | English | Experimental Non-Fiction

Taking two anti-racist and anti-authoritarian liberation movements in South London and Chicago's South Side as a point of departure, South presents an expressionistic investigation of the power of individual and collective voice. Interlinked with the filmmaker's own biography (time spent living in both London and Chicago), the film also considers questions of mortality and the will to transcend a world typified by concrete relations.

3:00 pm

STATELESS

Dir. Michèle Stephenson | 96 mins | 2020 | Canada /United States/Haiti /Dominican Republic | Spanish with English subtitles | Non-Fiction

In 2013, the Dominican Republic's Supreme Court stripped the citizenship of anyone with Haitian parents, retroactive to 1929. The ruling rendered more than 200,000 people stateless, without nationality, identity or a homeland. Stateless traces the complex tributaries of history and present-day politics, as state-sanctioned racism seeps into mundane offices, living room meetings, and street protests. Anyone defending marginalized groups faces threats of violence. In this dangerous climate, a young attorney named Rosa Iris mounts a grassroots campaign, challenging electoral corruption and advocating for social justice. As Rosa balances her congressional run with her dedication to her family and community, the full scope of herfight is revealed.

STATELESS - PANEL DISCUSSION

Our screening of STATELESS will be followed by an extended in-person discussion with Stephenson, Rosa Iris Diendomi, and France Francois, founder and CEO of In Cultured Company, an organization that works on conflict resolution and reconciliation between Haitians and Dominicans. Moderated by Third Horizon filmmaker Monica Sorelle.

STATELESS will be screening both online and in-person at Pérez Art Museum Miami.

6:30 pm

SHE PARADISE WARM UP PARTY, CURATED BY FOREIGNER

Saturday night gets going at Nite Owl Drive In with a team of DJs spinning soca-selected by the festival's official music curator, Foreigner, prepping the audience for the music-oriented features to follow. Details TBA.

8:30 pm

SHE PARADISE

Dir. Maya Cozier | 75 mins | 2020 | Trinidad & Tobago | English | Fiction

In SHE PARADISE, Sparkle is a naïve 17-year-old girl seeking community and excitement when she stumbles upon a free-spirited dance crew who invite her to their next audition. Welcomed despite her lack of street smarts, she soon meets Skinny, a rapper who's immediately taken with her wide-eyed innocence. Navigating this thrilling yet sinister new world that revolves around nightlife and cash, Sparkle finds her fate in the hands of those with power in this seemingly postcard-perfect setting, with misogyny brewing beneath the surface.

SHE PARADISE will be screening both online at in-person at Nite Owl Drive-In

10:45 pm

STUDIO 17: THE LOST REGGAE TAPES

Dir. Mark James | 85 mins | 2019 | Jamaica | English | Non-Fiction

STUDIO 17: THE LOST REGGAE TAPES, opens a door into the creation of a musical form that changed the sound of popular music around the world and takes a hard look at the real lives of the poor musicians who created it. Located in the heart of downtown Kingston, Studio 17 was a nerve center of Jamaica's vibrant music scene. Shot in Jamaica, London, and Hamburg, the film follows Clive Chin's own battle to secure the rights to Randy's archive so that the music will be heard by future generations. We also see his emotional struggle to overcome the murder of his son Joel Chin, who was head of A&R for VP Records and worked closely with dancehall stars like Sean Paul & Beenie Man.

STUDIO 17: THE LOST REGGAE TAPES will be screening exclusively at Nite Owl Drive-In

SUNDAY, JUNE 27

1:45 pm

SHORTS: PEOPLE, PLACES

These five short works of non-fiction palpably give form to subjects and locations, from New Orleans to Puerto Rico, the Cuban countryside to New York City.

YOU CAN'T STOP SPIRIT

Dir. Vashni Korin | 16 mins | 2021 | United States | English | Non-Fiction

You Can't Stop Spirit centers the Baby Doll Mardi Gras masking tradition, comprised of a group of self-liberated black women that created an alternative social space where they are allowed and encouraged to be free.

BY WAY OF CANARSIE

Dirs. Emily Packer and Lesley Steele | 14 mins | 2020 | United States | English | Non-Fiction

By Way of Canarsie, is a wandering portrait of an oft-neglected shoreline community. Through brief encounters, observation, and expressive use of analog film, the film paints a portrait of the predominantly black New York City neighborhood of Canarsie's shared desires for recognition and respect. As some community members advocate for a commuter ferry at the local pier, others reflect on the current use of natural resources, the indigenous history, and the impending environmental concerns that encompass Canarsie's relationship with the water as it exists today.

THE WHISPER OF THE LEAVES

Dir. Amir Ather Valen | 16 mins | 2021 | Cuba | Spanish | Non-Fiction

The Whisper of the Leaves is a contemplative journey of harmony between different forms of life that coexist on the earth. This film is a meditation on the effect of time, movement of the human spirit, and passage to new forms of life, through the eyes, ears, and bodies of three elderly land workers living in a small community in the outskirts of Bauta, Cuba.

QUEENIE

Dir. Cai Thomas | 19 mins | 2020 | United States | English | LGBTQ+ Non-Fiction

Queenie, a 73-year-young black lesbian, navigates applying for Stonewall House, New York City's first LGBT elder-affordable housing.

COMIDA PA' LOS POBRES

Dir. Arleen Cruz-Alicea | 14 mins | 2021 | Puerto Rico | Spanish with English subtitles | Non-Fiction

Through Los Comedores Sociales de Puerto Rico, a platform he created in 2012, Giovanni Roberto has fed hundreds of Puerto Rican families. Having known food scarcity in his own life, he pushes every day for community solidarity to manage the hunger that the government of Puerto Rico neglects. Comida Pa' Los Pobres is a portrait of this young man who inspires people to actively participate in the creation of a solidarity-oriented work movement, as he also fights for government agencies to understand that he only seeks to give food to the poor.

4:00 pm

CELAJE

Dir. Sofía Gallisá Muriente | 41 mins | 2020 | Puerto Rico | Spanish with English subtitles | Experimental Non-Fiction

Celaje (Cloudscape), oscillates between chronicle, dream and document, using nature's times to interpret human cycles. Combining images filmed on 16mm and Super8, home movies, a found quarter-inch audio tape, old and hand-developed film, and an original score by José Iván Lebrón Moreira, this essay film is an elegy to the death of the Puerto Rican colonial project and the sedimentation of disasters in this Caribbean island.

Preceded by

PARAKUPÁ VENÁ (FALL FROM THE HIGHEST POINT)

Dir. Mariana Parisca | 13 mins | 2020 | Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela | English and Spanish | Experimental Non-Fiction

The Venezuelan currency, the Bolivar, has exceeded a 10,000,000% inflation rate, the highest recorded such rate in the world. Parakupá Vená (Fall From the Highest Point) is an experimental film completely composed of microscopic footage of the hyperinflated currency bills. In the film, a narrator alludes to national and personal histories represented on the bills, while Parakupá Vená, the tallest waterfall in the world, also known as Angel Falls, becomes a metaphor for the extreme capital collapse. The images of landscapes on the bills reveal the persistence of image-making as a colonial tool for the incorporation of land into accumulated value.

6:00 pm

SHORTS: COLONIAL (DIS)ENTANGLEMENTS

Using a wide range of archival materials in a potent range of ways, the six films in this programme interrogate the legacies of different forms of colonialism across the globe, from India to Africa to the Caribbean to the USA.

AT HOME BUT NOT AT HOME

Dir. Suneil Sanzgiri | 11 mins | 2019 | India/United States | Hindi and English | Experimental Non-Fiction

Filmmaker Suneil Sanzgiri's father was 18 when India ousted the last remaining Portuguese colonizers from Goa in 1961. Combining 16mm with drone footage, desktop screenshots, and Skype interviews with the filmmaker's father, At Home But Not at Home utilises various modes of seeing at a distance to question identity, the construction of memory and anti-colonial solidarity across continents.

NO ARCHIVE CAN RESTORE YOU

Dir. Onyeka Igwe | 6 mins | 2020 | Nigeria/United Kingdom | No Dialogue | Experimental Non-Fiction

The former Nigerian Film Unit building, one of the first self-directed outposts of the British visual propaganda engine, the Colonial Film Unit, stands empty on Ikoyi Road, Lagos, in the shadow of today's Nigerian Film Corporation building. The rooms are full of dust, cobwebs, stopped clocks, and rusty and rotting celluloid film cans. The films housed in this building are hard to see because of their condition, but also perhaps because people do not want to see them. They reveal a colonial residue that is echoed in walls of the building itself. Taking its title from the 2018 Juliette Singh book, No Archive Can Restore You depicts the spatial configuration of this colonial archive, which lies just out of view, in the heart of the Lagosian cityscape. This is an exploration into the "sonic shadows" that colonial moving images continue to generate.

A NEW ENGLAND DOCUMENT

Dir. Che Applewhaite | 16 mins | 2020 | United States/United Kingdom | English | Non-Fiction

Using found footage with selected images and text from The Marshall Collection at Harvard University's Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, A New England Document reconstructs the impulse of two ethnographers' photographic encounters in the Kalahari Desert, Namibia, from the reparative perspective of its formerly silenced stories. The filmmaker, a black British-Trinidadian Harvard undergraduate, and their daughter, the writer Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, give voice in fragmentary counterpoint to the haunting sounds of archival ghosts.

SIGHT UNSEEN

Dir. Alessandra Ferrini | 19 mins | 2019 | United Kingdom | Italian and English | Non-Fiction

Omar al-Mukhtar (1885-1931) was the leader of the organised resistance against the Italian colonisation of Libya (1911-1943). He became a symbol of the Libyan people's resilience, but in Italy his name remains unknown. Sight Unseen explores the concealment and appropriation around the memory and documentation of Mukhtar's final days and spectacularized state killing, through the analysis of visual and material culture that has been subject to either manipulation or obfuscation in Italy. These materials include the most complete-but legally unpublishable-series of images of Mukhtar's capture and execution; Mukhtar's contested glasses and purse; the Hollywood production The Lion of the Desert; and Monumento al Carabiniere, a memorial to Italian armed forces in Turin. Sight Unseen attempts to portray the carefully orchestrated politics of visibility and invisibility that shape the memory of colonial trauma in Italy.

A SO-CALLED ARCHIVE

Dir. Onyeka Igwe | 20 mins | 2020 | Nigeria/United Kingdom | English | Experimental Non-Fiction

Mixing the genres of the radio play, the corporate video tour, and detective noir with a haunting and critical approach to the horror of discovery, A So-called Archive interrogates the decomposing repositories of Empire with a forensic lens. Blending footage shot over a year in two separate colonial archive buildings-one in Lagos, Nigeria, and the other in Bristol, United Kingdom-this double portrait considers the "sonic shadows" that colonial images continue to generate, despite the disintegration of their memory and their materials.

LISTEN TO THE BEAT OF OUR IMAGES

Dirs. Audrey Jean-Baptiste and Maxime Jean-Baptiste | 15 mins | 2021 | French Guiana/France | French with English Subtitles | Experimental Non-Fiction

Based on audiovisual archives from France's National Center for Space Studies (CNES), Listen to the Beat of Our Images, deals with the establishment of the Guyanese Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana, from the perspective of a young Guianese woman, who watches as the land around her is transformed.

8:30 pm

EYIMOFE

Dirs. Arie Esiri and Chuko Esiri | 116 mins | 2020 | Nigeria | English | Fiction

A passport, photos and a visa: these recurring elements in Eyimofe (This is My Desire). Set in Lagos, Nigeria, the film follows the stories of Mofe, a factory technician, and Rosa, a hairdresser, on their quest for what they believe will be a better life on foreign shores. The characters' misfortunes are part of their everyday life and they are sketching out the need to leave Nigeria at the same time. At the bottom of the socio-economic ladder, status, money, gender, skin colour and family structures are inextricably connected. The longing for another life is but one thread in this complex mesh, a promise that floats above things at once near and far away.

Preceded by

LIZARD

Dir. Akinola Davies | 18 mins |2020 | Nigeria | English | Fiction

After 8-year-old Juwon gets removed from Bible class by her Sunday school teacher, she follows an agama lizard into the bowels of the Heaven's Gate Mega Church. Her journey into the labyrinth exposes the financial inner workings and the hidden activities behind the scenes, plunging her deeper until she is confronted by a spellbinding sermon and a congregation worshipping in a hypnotized frenzy.

MONDAY, JUNE 28

6:00 pm

SHORTS: STRONG FEMALE LEAD

Memorable female protagonists anchor these four short works of fiction, ranging across the globe from Jamaica to Mauritius to the USA.

ANIKSHA

Dir. Vincent Toi | 20 mins | 2020 | Mauritius | French and French Creole with English Subtitles | Fiction

Aniksha, is a young Indo-Mauritian woman. After her arranged marriage, she finds a job at a call centre, a booming industry in Mauritius. There she encounters her enigmatic supervisor and discovers a new world of possibilities.

CITRIC ACID

Dir. Elenie Chung | 19 mins | 2021 | United States | English | Fiction

Aino and Yu Xing are two best friends and two working fine artists. Competition is as natural as intimacy between the two, but their relationship may be heading toward a breaking point.

NYMPH

Dir. Maria del Mar Rosario | 17 mins | 2020 | United States | Spanish and English with English Subtitles | Fiction

Pressured by her economic situation, a newly arrived Cuban immigrant in New York enters a world of embellished sex work. (Explicit sexual content)

MADA

Dir. Joseph Douglas Elmhirst | 19 mins | 2020 | Jamaica | Patois and English | LGBTQ+ Fiction

Mada follows three days in the life of a young mother named Faith, her mother, Ethel, and Faith's son, Luther, living in rural Jamaica, where isolation carries its own sound. As the narrative unfolds, a simmering conflict over Luther surfaces, offering insight into two mothers' conflicting natures and notions about love and protection.

8:45 pm

BULADÓ

Dir. Eché Janga | 86 mins | 2020 | Curaçao | Papiamento and Dutch with English Subtitles | Fiction

Headstrong Kenza, lives with her father Ouira and grandfather Weljo in a car-wrecking yard in Curaçao. The two men are opposites that don't particularly attract: Ouira is a determined and rational police officer, while Weljo identifies with the original inhabitants and spirituality of the island. As Weljo wishes to prepare his passing to the world of spirits, the relationship between Ouira en Weljo starts to escalate and eleven-year-old Kenza searches for her own path in-between the two extremes. The down-to-earth and avoidant mentality of Ouira no longer offers her all that she needs, and slowly she opens up to the more mystical and comforting traditions of her grandfather.

TUESDAY, JUNE 29

4:00 pm

NEAR-DEATH EXPERIENCE

Dir. Jil Servant | 46 mins | 2020 | Guadeloupe | French and French Creole with English Subtitles | Fiction

When you're dead, everything is simple: no surprises, no conflicts, no regrets. On the other hand, when you are almost dead, anything can happen. After surviving a serious car accident, filmmaker Jil Servant-who is of part Martiniquan heritage-surveys his life. Living mainly in France but working in the French Caribbean, he considers an existence made up of images and sweat, and the challenges of being a Caribbean filmmaker.

Preceded by

FOUYÉ ZÉTWAL (PLOWING THE STARS)

Dir. Wally Fall | 14 mins | 2020 | Guadeloupe | French Creole with English Subtitles | Experimental Fiction

On her way to meet her father, a woman reflects on her life. Along the way, the country looks empty to her and, slowly, memories of past lives come back to her. Are they real? Or are they only dreams?

6:00 pm

SHORTS: BEYOND THE BARRICADES

From protest as celebration to celebration as protest, anti-authoritarian resistance to the mixed legacy of political struggle, the six films in this progamme all consider issues around protest, marronage and solidarity worldwide.

BRAZIL IS THEE, HAITI IS (T)HERE

Dir. Carlos Adriano | 17 mins | 2021 | Brasil | Portuguese, English, French, Haitian Creole with English Subtitles | Non-Fiction

On March 16, 2020, in Brasília, the capital of Brazil, an anonymous and unknown Haitian man challenged the head of the nation: "Bolsonaro, it's over. You are not president anymore." This film poem counterpoints that event with the catastrophic military operations held by Minustah (United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti), commanded by Brazil in 2005 and 2006, in Cité Soleil, Port-au-Prince. The film summons the song Haiti by Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil, and makes references to the Haitian revolution, the poem O Guesa by Sousândrade, Bur-Jargal by Victor Hugo, the film Haiti: The Way of Liberty by Arnold Antonin, and the unrealized project by Sergei Eisenstein and Paul Robeson about Toussaint Louverture. (Potentially triggering content)

Letter From Your Far Off Country, Suneil Sanzgiri, 17'33

FI DEM III: ANCESTRAL INTERFERENCE

Dir. Zinzi Minott | 11 mins | 2020 | United Kingdom | Patois and English | Experimental Non-Fiction

Fi Dem III: Ancestral Interference, like the preceding instalments of the filmmaker's project (both previous THFF selections), invokes the HMT Empire Windrush's mid-century voyage from Jamaica to London-except now we see it placed explicitly alongside emblems of the transatlantic slave trade. The slave ship's hold stretches across centuries of black Caribbean history into the present, as the film turns our attention to the legacies of black Caribbean life, sound, resistance and communion within its diaspora. The film also draws from personal and familial archives to chart several black Caribbean journeys and narratives, some of which have been imaged and returned to throughout the series.

AQUÍ

Dir. Carlos Mario | 10 mins | 2020 | Puerto Rico | Spanish with English Subtitles | Non-Fiction

Using recent events in Puerto Rico as its point of departure, Aquí is an intimate and rigorous exploration of political protest as an effective space.

HERE IS THE IMAGINATION OF THE BLACK RADICAL

Dir. Rhea Storr | 10 mins | 2020 | The Bahamas | English | Experimental Non-Fiction

In Here Is the Imagination of the Black Radical, Afrofuturism is communicated via the Bahamian people through Junkanoo, a form of celebration in the Bahamas. Originally celebrated by slaves who were given three days off only, Junkanoo can be viewed as a form of resistance, celebrated on Boxing Day and New Year's Day. The film follows the Shell Saxon Superstar, who come together in spectacular fashion to enact a politically motivated theme, asserting national pride or depicting other countries. We visit the shacks where the costumes are made to observe the craftsmanship and dedication required to win the parade and obtain bragging rights. The soundtrack has many layers and is comprised mostly of samples. Like the 16mm film images, analog sounds, (chiefly static and radio) are used to obscure a seemingly obtainable message.

I'M FREE NOW, YOU ARE FREE

Dir. Ash Goh Hua | 15 mins | 2020 | United States | English | Non-Fiction

When Mike Africa Jr. was born in prison, he spent just three days with his mother Debbie Africa, a formerly incarcerated political prisoner of the MOVE9, before prison guards wrenched him away. They spent the next 40 years struggling for freedom and for each other. I'm Free Now, You Are Free reflects on their reunion, and meditates on black family preservation as resistance against state violence.

8:00 pm

OUVERTURES

Dir. The Living and the Dead Ensemble | 132 mins | 2020 | Haiti/France/United Kingdom | Haitian Creole and French | Hybrid

Moving from the frozen landscapes of the Jura mountains to the urban centres of Port-au-Prince, Ouvertures brings the Haitian revolutionary, Toussaint Louverture, back to life. In France, a Haitian researcher tries to read the past within the stratigraphic layers of Jurassic limestone, whilst in Haiti a group of young actors translate and rehearse scenes from Monsieur Toussaint, a play written by Édouard Glissant, that recounts the last days in the life of Louverture dying in exile in a prison cell in the Jura, 1803. Ghosts from the pantheon of Haitian history visit Louverture on his deathbed and put him to trial. As the play proceeds the actors become possessed by their characters, and eventually the ghost of Louverture joins the group and takes them on a voyage for a new kind of exile.

Preceded by

LES TEMPS (THE TIMES)*

Dir. Miryam Charles | 2 mins | 2021 | Dominica | French with English Subtitles | Experimental Fiction

In order to situate herself in history, a young woman invokes the present, past, and future.

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 30

4:00 pm

SHORT FICTIONS: PROGRAM 2

Another four dramatic shorts from the Caribbean and its diaspora showcasing a dazzling variety in both form and content.

OUT OF MANY

Dir. Rebecca Williams | 15 mins | 2020 | Jamaica | Jamaican Patois and English | Fiction

Asha, a teenage girl from a politically involved and influential family within Jamaica, enjoys a life far removed from any harsh reality. Asha's privileged bubble pops, however, when she and her driver come across the dead body of a local street cleaner. To her, the body represents a side of Jamaica that she only sees through the skewed lens of the media. Slowly but surely, Asha's world view begins to unwind as she is thrust into deep introspection.

THE LOST LAND GIRL

Dir. Shakira Francis | 12 mins | 2020 | United Kingdom | English | Fiction

On a farm in the north of England, Helena tries to convince her sister Lillian that they should leave the Women's Land Army for a better assignment elsewhere. Lillian remains stubborn and refuses to go despite the racism and discrimination they have had to endure. Meanwhile, Elizabeth Ashworth is becoming increasingly resentful at the sisters' presence on the farm, so she enlists the help of fellow Land Girl, Sarah, to devise a plan that will get the sisters to leave. The tension between the four women begins to grow until Elizabeth makes a decision that changes everything.

TIMOUN AW

Dir. Nelson Foix | 27 mins | 2020 | France | French Creole and French with English Subtitles | Fiction

While being chased, Chris discovers on his stair landing a baby who seems to be intended for him. Doubtful of his paternity, he sets out to find the mother of the child.

MANO SANTA

Dir. Steph Camacho | 14 mins | 2020 | Puerto Rico | Spanish with English Subtitles | LGBTQ+ Fiction

Mano Santa, tells a story of unconditional love between a grandfather and his grandson. Pablo is the grandson of Don Isidoro, better known as the town's mano santa or healer, and when Pablo comes to visit the old man the two solemnly share their daily routines in the Puerto Rican countryside. Upon discovering the real reason for his grandson's visit, however, Don Isidoro recognizes that he must accept the things he cannot change, and in doing so illustrates the true meaning of human understanding and sensitivity.

6:00 pm

BETWEEN DOG AND WOLF

Dir. Irene Gutiérrez | 125 mins | 2019 | Cuba | Spanish with English Subtitles | Hybrid

Immersed in the jungle of Sierra Maestra, three veterans of the Angolan War are reluctant to abandon the revolutionary spirit which brought them together as comrades over thirty years ago. Always on guard, they continue to train dressed in their old uniforms for an endless mission: a war game in which they still can feel respected, strong and, above all, spiritually young. They are the last Samurai of the Cuban Revolution.

Preceded by

LOS NIÑOS LOBOS (THE WOLF KIDS)

Dir. Otávio Almeida | 17 mins | 2020 | Cuba | Spanish with English Subtitles | Hybrid

In Cuba, 60 years after the Revolution, two teenage brothers live in their own dystopian universe. The boys live with their father, a veteran of the Angolan war. While they get involved in war games where innocence loses ground, their father's ghosts take them away from reality, leading them to a future full of uncertainties.

8:30 pm

FAYA DAYI

Dir. Jessica Beshir | 120 minutes | 2021 | Ethiopia, USA, Qatar | Oromiffa, Harari with English Subtitles | Non-Fiction

Ethiopian legend has it that khat, a stimulant leaf, was found by Sufi Imams in search of eternity. Inspired by this myth, Faya Dayi is a spiritual journey into the highlands of Harar immersed in the rituals of khat, a leaf that Sufi Muslims chewed for religious meditations - and

Ethiopia's most lucrative cash crop today. Through the prism of the khat trade, Faya Dayi weaves a tapestry of intimate stories of people caught between violent government repression,khat-induced fantasies and treacherous journeys beyond their borders, and offers a window into the dreams of the youth who long for a better life.

THURSDAY, JULY 1

6:00 pm

SHORTS: HOMELANDS

From traditional non-fiction to more experimental approaches, from the playful to the poignant, the five films in this programme all grapple with notions of home and belonging.

SEARCHING FOR ANA VELDFORD

Dir. Ronald Baez | 6 mins | 2020 | United States | Spanish with English Subtitles | Non-Fiction

A middle-aged mother of two reflects on her emotional decision to immigrate to the United States some 30 years earlier, in this reflective documentary short that borrows its title from a uniquely powerful poem by the legendary exiled Cuban writer Lourdes Casal.

MOTHERLAND

Dir. Ellen Evans | 13 mins | 2020 | United Kingdom | English | Non-Fiction

Motherland traces the experiences of two young men forcibly returned to Jamaica after a lifetime in Britain, alongside the story of a Windrush-generation man denied re-entry to the UK. Through the personal accounts of those who have had their British identity questioned by the state, Motherland explores what it really means for someone to "go back home."

ARTIFACT #3: TERRA NULLIUS

Dir. Kearra Amaya Gopee | 11 mins | 2019 | Trinidad & Tobago/United States | English | Experimental Non-Fiction

Artifact #3: Terra Nullius visualizes how personhood, family and intimacy are influenced by lineages of trauma and spirituality within diasporic Caribbean identity. An exploration of how migration and memory affect manifestations of the Anglophone Caribbean family from the pre-Independence period to the present, the film uses the filmmaker's own family history as a point of reference.

MORNING SICKNESS IN THE USA

Dir. Cristine Brache | 3 mins | 2020 | United States | Spanish with English Subtitles | Experimental Non-Fiction

In Morning Sickness in the USA, the director shares the story of her grandmother, who was quarantined in 1961 after seeing a doctor for inexplicable nausea. Having immigrated to the US from Puerto Rico, doctors suspected she had an infectious disease and put her in quarantine in a mental asylum. The reason for her nausea was later revealed to be pregnancy.

HOME SOON COME

Dir. Hope Strickland | 22 mins | 2020 | United Kingdom | English | Experimental Non-Fiction

Home Soon Come is part of an on-going project with the elderly Caribbean community in South Manchester. The film plays between archival footage of the Caribbean islands, interviews with family members, and scenes shot in a day centre for the elderly. It explores diasporic movements, memory-placing through domestic objects and what it means to find ourselves at home in the people around us.

8:30 pm

BANTÙ MAMA

Dir. Ivan Herrera | 77 mins | 2021 | Dominican Republic/France | Spanish and French with English Subtitles | Fiction

A French woman of African descent manages to escape after being arrested in the Dominican Republic. She finds shelter in the most dangerous district of Santo Domingo, where she is taken in by a group of children. By becoming their protégée and maternal figure, she will see her destiny change inexorably.

BANTÚ MAMA will be screening both online and in-person at Nite Owl Drive-In. It will be followed by our Closing Night Party DJed by Foreigner and special guests.


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