The Caribbean Film Academy, a non-profit founded by Guyanese-born Romola O. Lucas and American, Justen Blaize, who grew up in Grenada, will host a CaFA Film Nights – Guyanese Edition, at its 570 Fulton St. Brooklyn cinema on Friday, Feb. 21, at 7:00 p.m.
Advanced tickets are on sale via the organization’s website – www.caribbeanfilm.org.
The evening’s screening is expected to be quite entertaining with a list of exciting films that include, 2011 award-winning narrative short-film, and Cannes Film Festival winner ‘The Seawall” by Mason Richards.
“Beaches” by Kojo McPherson is a short narrative that was filmed in Guyana in 2012 traces the life of a man after he spreads the ashes of his wife on the Georgetown seawall.
Moviegoers will also enjoy Elijah Marchant’s documentary — ‘Tin City Voices” and “Rebecca’s Story,” a 2014 dramatic filmed by the Youth of the Witness Project.
In an interview with Caribbean Life, Romola O. Lucas co-founder of the two-year-old film series said that Caribbean people are naturally gifted and talented storytellers, but noted that before the screenings, their storytelling was oral and therefore limited in reach.
“Using film as a medium to share this gift presents the opportunity for our unique style of storytelling to be shared with the rest of the world,” she said. Lucas noted that it was important that “we get the word out about our filmmakers, as a means of helping them to stake their claim in the world’s storytelling space, and get the respect they deserve.”
She explained that the non-profit is constantly searching for filmmakers and keeping abreast of film news from the Caribbean. “We will continue these activities as well as attend film festivals in the Caribbean, specifically to meet filmmakers so that we could share their work with the world.”
Lucas, a corporate attorney by trade, who works tirelessly to put a spotlight on her culture in film, promotes the artists and their work through a blog and social media. The organization also uses its Anansi Studios (wwww.anansistudios.co) site to build an online collection of Caribbean films, some of which are offered free while others are available for a small cost, which is used to defray the cost of making films available onlin, and to compensate the filmmakers.
“The community has embrace the series since it started because they wanted to see images and stories on screen with which they could identify as Caribbean nationals. “This is also true of our audience members,” said Lucas adding, “that nationals leave feeling emotional and proud after seeing themselves represented so well on screen.”
Even though the turn out has not been a full house at all times, Lucas and her partner, Justen Blaize, a computer engineer by day, said they are committed to the project, which serves to educate nationals about Caribbean culture different from theirs, and as a way for them to pass their culture on to their children and grandchildren born outside of the Caribbean.
“The mix of films, such as genre, county of origin and themed screenings, are viewed once per month,” said Lucas, who has future plans for a film festival.