‘The First Rasta’ to make N.Y. premiere

The First Rasta - Leonard Gong Howell.
Courtesy of ADIFF
Courtesy of ADIFF

On Nov. 25, the 19th annual African Diaspora International Film Festival returns with a slew of provocative and entertaining cinema representing five continents and emphasizing the perspectives of Africans in those regions.

Themed programs will focus on Black Australia, a focus on Cuba and other areas while feature length films will represent Africa, Australia, Europe, Latin America, North America, the Middle East, Africa and the West as well as the Caribbean.

From Jamaica via France, “The First Rasta” introduces Leonard Percival Howell (1893 – 1981) AKA Gong who founded Pinnacle, the first Rastafarian community in 1939. The document retraces the years Howell left Jamaica, became a sailor and travelled the world. His travels proved enlightening with lessons on Bolshevism, anarchism. Garveyism and with influences from Mahatma Gandhi helped to shape his creation in Jamaica.

The 90-minute presentation by Helene Lee combines archival police and newspaper clippings with music by Max Romeo, the Drummers of Count Ossie and Bob Marley to illuminate the origins and visions of the Rasta movement as well as demystify the myths that surround the advocates. The film will screen at the Quad, 34 West 34th St. beginning on Nov. 30.

“The Story of Lover’s Rock” opens on Nov. 25 at the Thalia. The 96-minute feature presents a uniquely Black British perspective on the music which became known as romantic reggae or lover’s rock. Filmmaker Menelik Shabazz cites a south London origin as the vehicle that propelled the underground sound to become a global brand. Featuring the sounds of Maxi Priest, UB40, Levi Roots, Sylvia Tella, and Linton Kwesi Johnson, the birth of a reggae genre is certified with booming sound systems in the United Kingdom.

A Caribbean Night will also feature the 104 minute, Barbadian film:“Hush 2: End The Silence;” “Catch A Fire” a 30-minute presentation about Paul Bogle and making its U.S. debut, an 8-minute short from Canada/Jamaica called “Laughing Through Tears.”

For detailed information on all the films log onto [email protected] or call (212)864-1760.

Spectacular Holiday Show Begins

Santa Claus is coming to town. And he is making an early arrival by stopping into Radio City Music Hall on Nov. 11.

There he will join the world-famous Rockettes, a few camels, donkeys, delightful children, some elves, three wise men, an organist and full orchestra for the 79th year of the Christmas Spectacular.

Kris Kringle is the true star and from his three dimensional entry through a multi-media presentation, he ushers in an unrivaled, spirited and lively holiday production.

For a quarter of a century, actor Charles Edward Hall has been portraying the lovable character at the famed music hall and he will resume residency there until Jan. 2, 2012.

Apparently he knows that not everyone wants to wait until Christmas Eve to hear him say “Ho, Ho, Ho” to children everywhere.

Fact is, waiting might prove a risky proposition for those hoping to catch him as he make his rounds to many holiday attractions after Thanksgiving and the lighting of the Rockefeller Plaza Christmas tree.

Due to limited engagements, high demand for tickets, increased crowds and the flood of tourists to see Kris Kringle, an early outing could make a difference.

11/11/11 Veterans Day With Love

A salute to military veterans and members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families will mark a Veterans Day remembrance and celebration at Citi Pond at Bryant Park in Manhattan on Nov. 11.

The 8:00 a.m. tribute will include all branches of the military and consist of a ceremony with former United States Marine, Tom Seaver, baseball Hall of Famer, and Darlene Love, 2011 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee.

Other honored guests include: Gospel singer Gerard Placide, singer Kelly Trudell, recording artist Tora Fisher, members of the Navajo Code Talkers, WWII veteran’s group and United We Sing, a vocal trio celebrating the American spirit.

The event is organized to thank all the military men and women for their service and sacrifice on behalf of the country and freedom in a prelude to the annual New York City Veterans Day Parade.

Bryant Park is located between W. 40th and W. 42nd Streets between Fifth and Sixth Avenues

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