After Mas | Dying Swan | Paradise Lost
After Mas (20′)
Directed by Karen Martinez and shot in Trinidad in February 2013 during Carnival, we experience the charge of this bacchanalian drama before following the characters return to their separate lives. In the cold light of day, can these young lovers from very different backgrounds stay true to their desires?
Dying Swan (10′)
After ten years, internationally acclaimed mas artist, Peter Minshall, reinterprets Mikhail Fokine’s classic ballet The Dying Swan for a ‘Moko Jumbie’ (a stilt dancer) in drag. Directed by Christopher Laird, this film chronicles the assemblage and performance of this mas at the King of Carnival competition in February 2016.
Paradise Lost (34′)
Carnival artist Peter Minshall tells the story of the design and construction of Paradise Lost, his first masquerade band for the Trinidad and Tobago carnival in 1976. Directed by Christopher Laird,‘Paradise Lost’ documents Peter Minshall’s recollection of the first band he ever designed under Stephen Lee Heung. The veteran producer of masquerade bands for Trinidad Carnival, Stephen Lee Heung, invited Peter Minshall to design his presentation for 1976 Carnival in Trinidad.
Directed by Claude Santiago, the film’s powerful soca figures are Machel Montano, Bunji Garlin, Fay-Ann Lyons, and Isaac Blackman. Through the interwoven portraits of these four stars, Soca Power is an energetic immersion into the world of soca.
Jab! The Blue Devils of Paramin
Isolated in the mountains of Trinidad, the district of Paramin, once a year at Carnival time sheds its rural languor and erupts into an inferno of bluepainted ‘jabs’ or devils. Kootoo, King Devil, prepares with his three brothers to once again win the village competition for the most convincing devil band. Known for his athletic prowess, and given to extraordinary feats like ripping up trees and scaling tall buildings, the charismatic Kootoo must still work hard with his band of devils to win the prize in the face of serious competition from a new generation of ‘jabs’.
“Mystic Fighters” is a documentary-based story on the ritual of stick fighting in Trinidad & Tobago and the power of the ancestral drum.
Mystic Fighters takes the spectator to the heart of Trinidad’s African heritage with testimonies of respected elders and well-established artists.
The film’s tension revolves around the stick-fighting competition, the preparation, the fights leading to the finals where the winner is declared. The history behind the tradition is the story of Trinidad brushed over the past century and also portrayed by the reconstruction of the burning of the sugar canes from which the Canboulay celebrations were born.
The rhythm of the film is constructed around the ‘chantuel’ and the calinda songs with drum being one of the main characters of the film; how its spirit is mastered is key to stick-fighting and transforming the sport into a ritual.
When Rain’s beloved grandmother dies she is forced to trade her simple but happy life on Ragged Island for the uncertainties of living in the capital with her mother, Glory, who abandoned her while a baby. Home becomes a two-room Nassau shack and Glory proves unfit for parental duties, being a drug addict, a prostitute, and quite possibly HIV positive. Rain seems destined for a bleak future, but for one thing: she is a promising sprinter. Her school’s track teacher, Trinidadian Ms Adams, becomes coach and mother figure to Rain, who is determined, almost literally, to outrun her fate.
Carmen and Geoffrey
The award-winning “Carmen and Geoffrey” is an intimate documentary which follows the careers of two remarkable personalities: Carmen de Lavallade and her husband Geoffrey Holder. Carmen, a dynamic dancer and choreographer from California, moved to New York with Alvin Ailey and began a legacy of modern dance in America. Geoffrey, a Trinidad-born choreographer, was also a set and costume designer, painter and man about town with productions such as The Wiz.
Rawlston Charles emigrated from Tobago to the USA in December 1967. Living in Bedford-Stuyvesant in Brooklyn, NY, Charles had a vision to promote calypso and soca music and its artists to the world through his record store, Charlie’s Calypso City, and music label, Charlie’s Records. “Charlie’s Records” reveals the American immigrant story of an unsung hero.
Brown Girl Begins
It’s 2049 and Toronto the Good has been taken over by the wealthy. A wall has been built around the city and the poor are expelled to an island off the coast, known as The Burn. The segregated Burndwellers have been forced to scrape out a living by bartering, recycling, and farming. Mami is the unspoken leader of the Burn, sharing her Caribbean herb lore and leading her followers in an ancient spiritual practice. Ti-Jeanne turns 19 and the time has come for her to succeed her grandmother and become a Priestess. When Mami tries to prepare her to take part in the same possession ritual that killed her mother, Ti-Jeanne refuses. She flees with her young love Tony to the other side of the Burn in hopes of leaving the spirit business behind. Until – out of the ashes of The Burn, a drug lord rises to take control of the remaining population and uses his right hand, Crack, to torment the Burn dwellers and prepare them for sale to mainlanders as smart slaves. When Crack begins torturing the children of the Burn, Ti-Jeanne can no longer refuse her other-worldly powers as a priestess. She is the only hope to save them. Can Ti-Jeanne handle the power of the spirits she has been so afraid of and save her people, or will her fear kill her?
Port-au-Prince by night. Doc and Zoe are just hired to deliver an unknown package. Their job comes with three essential rules: never stop the car, never roll down the windows, never open the trunk. At a crossroad, they stumble upon a dog. Each crossroad requires a sacrifice. Their decision will change their path irreversibly.
Green Days by the River
In a remote village in 1952 Trinidad, a curious boy pursues the affection of two girls. Despite his ailing father’s advice, Shell follows the compassionate Mr Gidharee to work on his plantation along the river, in hopes of attracting his daughter Rosalie, but then falls for Joan, a sweet, sensible girl from the city. From the love triangle that ensues, Shell learns bittersweet lessons of life and love that will define his manhood and future forever.