Pan! Our Music Odyssey, an eagerly awaited docudrama about the steelpan, will have its world premiere when it opens the ninth edition of the trinidad+tobago film festival (ttff) on Tuesday 16 September.
The film, several years in the making, was written by Kim Johnson, the foremost pan researcher in T&T. He is the author of such books as The Illustrated Story of Pan and If Yuh Iron Good You is King: The Pan Pioneers of Trinidad and Tobago.
Belgium-born filmmaker Jérôme Guiot—who has been awarded in France for his music-video work with the pop artist Stromae—directed the film. Barthélémy Fougea (who received the César, the French equivalent of the Oscar, for best documentary in 2014 for the film On the Way to School) and Jean Michel Gibert (Maturity Productions/Caribbean Music Group) served as producers.
The writer, director and producers will be present to introduce the film.
The screening of Pan! will take place on the evening of Tuesday, September 16th at the historic Globe cinema in Port of Spain, from 6.30pm. After the screening, guests will head over to the Zen nightclub for a reception and cash-bar after-party.
“I always thought of T&T as the place to unveil Pan! to the public,” said Gibert. “I am happy we will be doing so at the ttff, before the film travels abroad to other film festivals, theatrical releases, and network television.”
Eighty minutes long, Pan! Our Music Odyssey tells the epic story of pan, the only new acoustic musical instrument invented in the twentieth century.
The film boldly dramatises the almost mythical invention of pan in the 1940s, and then surges forward to tell the stories of people from all over the world—T&T, France, Japan, the USA—who have staked everything on their love of the instrument, and whose passion and daring draw them each year to the “world championships” of steelpan, Panorama.
Pan! is interlaced with dramatic re-enactments of the rags-to-riches tale of the steelband movement, which was born into poverty and violence but climbed to the highest levels of social and artistic acceptance without losing its life-or-death urgency.
The result is an extraordinary global human adventure, as rousing and life-affirming as any great pan symphony.
“The ttff is honoured to be associated with Pan!, a film that celebrates the history of our magnificent steelpan,” said Bruce Paddington, Founder and Festival Director, ttff. “We are proud that it will be opening the Festival, on what we expect to be a triumphant note.”
Tickets for the opening night gala cost TT$150. Call 621.0709 to purchase.
The ttff/14 runs until September 30.
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