Celebrating Jamaica/Caribbean Independence At BFI Southbank, September 1st – 3rd, 2012, London

The Celebrating Independence strand at BFI Southbank under the African Odysseys project. African Odysseys began in 2007 as a one-off event and on the strength of its popularity and a sense that it was important to continue a programme of African Caribbean related film, a strategy was derived to continue with this partnership between the community and a major cultural institution. It began with a group of cultural leaders and spokespeople meeting to form the African Caribbean Consultative Group at the BFI. Since that date they have developed and promoted a series of contextualised screenings of archive and new titles, fiction and factual programmes on a monthly basis at the BFI Southbank. Celebrating Independence is a celebration of Caribbean culture in films from yesterday and today, running over three days from September 1st – 3rd.

Calypso Dreams chronicles the art and artists of calypso and celebrates the 50th anniversary of independence for Trinidad & Tobago. The screening will also feature noted calypsonians – Alexander D Great, Tobago Crusoe and D’Alberto.

Jamaica We Love You and Better Mus Come are examples of a recent and exciting development in filmmaking known as New Caribbean Cinema which reveals a new surge of artistry from the region. Jamaica We Love You is a portmanteau film showcasing 8 films by 7 directors in 1 location and highlights the ambitions and achievements of this new film movement.

Better Mus Come is the UK premiere for director Storm Saulter’s debut feature film which follows the gang war eruptions on the streets of Kingston in the 1970s. We hope to welcome Storm Saulter to introduce this screening.

The first feature-length film financed by Black people in Britain, the cult documentary Reggae captures on a reggae festival held in Wembley Stadium in 1970 – featuring the Pyramids, the Pioneers, the Maytals and many more.