Right on the heels of Jamaica’s 50th Year of Independence celebrations, and the domination of her athletes at the 2012 Olympic Games in Britain, the region’s preeminent filmmaker collective New Caribbean Cinema, founded by filmmakers Storm Saulter and Michelle Serieux, are planning yet another coup for Jamaica with the launch of their portmanteau film RING DI ALARM!. The film which showcases 7 short stories by 6 visionary Caribbean directors: Joel Burke, Nile Saulter, Kyle Chin, Michael ‘Ras Tingle’ Tingling, Storm Saulter and Michelle Serieux, will see theatres for the very first time at the British Film Institute, London’s most important cinema space, in September 2012.
An entire weekend of celebration has been planned around the event, under the collective title “Jamaica We Love You”. The weekend kicks off with a special screening of the Award Winning Jamaican Feature Film BETTER MUS’ COME on Saturday September 1st at the BFI’s Southbank location, followed by a Question and Answer session with the filmmakers and a cocktail reception. The Saulter- directed film has enjoyed a tremendous award-winning streak since it’s release, most recently picking up the award for Best Performance by an Actor (Male or Female) at the American Black Film Festival (ABFF) in Miami Beach, Florida this past June.
The weekend will continue with the World premiere of RING DI ALARM on Sunday September 2. The filmmakers behind this unique production will also be present for a talkback session with the audience.
The event, which was initialized during a meeting between Serieux , NCC’s principal Producer and the BFI’s Programmer David Somerset in the UK last year, will be part of a larger celebration of Independence at the film center. “ It is very important to us that they chose to have this event here…we are thrilled to host this London premiere of Better Mus Come and the world premiere of Ring Di Alarm!,” says Somerset.
Serieux agrees, “ We are so excited about the timing of this launch, the venue, its all so very important for us to be in London at this time, while the athletes have done their thing, so are we. Its been a long time coming and after close to 2 years on this labor of love, which is Caribbean independent Cinema at its truest, no funding, all free labor from a talented pool of dedicated artist and crew, to launch now, in a month where not just one but two Caribbean territories are celebrating their Independence, this could not be more fitting.”
Saulter had this to say “RING DI ALARM! Is a true experiment in guerilla filmmaking in the Caribbean. A group of talented up-and-coming filmmakers have managed to pull together and create something unique, that represents so many different facets of Jamaican/Caribbean culture, and we’ve managed to do this with very little money. Each director involved has a truly unique voice, giving the film a distinct charm. This approach may be the key to developing an independent film culture in the Caribbean. As far as “Better Mus’ Come” is concerned, I’ve been dreaming about seeing this film play in London, people there have been requesting in hard, and having the platform of the British Film Institute, it will be a truly great weekend”
The team’s next stop after London is the Southern republic of Trinidad and Tobago, which also celebrates it’s jubilee at the end of this month. The entire team of directors has been invited to the twin Island Republic to present a workshop on their process, one that celebrates communal filmmaking over the more traditional set up.
Then finally, the team will be bringing it home. “Jamaica has waited a long time for this and so we want to make this THE MUST see event to round off an amazing year and an amazing project for us as a team. We are so proud of everyone who has been part o this process as people all around the world have been inspired by our brand of Caribbean filmmaking.”
NCC owes special thanks to dedicated core members like Joel Burke and Nile Saulter, who have provided technical assistance on all the productions. We recognize the invaluable contributions from other crew members Ezra Tomlinson, Garth Daley, Dean Johnson, David Osbourne, Marlon James, Ralin Goslin, Jacob Morgan, Kadri Samuels, and Seretse Small who composed the score for the films. We also received great support from Tsehai Scott and Asha Mc Lean from Far Eye Productions as well as from Delano Forbes at Phase 3 productions. NCC extends a huge thank you to everyone who supported us throughout the journey and we are thrilled to be at the finish line.