The Caribbean’s premier film festival is back

The first Caribbean film festival has made its triumphant return to the island of St Barths.

The beloved Saint Barth Film Festival “Cinema Caraibes” is back from May 4 to 7, 2022.

This is the first time the event has taken place since the start of the pandemic.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the event, which will have four feature films on the program, including two documentaries.

The first two films will be screened on May 4 and 5 in Lorient, while the films of May 6 and 7 will be screened on the Grand Quai de Gustavia.

The event was created in 1996, with the aim of “presenting the richness of the cinematographic art of the Caribbean to the
population of the island”.

The big news this year is the Caribbean premiere of the film Parlez-Vous Musique by Alexander Bendahan, a documentary retracing the musical heritage of the island of St Barth.

• Wednesday May 4, 8 p.m., AJOE:
by Edesio Alejandro and Mo Fini (2020, Cuba, 1h22, drama)
Spanish with French subtitles; presented by Edesio Alejandro

This award-winning film was directed by Cuban musician Edesio Alejandro and Iranian-British filmmaker Mo Fini. Mambo Man tells the story of a Cuban farmer and music promoter who bets everything on a deal that seems too good to be true. This film won more than 25 awards including: Best Director and Best Fiction Film at the Festigious International Film Festival; Best Feature at the Florence Film Awards; Best Foreign Film at the Moody Crab Film Fest in India: and Best Global Feature Film of the Season at the Best Global Shorts, among others. Mambo Man is full of musical contributions from Cuban legends including; Candido Fabre, Maria Ochoa, Alma Latina, David Alvarez, Arturo Jorge, Omara Portuondo, Eliades Ochoa, Juan De Marcos Gonzalez and the Afro-Cuban All Stars.

• Thursday 5 May, 8 p.m., AJOE:
by Gessica Geneus (2021, Haiti, 1h33min)
Haitian Creole with French subtitles

Freda lives with her mother and sister in a poor neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. They make ends meet with their little shop. Faced with the daily struggles of life in Haiti, they each wonder whether they should stay or go. Freda tries to believe in the future of her country. The film was critically acclaimed and in June 2021, Freda was selected to compete in Un Certain Regard at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival, and was selected as the Haitian entry as Best International Feature Film for the 94th Academy Awards presented in 2022.

• Friday 6 May, 8 p.m., Gustavia
By TG Herrington and Danny Clinch
(USA, 2018, 1h22min, documentary)
English with French subtitles, presented by TG Herrington

An American documentary about the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. Leader of New Orleans’ famed Preservation Hall Jazz Band seeks to fulfill his late father’s dream of tracing their musical roots to the shores of Cuba in search of the indigenous music that gave birth to New Orleans jazz . A Tuba to Cuba celebrates the triumph of the human spirit expressed through the universal language of music and challenges us to build bridges, not walls. The film was directed by TG Herrington and Danny Clinch, and narrated by Ben Jaffee, whose parents founded Preservation Hall in isolated New Orleans in 1961.
The documentary had its world premiere at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin, TX, where the Austin Chronicle’s Michael King[4] exclaimed that it is “very likely to become a classic of the musical documentary genre”.

• Saturday 7 May, 8 p.m., Gustavia
DO YOU SPEAK MUSIC? – Caribbean premiere
by Alex Bendahan
(USA, 2022, 70min, documentary)
English and French with subtitles, presented by Alex Bendahan and Charly Veille
It’s a celebration of Saint Barth’s musical heritage and a look at the wide variety of musicians who come here from all over the world, adding to the mix. The inhabitants of one of the smallest and most beautiful islands in the Caribbean have always had a unique musical style. A distinctly different style from their neighbours. Over the years, St. Barts musicians have created their own musical mix, a tradition that continues today.

To learn more, visit the Saint Barth Film Festival.

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