The Caribbean American Heritage Foundation of Texas (CAHFT), in collaboration with The Piton International Film Festival (PIFF) and The Chicago Caribbean Film Festival (CCFF) launches the First Annual Houston Caribbean Film Festival (HCFF), and feature Saint Lucia’s “Who Are You?” directed by Darnel Kendal John.
The HCFF will take place on June 18-19, 2016 during National Caribbean American Heritage Month, which occurs annually in June. Films from Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Haiti, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago will be screened at this year’s two-day inaugural event in “Who Are You” details Saint Lucia’s enchanting cultural and natural heritage. It is the hopes “Who Are You” will stir viewers to not only appreciate the island and its traditions more, but that it would drive all St. Lucians to do what they can to preserve their natural and cultural heritage.
According to Mr. John, the film will debunk some popular myths and many traditions will be highlighted and their roots explained. Issues such as public beach access, and the waning support to cultural art forms are all put under the lens for inspection. The movie is very popular in Saint Lucia and is in high demand The HCFF is dedicated to embracing and promoting the rich Caribbean culture through the eye of the director’s lens.
The mission is to promote, support, increase and heighten interest and awareness of Caribbean films, filmmakers, screen writers, producers and directors in the Caribbean basin and the diaspora year-round, focusing particularly in June, National Caribbean American Heritage Month.
The HCFF will provide opportunities for Houston’s diverse audience to not only screen films from Caribbean nations, but to also interact with the film makers, producers, writers and directors in a series of Meet-and-Greets and interviews in Houston. It is their hope that The Festival will foster greater understanding and support of Caribbean history, and make positive contributions to the Houston Art scene, while sharing the Caribbean’s distinctive charms and unique historical and modern.
This year, the HCFF will comprise of four full length feature films and several short films. Two films scheduled to be screened have received critical acclaim and won film industry awards. The Jamaican film Diary of a Badman was the winner of the Best Narrative Feature award at the 2015 Jamaica Film Festival; and The Price of Memory was nominated in the category of Best Documentary Feature at the 2014 Trinidad & Tobago Film Festival. Other films will include: from Saint Lucia, Who Are You?; from Barbados, Soucouyant; and from Haiti, Father Joseph.
The Piton International Film Festival (PIFF) and The Chicago Caribbean Film Festival (CCFF) provided valuable support in the creation of the Houston Caribbean Film Festival. Under their leadership and guidance, Houston can now be recognized as one of the few cities in the country to have a Caribbean Film Festival.
Here is a synopsis of the two sister events occurring in 2016: The Piton International Film Festival (PIFF), is the brain child of the founder of Umoja Communications, Edmund Herman known to many as “Brother Umoja.” Brother Umoja was born on the Caribbean island of St. Lucia. Inspired by the words of the late Sir John Compton, who challenged Lucians overseas to help build their homeland into a better place, Brother Umoja has been building business relationships with the people of his homeland since 1998.
With a love for his homeland and the belief that St. Lucia is more than capable of increasing the filmmaking opportunities on its shores, Brother Umoja created the Piton International Film Festival. The PIFF will be held in Saint Lucia from August 15, 2016 to August 21, 2016.
The Chicago Caribbean Film Festival (CCFF) is sponsored by the Caribbean American Heritage Council of Illinois (CAHCIL) and the Oak Park Public Library. Founded in 2015, we work alongside the Piton International Film Festival (PIFF) (Saint Lucia); Houston Caribbean Film Festival (HCFF); and we sponsor a contest with the Bermuda International Film Festival (BIFF) to screen the winning short film. The Chicago Caribbean Film Festival (CCFF) will be held from June 05, 2016 to June 15, 2016 at the Oak Park Public Library (Main Library), 834 Lake Street, Oak Park, Illinois 60301, in the Veteran’s Room.
There will be an additional location for the film festival that has yet to be determined with potentially additional screening The Houston Caribbean Film Festival will be held at The Midtown Arts and Theater Center Houston (MATCH), with another location to be confirmed and announced in the very near future. For more information about the HCFF, their mission and a complete guide to the Festival’s films, visit their official website, (www.houstoncaribbeanfilmfestival.org).