The Caribbean’s Premier Film Festival Is Back

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - May 2, 2022

The Caribbean’s premier film festival has made its triumphant return to the island of St Barth.

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

It’s the first time the event has been held since the onset of the pandemic.

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

The first two films will be shown at May 4 and 5 in Lorient, while the films on May 6 and 7 will be shown on the main dock in Gustavia.

Th event was created in 1996, with the goal of “presenting the rich cinematic art of the Caribbean to the
population of the island.”

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

• Wednesday, May 4, 8pm, 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 gambles everything for a deal that seems too good to be true. This film has won more than 25 awards including: Best Director and Best Fiction Film at the international film festival Festigious; Best Feature Film at the Florence Film Awards; Best Foreign Film at Moody Crab Film Fest in India: and Best Global Feature of the Season at Best Global Shorts, among others. Mambo Man is packed with 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, May 5, 8pm, 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 thanks to their small shop. Faced with the daily struggles of live in Haiti, they each ask if they should stay or leave. Freda tries to belief in the future of her country. The film was acclaimed by the critics 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, May 6, 8pm, Gustavia
By TG Herrington and Danny Clinch
(United States, 2018, 1h22min, documentary)
English with French subtitles, presented by TG Herrington

An American documentary about the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. The leader of New Orleans’ famed Preservation Hall Jazz Band seeks to fulfill his late father’s dream of retracing 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 resolve to build bridges, not wall. The film was directed by TG Herrington and Danny Clinch, and narrated by Ben Jaffee, whose parents founded Preservation Hall in a segregated New Orleans in 1961.
The documentary had its world premiere at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin, TX where Michael King of the Austin Chronicle[4] exclaimed that it is “very likely to become a classic of the music documentary genre.”

• Saturday, May 7, 8pm, Gustavia
PARLEZ-VOUS MUSIQUE ? – Caribbean premiere
by Alex Bendahan
(United States, 2022, 70min, documentary)
English and French with subtitles, presented by Alex Bendahan and Charly Veille
It’s a celebration of Saint Barth musical heritage and a look at the wide variety of musicians who come here from around the globe, adding to the mix. The people here on one of the smallest and most beautiful Caribbean islands have always had a unique musical style. A style distinctly different from their neighbors. Over the years St, Barth musicians created their own musical blend a tradition that continues today.

For more, visit the St Barth Film Festival.

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