Thu | Jul 2, 2020

‘Rudeboy’ documentary for We Are One: A Global Film Festival

Published:Tuesday | June 2, 2020 | 12:00 AM
The great Lee Scratch Perry will also be highlighted.
Jamaican legend Marcia Griffiths will be among those featured.
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Nothing brings people together more than film and music. So film buffs and, by extension, music lovers are in for a mega feast: the ‘We Are One: A Global Film Festival’.

When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, theatres and cinemas shuttered – and are yet to reopen – and the thriving film-festival industry also suffered a huge blow, with cancellations becoming the staple. Film festivals offer more than the opportunity for jet-setters to indulge their fantasies. They double as film markets and provide film-makers with the opportunities to network and start conversations that spring into huge deals. When the big names like Cannes, Tribeca, and South by Southwest festivals all cancelled, there was much talk about streaming as a possible option, but those suggestions were not embraced.

Now, the dream of 21 of the world’s major film festivals holding hands virtually to showcase the work of the international community and bring together a global audience has become a reality. ‘We Are One’ has forged a way forward through the virtual event, which the organisers say celebrates the exquisite art of storytelling and gives back in a meaningful way. “In doing so, it will aim to provide not only solace and entertainment for audiences during a time when it’s needed most, but also opportunities for these individuals to give back through donations to the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, UNHCR, Save the Children, Doctors Without Borders, Leket Israel, GO Foundation, and Give2Asia, among others. Audiences will be able to donate to COVID-19 relief efforts through a donate button or link on every film page,” the collaborators state.

Director of BFI London Film Festival Tricia Tuttle stated: “We wanted to focus on two things that have great power to unite people across the world: film and music. In these challenging times, there are many people struggling, and ‘We Are One’ is an opportunity for us to come together through our love of film, art, and music to reach out and support each other.”

STORY OF TROJAN RECORDS

Over 100 films will be streamed over the 10-day period, including Rudeboy: The Story of Trojan Records. Curated by BFI London Film Festival, it features Jamaican reggae and ska legends like Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry and Marcia Griffiths. According to its synopsis, “ Rudeboy chronicles a multicultural revolution on the dancefloors of the late ’60s and early ’70s Britain.

During the late ’60s and early ’70s, a multicultural revolution took place on the dance floors in Britain, and it couldn’t have happened without Trojan Records. The iconic London-based label had its finger on the pulse of the country’s new wave of Jamaican immigrants, and as quickly as they signed top acts like the Upsetters and Jimmy Cliff, they made their mark on the British youth culture by kicking off a new craze for reggae, dub, rocksteady, and ska.”

The documentary incorporates the use of archival footage along with new interviews with Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, Neville Staple, Marcia Griffiths, Dandy Livingstone, Lloyd Coxsone, and Pauline Black. It is directed by Nicolas Jack Davies.

This digital programming from the major film festivals will include world and North American premieres with a line-up that “ranges from narrative features, documentaries, and short films to recorded panel discussions with leading film-makers and virtual reality presentations”. The historic, free, 10-day event got under way on Friday and runs exclusively on YouTube until June 7.

The full festival schedule is available at www.weareoneglobalfestival.com, and you can view the festival for yourself at YouTube.com/WeAreOne.

yasmine.peru@gleanerjm.com