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Community Folk Art Center announces Caribbean Cinematic Film Festival program

October 16, 2008

Cjala Surratt
(315) 442-2230

Cjala Surratt

The Community Folk Art Center has announced the line-up of films selected to be screened at the 2008 Caribbean Cinematic Film Festival, taking place Oct. 23-26. All film screenings and special events will take place at the Community Folk Art Center, located at 805 E. Genesee St. For tickets and additional information, visit or call (315) 442-2230.

The festival will be a four-day celebration of Caribbean cinematic storytelling. This year's schedule boasts a line-up of thought-provoking, entertaining independent cinema, documentaries, short films and animation from Trinidad, Barbados, Jamaica, Tobago, Cuba and Puerto Rico. The goal of the annual Community Folk Art Center film fest is to showcase the rich creativity, vision and thematic breadth of film makers, producers and actors found in communities of color locally, nationally and internationally.

Besides screening a unique collection of films, the festival will feature Q&A sessions with guest directors, workshops and panel discussions. The Caribbean Film Festival is produced by the Community Folk Art Center Inc., a nonprofit visual arts and culture organization that is dedicated to providing audiences with opportunities to discover and engage art that fosters better understanding and communication between peoples of diverse cultures, faiths and lifestyles.

The Caribbean Cinematic Film Festival opens Thursday, Oct. 23, at 7 p.m. with a screening of "Guttaperc" by award-winning Bajan producer/director Andrew Millington. This drama tells the story of a 10-year-old boy spending a holiday with his grandparents in a small Barbados village. The holiday is interrupted by news that the government plans to build a tourist resort on village land, a turn of events that leads the young boy to learn hard truths about society's contradictions.

After the film, there will be an 8:30 p.m. Q&A with Millington. Millington has worked on numerous industry and independent productions, serving as assistant director on Haile Germima's internationally acclaimed "Sankofa." Born in Barbados, Millington has lived in the United States for 13 years and studied film at Howard University in Washington, D.C. Millington is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Radio, Television and Film at Howard University.

On Friday, Oct. 24, at 7p.m., Millington will treat attendees to a sneak preview of his new drama, "Zora's Dream." This is a powerful and poignant story of a grandfather's visit to South Carolina's sea islands. This visit triggers the grandfather's traumatic memory of the lynching of his father and teaches his granddaughter the importance of fighting injustice.

Other festival highlights include a panel discussion with Millington and Shelia Aird. Panelists will discuss the impact of tourism and corporate development on Caribbean culture.

Aird received a Ph.D in Latin and Caribbean history, and a master's degree in history from Howard University. She is currently an assistant professor and academic area coordinator of global studies at SUNY Empire State College. Prior to her appointment at Empire State College, Aird was an adjunct professor in the African American Studies Department at Syracuse University.

Saturday, Oct. 25 is packed with cinematic goodies. Screening at 1 p.m. will be "Animae Caribe," presented in collaboration with the Animae Caribe Film Festival of Trinidad. This collection of family-friendly animated short films is sure to delight any young film fest adventurer

At 2 p.m. for the young animae enthusiast is an animation workshop with artist Yvonne Buchanan in the 2-D art room. Cost of admission is $2 per child. At 2 p.m. in the main gallery will be a talk and Q&A with founder and director of Caribe Animae, Camille Abrahams.

Screening at 6 p.m. will be "Sistagod" by director Yao Ramesar. "Sistagod" is the first feature of a trilogy that tells the story of the coming of a black female messiah in the future, during a period known as the Apocalypso- a global holocaust that she alone survives.

Director Yao Ramesar is an award-winning Caribbean filmmaker, born in Tamale, Ghana, West Africa. Ramesar holds a bachelor's degree in film production and a master of fine arts degree in film directing from Howard University, where he studied under African American filmmakers Haile Gerima and Abiyi Ford. He lectures in TV/film at the Festival Centre for the Creative Arts, University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad.

Closing out this year's festival on Sunday, Oct. 26, at 3 p.m. is "!Yo Soy Boricua, Pa'Que Tu Lo Sepas!" (I'm Boricua Just So You Know). Rosie Perez, in her directorial debut, explores the political history, social activism and national pride of Puerto Rican people. This labor of love takes her from New York to Miami and finally the island of Puerto Rico. Through the richness of the island's history, we discover its complex relationship with America. From sterilization programs in Puerto Rico to economic empowerment protests in New York, led by the Young Lords, Rosie seamlessly weaves together interviews and narrative and creates a documentary that is both entertaining and educational.

The Community Folk Art Center is sponsored, in part, by the New York State Council on the Arts, the Cultural Resources Council, The Coalition of Museums & Art Centers at Syracuse University, the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Syracuse University and the Office of the Chancellor at Syracuse University. Media sponsors are CNY Latino, Urban CNY and WAER 88.3. The Genesee Grande and Park View Hotels are the official accommodations for guests of The Community Folk Art Center.

The Community Folk Art Center is a unit of the African American Studies Department in The College of Arts and Sciences at Syracuse University and is a vibrant cultural and artistic hub committed to the promotion and development of artists of the African Diaspora. The mission of the center is to exalt cultural and artistic pluralism by collecting, exhibiting, teaching and interpreting the visual and expressive arts.

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