More than 150 Reggae festivals are held annually in countries around the world, and the fans of artistes who perform on them want to know more about them and about how they make their music. Accordingly, film makers have been producing hundreds of documentaries that introduce the artistes, tell their stories and share their music, creating a new genre of films now labelled “Reggae Films”.
Some of these Reggae Films will be screened over three nights at Emancipation Park, St Andrew during February’s Reggae Month activities.
Films will include the premiere of “Rude Boy: The Trojan Story” that shares the history of the record label that introduced Jamaican music to Britain; “Reggae In Goa” about the city in India that hosts the newest of the global Reggae festivals; “Legends of Ska” – one of the many films about the famous artistes of this genre and “Coelcuirt Jamaica” – a musical travel documentary by an Irish TV company featuring Freddie McGregor, Alpha Boys Band, the Jolly Boys mento band, Maroon Chieftainess Sister Gloria and poet Mutabaruka.
Reggae Films take viewers into the communities where the music was born and nurtured, and onstage to see and hear performances by artistes of all sectors – ska, rockers, Rasta roots, blue beat, rocksteady, lovers’ rock, dancehall and the branches of hip-hop and dub poetry that are all parts of the vibrant Reggae culture. These films all share stories of Jamaica’s past and present history to tell the roots from which the culture has arisen.
A special feature of Reggae Films In The Park will be the screening of Jamaica’s first music video, Desmond Dekker’s “007 Shanty Town” made in 1967 by Perry Henzell, who went on to make “The Harder They Come”. Other special features include award-winning Reggae Film Festival short films by Jamaican film makers.
The acclaimed documentary “Marley” by Kevin McDonald will also be shown at the screenings.
Reggae Films in the Park will take place on February 8, 15 and 22. The event adds to the variety of activities that fill the Reggae Month calendar.
Reggae Films in the Park will inform a deeper enjoyment of Jamaica’s unique cultural creation and gift to the world.
The event is produced by the Ministry of Culture, Gender and Entertainment & Sport in collaboration with the National Library of Jamaica and the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association.