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» BREAKING NEWS, GUEST RUNDOWNS » JAMAICAN FILM-MAKER ROY ANDERSON, LOOKING AT A DOCU-FLICK ON MARCUS GARVEY!

JAMAICAN FILM-MAKER ROY ANDERSON, LOOKING AT A DOCU-FLICK ON MARCUS GARVEY!

BY RICHARD JOHNSON—

 Anderson (second left), shares a moment with the Tate brothers, from left Lahmard, Larenz, and Larron. The brothers were part of a panel discussion at the Festival that looked at diversity in Hollywood at the just-concluded Newark International Film Festival.—

A docu-film on the life of Jamaica first National Hero Marcus Garvey is currently in development, spearheaded by Jamaican-born film-maker Roy Anderson and Garvey’s younger son, Dr Julius Garvey.

Anderson, who has produced and directed two films — Akwantu and Queen Nanny: Legendary Maroon Chieftainess, says he was drawn to do a film on Garvey simply because he was a Maroon, as well as he fits into a recurring theme in his productions, resistance.

“Telling stories with themes of resistance is my passion and Marcus Garvey represents that quintessentially. I am working with his son, Julius, on this project as I want to humanise Marcus Garvey and, therefore, see him as not just a historical figure. I will attempt to portray Marcus Garvey through his son’s eyes. Telling the stories of under-represented people is something I am committed to, whether they are in Mexico, Cuba, Brazil, the United States, Jamaica, wherever,” Anderson told the Jamaica Observer.

Meanwhile, Anderson’s spirits are up following Sunday night’s win at the Newark International Film Festival in New Jersey. He took home the prize for Best Documentary for Queen Nanny: Legendary Maroon Chieftainess. The elated film-maker said this award is appreciated as this is only his second film.

Marcus Garvey

Marcus Garvey

“When I first heard, I was truly surprised. I consider myself a rookie. Even though I have worked as an actor and stuntman for 35 years, as a film-maker I have only done two films, so this feels great. It certainly builds my confidence. This kind of validation proves to me that I am on the right track,” he said.

Queen Nanny documents the struggle for freedom of Jamaican Maroons, led by the indomitable military genius ‘Granny Nanny’, who is now one of Jamaica’s national heroes. A spiritual leade, skilled in the use of herbs and guerilla warfare tactics, from her mountain stronghold at the source of the Stony River in the Blue Mountains, she stood up to British firepower.

Anderson truly wants to explore the educational possibilities and potential of the film. So, he sees screenings on the film festival circuit as offering great opportunities and platforms for persons to see and discuss his film, which he ultimately hopes will get into the school system.

Roy T. Anderson

Roy T. Anderson

Among the film festivals where Queen Nanny is scheduled to be screened is the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival from September 20-27. Anderson is also taking this work to the Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival and Lecture Series in New York come next month. This festival highlights the work of women and women as the subject of films. The Jamaican High Commission in Mexico has also organised a screening in Mexico City, this is set for National Heroes Day.

“I have also submitted the film to a number of other film festivals and I am awaiting responses. In October, the film will also be screened in Manchester, England, at PAC45 — a gathering which commemorates the Pan-African Conference of 1945. A number of other things are happening for the film, including interest from a distributor, but that is in the very early stages,” said Anderson.

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