A Talk With… Storm Saulter

Manifesto will present a talk-back session and short film screening at 37 Bulwer with Jamaican film director Storm Saulter

Manifesto, in association with Caribbean Tales Film Festival and Manifesto Jamaica will present a talk-back session and short film screening with Jamaican film director Storm Saulter, Director of the critically acclaimed film Better Mus' Come which will be making it's Canadian debut at the tiff Bell Lightbox as part of a fundraiser for Caribbean Tales Youth Film Festival (see previous http://themanifesto.ca/better-mus-come-canadian-premiere-screenings-at-tiff-bell-lightbox/).

Storm will screen two shorts from his New Caribbean Cinema collective (http://newcaribbeancinema.com) as part of the talk at Manifesto, as well as speaking to the process that went in to filming Better Mus' Come with the lead male actor Sheldon Shepherd, a spoken word artist and member of "No-Maddz" (http://nomaddzja.com) collective, a Jamaican dub poetry collective who fuse the art form with various music genres.

Thursday, February 2
Manifesto HQ
37 Bulwer Street
Cost: Pay What You Can
RSVP Necessary: rsvp@themanifesto.ca

Better Mus' Come Film Review (by Shaka Licorish)

Set within the politically turbulent period of gang warfare in late 1970’s Kingston, Jamaica, Storm Saulter’s debut feature film Better Mus' Come depicts the story of the infamous Green Bay Massacre - a landmark in the nation's political history - through the eyes of a fictional young community leader who must choose between fighting for his posse & making a better life for his five-year old son. Centering on the daily trauma that passes for life amongst the impoverished people of the city's garrison communities, along with their complete lack of access to basic resources and fused with limited opportunities in a time of political unrest between opposing parties, BMC eloquently sets the stage to be revered as a first-class work of art for years to come.

Drawing early comparisons to the 1972 Jimmy Cliff cult classic The Harder They Come, Saulter's film uses a 'guerilla-style' approach to deliver the era and intimate landscape of Kingston's inner-city ghettos in a truly pragmatic fashion. As writer, director, cinematographer and editor, Saulter affectionately conveys many aspects of Jamaican culture in the film, seeking to dispel the myth that the people of his native birthplace are inherently violent and that the culture is one of only violence and aggression. With BMC, he endeavours to create greater understanding amongst the audience and demonstrate that contrary to popular misconceptions, much of the country's violence is produced by the structured inequalities and dysfunctionality of postcolonial life that are all too common within Jamaican society, both then and now, by putting it into a more accurate frame of reference.

Frances-Anne Solomon, C.E.O. of Caribbean Tales Worldwide Distribution says Better Mus Come is important because it represents a contemporary take on the region's historical reality. “Young people need to know where they come from in order to step forward with confidence and pride. Better Mus Come is a fresh dynamic approach to the past that enhances our critical perspective on Canada’s children of the African Diaspora.”

As Saulter mentions, he set out to create a film that is ultimately a human story, the story of a man faced with hard choices in a difficult time. "This is a universal story, and I hope that this will resonate despite the specifics of that event." Better Mus Come vividly captures the relationship between politics and posses from an authentic Jamaican context while studying the root causes of instability factional violence, as well as many issues that have influenced the nation's most successful creative statements.

Hailed as "heralding a new era in Jamaican filmmaking", BMC is currently on a successful festival tour, most recently taking home the Audience Award at the highly regarded Bahamas International Film Festival in December as well as Best Feature Film and Fan Favourite honours at the Trinidad and Tobago International Film Festival. The acclaimed film will be making its Canadian premiere with two screenings at TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto on February 4 and 5 as part of the Caribbean Tales Youth Film Festival. Tickets are available at tiff.net and CaribbeanTales-events.com.

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