'Akwantu' (On History Of Jamaican Maroons) Opening Jamaica 50th Film Showcase At TIFF Bell

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by Tambay A. Obenson
September 27, 2012 5:37 PM
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A film we've been following the progress of for about a year now, since our initial September 2011 post, will be the opening day film at the Jamaica 50th Film Showcase at TIFF Bell Lightbox, on Sunday, October 7, 2012.

Titled Akwantu: the Journey, the feature doc is directed by Roy T. Anderson, award-winning Hollywood stuntman to the stars (like Will Smith, Denzel Washington and Jamie Foxx).

Recapping what the film, which centers on the history of the Maroons Of Jamaica...

They were considered the “Spartacus” of their time; except these enslaved Africans were victorious in their fight for freedom. This fact is not lost on Jamaican-born New Jersey-based filmmaker and stuntman Roy T. Anderson. After years of research and dozens of interviews that took him from remote regions of Jamaica’s Blue Mountains to the coastal environs of Ghana and its interior, then finally to the mysterious and isolated community of Accompong, St. Elizabeth, he has conceived Akwantu: the Journey, which documents the struggles for freedom of the Jamaican Maroons, rebel slaves of West African origin who defeated the mighty British army and formed independent communities in the rugged and remote regions of Jamaica in the early-mid 18th century. The descendants of these communities still maintain their proud heritage today. Yet so little is known about the Maroons whose very rich culture and heritage is threatened to now become a thing of the past. 

The film is said to have been shot over 3 years, in Jamaica, Ghana, Canada and the USA, featuring interviews with world renowned scholars, African nationals, Maroon officials and present-day Jamaican citizens (both Maroon and non-Maroon), while simultaneously capturing Roy’s personal journey of self-discovery from Maroon society to North America.

An exclusive sneak preview of the film will took place on Sunday, May 27th, in NYC, but I missed it.

But those of you in the Toronto area can check out the film for yourselves, when it'll screen at TIF Bell Lightbox, on Sunday, October 7. For tickets and information on the Jamaica 50th Film Showcase visit www.unitedachievers.org\ja50thfilmshowcase

Watch a 3-minute preview of Akwantu below:

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2 Comments

  • Milton | September 30, 2012 2:00 PMReply

    Very Nice!!! I googled the film and found this academic screening here at Boston U.... http://www.bu.edu/afam/events/film-screening/. Look forward to seeing it!

  • Zeinabu Davis | September 27, 2012 6:25 PMReply

    I am so happy that this film has been made!!!! I look forward to seeing it in the near future! Thank you to the Filmmakers & Tambay for letting us know about it.

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