PAFF 2013 Preview - Feature Documentary 'Akwantu' (On History Of Jamaican Maroons)

Festivals
by Tambay A. Obenson
January 24, 2013 1:47 PM
4 Comments
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A film we've been following the progress of for over a year now, since our initial September 2011 post, will be making its Stateside commercial debut at the 2013 Pan African Film Festival in LA, which takes place next month.

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, is about:

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 attending the PAFF next month will have an opportunity to check it out for yourselves. 

PAFF 2013 is set to take place at the new Rave Cinemas Baldwin Hills 15 at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza in Los Angeles, and will kick off festivities with a star-studded Opening Night Gala on Thursday, February 7, 2013 at the Rave Cinemas Baldwin Hills 15 theatre.

Watch a 3-minute preview of Akwantu below:

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4 Comments

  • Kodjo B | January 26, 2013 2:19 PMReply

    Akwantu The Journey continues to blaze fire on the cinematic landscape as the first ever feature length documentary film to shed light on the victories of the indomitable and courageous Maroons of Jamaica. Congrats to Roy T. Anderson and his production team for their vision.

  • Humming Loon | January 26, 2013 4:27 AMReply

    Great to see a film like this being made and the analogy with Spartacus is indeed correct. They fought the British, won, and own the land to this day.

  • Greg | January 26, 2013 3:36 AMReply

    Garifuna,Quilombo,Maroons, Haitians,Nat Turner,Denmark Vescey,Cinque...

    ...if you've NEVER heard of any of these but you're jumping up and down for Django Unchained, slap yourself for me....

    That's a great quote, it should be printed on t-shirts.

  • getthesenets | January 24, 2013 3:48 PMReply

    The enslaved African who "set off" what became the Haitian Revolution was originally a "worker" in modern day Jamaica..Boukman.

    SALUTE!!!

    Garifuna,Quilombo,Maroons, Haitians,Nat Turner,Denmark Vescey,Cinque...

    if you've NEVER heard of any of these but you're jumping up and down for Django Unchained, slap yourself for me....

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