A report from Searchlight.
For the first time in history, Vincentian women filmmakers will have the chance to premiere their films in Poland annually.
As a part of the ongoing work of St Vincent and the Grenadines’ (SVG) local film festival, Hairouna Film Festival (HFF), run by Aiko Roudette and Olivia Stephens, a historic partnership has been formed with the Demakijaz Women’s Film Festival in Lublin, Poland.
“We feel thrilled to be a part of this effort and to promote and represent our beautiful country, St Vincent and the Grenadines, in Poland” says HFF founder and director Aiko Roudette.
“As Poland battles rising tides of right-wing authoritarianism the collaboration between HFF and Demakijaz takes on a particular importance. In a strained political atmosphere our Caribbean films promote messages of diversity, acceptance and tolerance Roudette says. Three Vincentian filmmakers, Eniye Kagbala, Nadia Huggins (who is also HFF’s Art Director) and Aiko Roudette will screen their work this November in Poland, along with Trinidad’s Maya Cozier and Jamaica’s Sontenish Myers.
Curator of the Caribbean Voices segment of the Demakijaz festival, Bartosz WÛjcik, came to know of St Vincent through the work of several Vincentian artists such as Nadia Huggins, Shake Keane, Philip Nanton, and Debra Providence.
“As an avid enthusiast and researcher of Caribbean cultures, I feel honoured
to be able to facilitate our Vincy-Polish cooperation,” Bartosz explains, “It is a rare joy to be bringing cinematic narratives from many parts of the Caribbean to my hometown, as this year’s films take us to Barbados, Jamaica, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, as well as Trinidad and Tobago. We hope that the partnership will flourish, thanks to the joint efforts of #HairounaFF and #DemakijazFilmFest.
“We’re delighted to have partnered with Hairouna Film Festival, our Vincy sister festival , says Jolanta Prochowicz (co-founder of Demakijaz Women’s Film Festival). “Providing our audience with a chance to familiarize themselves with on-screen diversity is one of the primary goals of the festival. It’s high time women filmmakers from the Caribbean became more visible outside of the region and I am happy we can be a part of this change.”
Due to rising covid-19 cases in Poland the Demakijaz film festival will be held online from the 18th to the 22nd of November. HFF is committed to promoting Vincentian creative voices across the globe and is currently preparing for its second festival in St. Vincent which is planned for March 2021.