Kalinago film by Grenadian Filmmaker wins International Awards

Grenada Now reports that Grenadian filmmaker Teddy Frederick’s documentary film New Land: The Kalinago Dream has received widespread recognition, and has recently won awards at the Tokyo International Short Film Festival and the Rome International Movie Awards.

According to the article, the documentary was released in Germany in November 2022, in the Czech Republic in February 2023, and in Grenada earlier this month (March 2023). It will premiere in Dominica at the World Creole Music Festival in October 2023, and will continue to be screened at film festivals worldwide.

The 35-minute film tells the story of the last surviving indigenous people of the Lesser Antilles. It has garnered an honourable mention at the Munich New Wave Short Film Festival in Germany, as well as official selections at the 2023 ARFF Amsterdam//International Awards, Berlin Lift-Off Film Festival, and the Nouveaux Regards Film Festival. These selections place it in contention for more accolades.

New Land: The Kalinago Dream documents the lives of 2 Kalinago men in the Commonwealth of Dominica, the Honourable Minister Cozier Frederick, the first cabinet representative from his tribe, and Lorenzo Sanford, the youngest elected chief of the Kalinago Territory. The film highlights their efforts to preserve their culture, identity, and land against threats like deforestation, industrialisation, and climate change.

At the film debut in Grenada on Thursday, 9 March 2023, Minister Frederick emphasised the importance of telling the Kalinago story from their perspective. “We were not discovered by [Christopher] Columbus, we were always here. It is hard work to deconstruct what has been taught for years, but we have to tell our story from our point of view,” said Cozier Frederick, Minister of Environment in Dominica.

Minister Frederick is already working on re-educating his people about the true story of his tribe and how they resisted slavery in the Lesser Antilles. He believes that the creative arts, social media, and this film can be employed to empower the younger Kalinago generation, ultimately preserving their intangible cultural heritage. “We have lost so much Kalinago history in Grenada that this made me curious about the last remaining tribe in our region,” said Teddy Frederick, story finder, co-director and co-producer of the film. He was drawn to Cozier’s story after following him with a camera during the political elections on the nature island.

At the film screening for secondary school students in Grenada, Educator and Performing Arts Professional Dr Cheryl Bishop commended the team for their work and underscored the importance of documenting history. The students in attendance were captivated by the film’s compelling storytelling and gained a deeper understanding of the Kalinago people’s struggle.

Meanwhile, the documentary has made an impact in Europe, where the story of the “discovery of the new world” has been told differently. “People were crying in the cinema when we showed this film in Germany in November because Christopher Columbus is viewed as a hero in Europe,” said Tom Heinemann, co-director and co-producer of New Land: The Kalinago Dream.

The 3-member filmmaking team Teddy Frederick from Grenada, Tom Heinemann from Germany and Josef Sindelka from the Czech Republic created a not-for-profit foundation called Yellow Mountain Spaces so that they can create more meaningful stories through film and philanthropy. They will be hosting workshops in schools and have already made donations to the Kalinago people of Dominica through their foundation.

New Land: The Kalinago Dream was produced with all original music that is available for streaming and download on all major music platforms. The documentary was released in Germany on 14 November 2022, in the Czech Republic on 7 February 2023, and in Grenada on 9 March 2023. It will be shown at the Movie Palace in Grenada from 10 to 16 March 2023, debuted in Dominica at the World Creole Music Festival in October 2023, and will continue to be screened at film festivals worldwide.

For original article, see https://nowgrenada.com/2023/03/kalinago-film-by-grenadian-filmmaker-wins-international-awards/

[Shown above: New Land: The Kalinago Dream in its debut at the Grenada National Museum.]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s