Words by Romola Lucas
September 2016 is turning out to be a watershed moment for film in the Caribbean. With the 11th edition of the Trinidad & Tobago Film Festival and the inaugural Third Horizon Caribbean Film Festival in Miami showcasing the best new films from across the region over the next two weeks, Caribbean movies are playing to broader audiences than ever before. Bazodee, the Trinidad-set drama starring soca star Machel Montano is now screening at theaters across Canada and the Caribbean after a successful U.S. run, while Haitian director Raoul Peck just scored the best documentary award at the Toronto International Film Festival. The prestigious showcase also hosted the world premiere of King of the Dancehall, a drama set within Jamaica’s dancehall scene tha’s directed by Nick Cannon, and narrated by Beenie Man.
At the same time, the Caribbean film community is grieving the loss of two icons in Edwin Lothan, better known as Countryman, and Theodoros Bafaloukos, director of the iconic Jamaican film Rockers, who both passed this month.
In light of all this attention, we had to put together a list of Caribbean film essentials to highlight some of the best of what the Caribbean has to offer in storytelling. This list focuses on feature films, and skews towards the English-speaking islands and territories, but look out for future lists highlighting the essential Caribbean documentaries, Caribbean shorts and feature films from other languages and regions in the Caribbean.