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Pan! opens Film Festival

Published: 
Sunday, August 10, 2014

The T&T Film Festival announced last week on its Web site that the opening night film of this year’s festival will be Pan! Our Music Odyssey. Directed by Jérôme Guiot and written by Kim Johnson, Pan! is a docudrama about the instrument and features re-enactments of some of the key moments from its history. 

Johnson, the foremost pan researcher in T&T, is the author of such books as The Illustrated Story of Pan and If Yuh Iron Good You is King: The Pan Pioneers of T&T.

Belgium-born filmmaker Guiot—who has been awarded in France for his music-video work with the pop artist Stromae—directed the film. Barthélémy Fougea (who received the César, the French equivalent of the Oscar, for best documentary in 2014 for the film On the Way to School) and Jean Michel Gibert (Maturity Productions/Caribbean Music Group) served as producers. They will be present to introduce the film.

“I always thought of T&T as the place to unveil Pan! to the public,” said Gibert. 

“I am happy we will be doing so at the T&T Film Festival, before the film travels abroad to other film festivals, theatrical releases, and network television.”

Eighty minutes long, Pan! Our Music Odyssey dramatises the almost mythical invention of pan in the 1940s, and then surges forward to tell the stories of people from all over the world—T&T, France, Japan, the USA—who have staked everything on their love of the instrument, and whose passion and daring draw them each year to the “world championships” of pan, Panorama.

Pan! is interlaced with dramatic re-enactments of the rags-to-riches tale of the steelband movement, which was born into poverty and violence but climbed to the highest levels of social and artistic acceptance.

“The T&T Film Festival is honoured to be associated with Pan!, a film that celebrates the history of our magnificent steelpan,” said Bruce Paddington, T&T Film Festival founder and festival director. 

“We are proud that it will be opening the festival, on what we expect to be a triumphant note.”

The opening night, September 16, will mark the film’s world premiere.

It is scheduled to take place at Napa, Frederick Street, Port-of-Spain. The festival said on its Web site that ticket information would be out soon.