Anna-Lisa Paul and Bobie-Lee Dixon
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Highly anticipated pan movie opens TTFF
Pan! Our Music Odyssey, an eagerly awaited docudrama about the steelpan, will have its world premiere when it opens the ninth edition of the T&T Film Festival (TTFF) on September 16.
The film, several years in the making, was written by Kim Johnson, the foremost pan researcher in T&T. He is the author of such books as The Illustrated Story of Pan and If Yuh Iron Good You is King: The Pan Pioneers of Trinidad and Tobago.
A release from the Festival said Belgium-born filmmaker Jérôme 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.
The writer, director and producers 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 TTFF, before the film travels abroad to other film festivals, theatrical releases, and network television.”
Eighty minutes long, Pan! Our Music Odyssey tells the epic story of pan, the only new acoustic musical instrument invented in the 20th century.
The film boldly 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 steelpan, 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 without losing its life-or-death urgency.
The result is an extraordinary global human adventure, as rousing and life-affirming as any great pan symphony.
“The TTFF is honoured to be associated with Pan!, a film that celebrates the history of our magnificent steelpan,” said Bruce Paddington, TTFF founder and festival director.
“We are proud that it will be opening the Festival, on what we expect to be a triumphant note.”
Opening night events for the TTFF/14 will take place on the evening of September 16 at the Lord Kitchener (Aldwyn Roberts) Auditorium at the National Academy for the Performing Arts (Napa) in Port-of-Spain. The Festival will run through September 30.
The TTFF said it will be making additional announcements pertaining to the opening night and the rest of the Festival, including the full lineup of films, in the coming weeks.