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T&T film to debut at LA Film Festival Erline Andrews

Published: 
Sunday, May 14, 2017
T&T/ American filmmaker Vashti Anderson

Moko Jumbie, a feature film by Trinidadian-American Vashti Anderson, will make its world premiere next month at the LA Film Festival.

The film, a tale of forbidden romance set in rural Trinidad, will be one of eight “world fiction” movies to be screened and judged at the festival, which runs from June 14- 22. It’s Anderson’s first feature-length film. She is a graduate of New York University’s MFA programme, where Spike Lee was one of her teachers. Anderson was born in Wisconsin to a Trini mother and an American father.

“Vashti Anderson’s Moko Jumbie is a total gem to watch out for,” LA-based blogger and film festival programmer Christine Davila wrote last month.

Trinidadian film programmer Jonathan Ali last year wrote of Moko Jumbie, which was about to be aired as a work-in-progress at the Third Horizon Caribbean Film Festival in Miami: “This is an affecting, often disquieting tale of displacement and longing, with an other-worldly undercurrent, beautifully lensed by Shlomo Godder.”

In a 2014 interview with Ali, Anderson said Moko Jumbie, which was then an idea she was developing, was inspired by the time growing up when her extended family would come every year from different parts of the world to gather at her now-late grandparents’ home in Trinidad.

“So I wanted to write about this and also incorporate themes that I like to write about, which are race and class, and also music-calypso and soca have been a strong influence on my life,” she said.

Anderson had previously made two short films: Jeffrey’s Calypso and Zara Mirage.

The LA Film Festival will showcase 48 feature films in five categories including documentaries, 51 shorts, 15 shorts from high school students and nine web series episodes.

The festival boasts that 42 per cent of its films this year are directed by women and 40 per cent by people of colour. Thirty-two countries will be represented overall.