SJFS Hosting Travelling Caribbean Showcase of Films February 5 with Spotlight on Cuba

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St. John Film Society will host a number of films from the  4th Annual Traveling Caribbean Film Showcase this year. 

The group kicks off the festival with three films on Cuba on Tuesday, February 5, at 7:30 p.m. at St. John School of the Arts.

“Adolpho” (2006) is a 45-minute contemporary Cuban comedy of errors by Sofie Delaage. 

“Con el Toque de la Chaveta,” (2007) is a 28-minute documentary, by Pamela Sporn about a unique tradition in Cuban cigar factories. Every day, specially employed workers read out loud to 300 tabaqueros as they sit rolling the country’s famous cigars.

From classic novels to national politics and local baseball results, for centuries this daily tradition has been an education for the workers, or chavetas. But after years of listening, they are now knowledgeable and demanding, and the readers must be at their very best if they are to keep their discerning audience interested.

“Maestra” (2011) is a 33-minute documentary by Catherine Murphy about a ground-breaking literacy campaign in 1961 where Cuba 250,000 volunteers taught 700,000 people to read and write in one year, 1961. About 100,000 of the teachers were under 18 years old and more than half were women.

The Bay of Pigs invasion took place in Cuba impacting the both the women and the literacy campaign. The young women who went out to teach literacy in the rural communities across the island found themselves deeply transformed in the process.

This documentary includes present day interviews with women who volunteered to teach their country to read in 1961 along with archival footage and still photos from the 60s.

Murphy has begun the recording of an oral history of one of contemporary Cuba’s greatest achievements.

The Travelling Caribbean Film Showcase is an annual film festival representing filmmakers, producers and directors from around the Caribbean.

Sponsored regionally by UNESCO and supported by Cuban Institute of Art and

Cinematographic Industry in collaboration with the Caribbean Community, the Travelling Caribbean Film Showcase brings together the works of 40 filmmakers from 15 Caribbean countries including the Bahamas, Venezuela, Jamaica, Costa Rica, Cuba, Haiti, Dominican Republic, and Trinidad & Tobago. All films are subtitled when not in English.

This fourth edition, dedicated to the Caribbean Diaspora, includes films that reflect the troubles, the culture, and the history of the Caribbean. The films, which include feature length and short films, animation and documentaries, reveal the realities and challenges of Caribbean emigrants in the region and the greater Diaspora, and promote Caribbean cultural identity.

The primary objective of the TCFS is to make the Caribbean population aware of the talent and creativity existing in the region in the film industry and is presented at different times of the year in most countries of the Caribbean. 

TCFS is supported by ICAIC, UNICEF, UNESCO and MINCULT. St. John Film Society is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Virgin Island Council on the Arts.