Caribbean Storytelling – telling our stories and sharing our culture through film: Many Caribbean children grow up with storytelling being an integral part of their lives, despite the advent of video games. For the older generations, regardless of country, there is an almost magical connection to childhood days, spent sitting on steps somewhere, listening to some adult tell the same stories over and over and over again. Couple that with bright stars in the night sky, soft wind rustling the trees, a huge, glowing moon, and candlelight – and the stage is set for a fulfilling and scary story night.
There were the silly stories, “Sensi Bill vs. Stupidity Bill,” the funny stories, “Tante Dancin’ and Slim Stupsin,” the jumbie stories, “Ole Higue”/“Soucouyant” and the straight-up “jumbies,” the trickster stories, “Brer ‘Nansi an de King’s Daughter,” the political stories embodied in calypso songs, to name a few. What these experiences all had in common, was the ability of the storyteller to capture our imagination and fully suck us into the stories they wove, capturing our hearts, souls and imaginations.
Caribbean Storytelling today: Skip to the present, with the advances in technology and filmmaking equipment – cameras, editing software, internet for streaming content – more and more of our storytellers are turning to film as the primary means of telling their stories – both new and inherited. We have added a new dimension to our storytelling – FILM. Filmmaking in the Caribbean is experiencing an exciting period of extraordinary growth. There has been an explosion in filmmaking by Caribbean filmmakers, both in the region and the diaspora. With appearances in regional film festivals, like the T&T Film Festival, the Aruba International Film Festival, the Curacao International Film Festival Rotterdam, the Bahamas International Film Festival, the Bermuda International Film Festival, and the Guadeloupe International Film Festival, and international film festivals like Cannes, Toronto International Film Festival, the Pan-African Film Festival, and the African Diaspora International Film Festival, Caribbean filmmakers are gaining exposure to all types of audiences in the Region, and all over the world. Our filmmakers are sharing their own stories, as well as stories taken from Caribbean folklore, sometimes with a modern twist, sometimes faithful to the version of the story they grew up hearing, in ways that make them competitive with best in the world.
Film is an excellent way of preserving our rich storytelling culture and heritage, it is also a great stage to showcase the talents of our storytellers, develop our storytelling technique and aesthetic, and to inspire a new generation of storytellers. At the center of this growth and innovation in filmmaking, is the short film. It is through the short film that new stories, new ideas, new storytellers announce their arrival.
Caribbean Storytelling and Studio Anansi: Here at Studio Anansi, we believe our stories are ours and should be told by us. We celebrate the work of our emerging filmmakers, by encouraging, supporting, showcasing, and sharing their work, as they tell our stories. We are building an amazing collection of Caribbean stories, one film at time.
We invite you to join us on this quest. Keep coming back, keep looking at and sharing our films and keep sharing with the filmmakers, your thoughts and words of encouragement.
Experience YOUR Caribbean