The Cayman Documentary Festival kicked off at Camana Bay Cinema last night with a viewing of Tina (2021). The documentary which charts Tina Turner’s early fame, her personal and professional struggles, and her return to the world stage as a global phenomenon in the 1980s also puts a spotlight on domestic violence and was followed by a panel discussion moderated by Mikhail Campbell, Royal Cayman Islands Police, Media Relations Officer, with panelists, Carol Anne Fordyce of the Crisis Centre, Mariesha Spencer, also of the Crisis Centre and Carlene Bramwell of the Gender Affairs Unit.
The sold-out event featured a lively discussion in which the audience and panelists explored how to recognize abuse, what types of abuse exist, where to report abuse and how to get help. Panelists described the power dynamics of abuse and explained that when one is trying to help a person in an abusive relationship it is important to be gentle (not controlling). It was also revealed that the Crisis Centre will soon be launching a new kids hotline.
Day two of the five day festival continues tonight at 6:30pm with a viewing of ‘I am Greta’.
The documentary follows Greta Thunberg, a teenage climate activist from Sweden, on her international crusade to get people to listen to scientists about the world’s environmental problems and will be followed by a panel discussion moderated by Daphne Ewing-Chow, Content Manager at Loop Cayman, featuring Claire Hughes, PLASTIC FREE CAYMAN, Chloe Bentick-Lalli (Protect Our Future Leader), Cassandra MacDowell (Mangrove Ranger) and Brody Thomas, CayOcean where the panel will explore Cayman’s role in these critical environmental discussions and what the greatest threats are to our natural environment.
Organizers say that the five films and panels (over the course of five days) have been selected because they shine a light on current issues related to the environment, mental health and empowerment through music and technology.
The festival aims to spark dialogue in the community, particularly amongst the youth, on some of the most relevant challenges facing society and to promote the art of documentary film making. Each day’s screening will be followed by a panel discussion, featuring local community leaders, to encourage thoughtful discussion.
”In today’s world, documentaries are a powerful tool in the realm of educational entertainment. I have chosen the five documentaries featured in this festival based on their positive values and their ability to unite communities,” said Ana Russell-Omaljev, Creative Director and Content Programmer of Cayman Documentary Festival.
In addition to the film screenings, Cayman Documentary Festival has invited the public to the opening of the female documentary photography exhibition ‘Perspectives: Photography Storytelling’ at Parcel110 on the March 10 in George Town.
This is a not-for-profit initiative and will benefit local charities such as Plastic Free Cayman, Cayman Islands Crisis Centre, Alex Panton Foundation, NCVO and Cayman Arts Festival. Tickets for all screenings are $25. The festival continues until March 20 and those who are interested are advised to get their tickets in advance as, due to COVID-protocols, there is limited seating at the venue.
The remainder of the Programme is as follows:
March 17, 6.30pm: The Environment
I AM GRETA (2020)
Panel in association with PLASTIC FREE CAYMAN
Buy tickets here
In August 2018, Greta Thunberg, a 15-year-old student in Sweden, starts a school strike for the climate. Her question for adults: if you don’t care about her future on earth, why should she care about her future in school? Within months, her strike evolves into a global movement. Greta, a quiet northern European girl on the autism spectrum, is now a world famous activist. The team behind ‘Greta’ has been following the young activist from her very first day of school striking.
March 18, 6.30pm: Mental Health
THE GREAT DISCONNECT (2019)
In association with Alex Panton Foundation
We are living in a time that has been described as the age of loneliness. Statistics reveal that over the last few decades, the number of admittedly lonely people has doubled. While it’s true that this isolation impacts us psychologically and emotionally, what many of us don’t realize is the negative impact it has on every aspect of our health and well-being. Wellness expert Tamer Soliman attempts to answer these questions by visiting cities across North America.
March 19, 6.30pm: Technology and finance
CRYPTOPIA: Bitcoin, Blockchains and The Future of the Internet (2019)
In association with Blockchain Association of Cayman Islands
Bitcoin has been called one of the most disruptive technologies of our times, threatening banks by building an alternative and decentralised currency system. Despite this potential, Bitcoin is undergoing severe price volatility and the community is facing a bitter ‘civil war’. Join filmmaker Torsten Hoffmann (Bitcoin: The End of Money As We Know It) on his journey to better understand this decentralised technology and the promise of web 3.0.
March 20, 6.30pm: Music and heritage
SUMMER OF SOUL
In association with Cayman Arts Festival
In his acclaimed debut as a filmmaker, Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson presents a powerful and transporting documentary–part music film, part historical record created around an epic event that celebrated Black history, culture and fashion. Over the course of six weeks in the summer of 1969, just 100 miles south of Woodstock, The Harlem Cultural Festival was filmed in Mount Morris Park. The footage was largely forgotten-until now.
SUMMER OF SOUL shines a light on the importance of history to our spiritual well-being and stands as a testament to the healing power of music during times of unrest, both past and present. The feature includes concert performances by Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Sly & the Family Stone, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Mahalia Jackson, B.B. King, The 5th Dimension and more.
SUMMER OF SOUL premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, where it won both the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award and it is nominated for an Oscar in 2022.