Fri | Oct 7, 2022

NY premiere for Marcus Garvey docufilm on his birthday

New York Senator issues proclamation

Published:Wednesday | August 17, 2022 | 1:37 PM
Marcus Mosiah Garvey
Marcus Mosiah Garvey
Paul Williams plays the role of Marcus Garvey in the docufilm ‘African Redemption: The Life and Legacy of Marcus Garvey’.
Paul Williams plays the role of Marcus Garvey in the docufilm ‘African Redemption: The Life and Legacy of Marcus Garvey’.
Marcus Mosiah Garvey
Marcus Mosiah Garvey
From his birthplace at 32 Market Street in St Ann's Bay National Hero Marcus Mosiah Garvey evolved to establish the greatest pan-Africanist movement in the world.
From his birthplace at 32 Market Street in St Ann's Bay National Hero Marcus Mosiah Garvey evolved to establish the greatest pan-Africanist movement in the world.
Marcus Garvey's son, Dr. Julius Garvey, is among the voices and faces embedded in the 90-minute docudrama.
Marcus Garvey's son, Dr. Julius Garvey, is among the voices and faces embedded in the 90-minute docudrama.
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Marcus Mosiah Garvey, Jamaica’s first national hero, was born on August 17, 1887, at 32 Market Street, St Ann’s Bay, in unflattering circumstances. Today, exactly 135 years later, New York Senator Cordell Cleare will issue a proclamation declaring the day ‘Marcus Garvey Day’.

Another highlight of the day will be the New York premiere, by way of a free outdoor screening, of Roy T. Anderson’s award-winning documentary, African Redemption: The Life and Legacy of Marcus Garvey. Anderson is a Jamaica-born Hollywood stuntman who has evolved into a producer/director. African Redemption, the third film, was produced by Anderson’s New Jersey-based company, Black Star Line Films.

In collaboration with Jazzmobile/Summerfest and in association with the 20th Annual ImageNation Outdoors, African Redemption is a special Harlem Week presentation to be held at the Richard Rodgers Amphitheater inside Marcus Garvey Park, 18 Mount Morris Park West. Anderson will be in attendance to introduce the film at the screening from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Paul H. Williams, Jamaican journalist/educator and budding actor, who reprises the role of Garvey through enactments, is also expected to be present.

The time and place of the screening are most fitting as Harlem was where Garvey established the Universal Negro Improvement Association/African Communities League in America. From there UNIA spread to other cities in America and the rest of the world. Garvey’s civil and social rights movement and philosophies had a great impact on American civil rights leaders, including Dr Martin Luther King Jr and Malcolm X, whose parents were diehard Garvey supporters.

Narrated by Emmy award-winning actor Keith David, African Redemption is a frank exposé of the life, struggles, and impact of the work of a man regarded as the greatest Jamaican who ever lived. It was filmed in Jamaica, Ghana, Canada, The United States, the United Kingdom, and Central America.

It uses live-action sequences, voice-overs by Paul H. Williams, photographs, and interviews to narrate Garveny’s untold stories and resurrect those already told. Some of the voices and faces embedded in this 90-minute docudrama are those of Dr Julius Garvey, the younger son of Marcus Garvey; Oscar-winner Louis Gossett, Jr; Ilyasah Shabazz, the third daughter of Malcolm X; Dr Betty Shabazz; retired US Congressman Charles Rangel; film director Sam Pollard; Jamaican Olympic sprint legend Usain Bolt; and Grammy-winner Sean Paul.

Since its virtual world premiere at the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival on September 23, last year, African Redemption has also been screened at many film festivals, including: the Zanzibar International Film Festival in Stone Town, Zanzibar, Africa; the Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival at Vineyards Haven on Friday, August 5. It was also screened at the Toronto Caribbean Kiwanis Club, as a Jamaica 60 special screening in Brampton and Toronto (August 13 and 14).

A screening is also planned for the 'From Jamaica to the World: Reggae on Films' series at BFI Southbank, London (August 15 and 28).

So far African Redemption has garnered five major awards, including:

Best Diaspora Documentary – Africa Movie Academy Awards (2021)

Best Historical Documentary – Los Angeles Documentary Film Festival (2021)

Best Feature Documentary – Zanzibar International Film Festival (2022)

Best Feature Documentary – Charlotte Black Film Festival (2022)

Best Documentary – Greenwood Film Festival (2022)

It was also been nominated for:

Standout Writer, Director, and Producer – Feature Documentary – Reelworld Film Festival (2021)

Best Feature Documentary (2022) – Pan African Film Festival

Best Feature Documentary – Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival (2022)