Pow­ell’s film fol­lows 2010 In­cur­sion’s youth

Jamaica Gleaner - - ENTERTAINMENT - Kim­ber­ley small Gleaner Writer

AL­LAN POW­ELL pre­miered his de­but short film dur­ing Thurs­day’s open­ing night gala of the 2017 GATFFEST Film Fes­ti­val, held at the Fac­ulty of Med­i­cal Sci­ences and Teach­ing Com­plex, UWI, Mona. The doc­u­men­tary, Chil­dren of the In­cur­sion, was pro­duced by Pow­ell to ex­plore the psy­choso­cial im­pact of the Tivoli in­cur­sion in 2010.

The 22-year-old film-maker tra­versed the bor­ders of his neigh­bour­hood, Den­ham Town, and ri­val, Tivoli Gar­dens, col­lect­ing the voices of youth who were forced to hun­ker down amid the gun­fire. Dur­ing the screen­ing, the film some­times pulled short gasps from the au­di­ence, along with slow, som­bre head shakes.

Pow­ell ex­pe­ri­enced the in­cur­sion as a 15-year-old and Chil­dren of the In­cur­sion gives first-hand ac­counts of the hor­rors he wit­nessed. In graphic retellings, the film takes a sober gaze into the psy­cho­log­i­cal and so­cial af­ter­math of the bat­tle in Tivoli, util­is­ing the voices of the young, some of whom were then just nine or 10 years old.

The film opens with the cam­era’s lens peer­ing through a con­crete cylin­der, spy­ing on chil­dren — ap­prox­i­mately the ages in 2010 of those in­ter­viewed for the doc­u­men­tary — at play. The happy im­ages con­trast starkly against the pic­ture in­ter­vie­wees painted of the in­ner-city mas­sacre.

PLAT­FORM FOR ARTISTES

Pro­fes­sor Archibald McDon­ald, pro-vice chan­cel­lor and prin­ci­pal of the Univer­sity of the West Indies, said in his open­ing ad­dress that in its five years, GATFFEST had grown to pro­vide a plat­form for artistes around the world to show­case in­tri­cate sto­ries that delve into the con­scious­ness of to­day’s global cit­i­zens.

“It goes with­out say­ing that this year’s se­lec­tions will high­light a wide range of emo­tional, so­cial and cul­tural is­sues that de­pict the strug­gles and achieve­ments of our global com­mu­nity, while high­light­ing so­cial is­sues that are to date un­recog­nised or si­lenced in en­ter­tain­ment,” McDon­ald said.

McDon­ald praised GATFFEST, say­ing that it has given many of Ja­maica’s most im­pov­er­ished com­mu­ni­ties the op­por­tu­nity to shine a light on their ex­tra­or­di­nary tal­ents, giv­ing the voice­less a voice.

GATFFEST 2017 con­tin­ues daily un­til Satur­day’s awards cer­e­mony.

PHOTOS BY DARIEN ROBERT­SON/FREE­LANCE PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

Al­lan Pow­ell, di­rec­tor of ‘Chil­dren of the In­cur­sion’, speak­ing at the Fac­ulty of Med­i­cal Sci­ences, UWI, Mona, last Thurs­day at the open­ing of GATFFEST 2017.

Pro­fes­sor Archibald McDon­ald, prin­ci­pal of the Mona cam­pus of the Univer­sity of the West Indies (UWI), ad­dress­ing the gath­er­ing at the open­ing of GATFFEST 2017.

Pro­fes­sor Ian Box­ill speak­ing at the open­ing of GATFFEST 2017.

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