North London Premiere: The Rumba Kings (2021) by Alan Brain

The Rumba Kings is a joyous exploration of the liberating power of music. In the 1950s, when the Democratic Republic of the Congo was still under harsh Belgian rule, a generation of Congolese musicians decided to use popular music to fight colonial oppression. They fused traditional African rhythms with Afro-Cuban music to create the musical genre known as Congolese Rumba, an infectious groove that provided a space of freedom and resistance.

After its birth, the electrifying Congolese Rumba beat never stopped. Congolese Rumba carried the country through its quest for independence, producing the most famous African independence anthem ever created, captivating the continent with its mesmerizing guitar sounds, and forging the identity of an entire nation.

Through original interviews, music recordings, archival footage, and never-before-seen live music performances, The Rumba Kings is the journey of the sound that gave Africa its own musical stars such as Franco Luambo & OK Jazz, Grand Kallé & African Jazz, and Dr. Nico & African Fiesta Sukisa. The Rumba Kings is not only a musical ride but also an emotional experience about how music can break barriers, heal wounds, and bring hope.

Sit back, press play, pump up the volume and meet The Rumba Kings. Because Congo’s real treasure does not lie underground.

Short Film Progamme

In this section, we will show two short films (more to be confirmed)

Short Film: Alpha & Omega by Chloe Tai & Maia Watkins

Alpha & Omega is a short drama that focuses on Imani, a Rastafari artist who runs a vegan health-stall with long-term partner Hakeem in South London. Dedicated to her Rastafari faith, she discovers she has breast cancer and is forced to consider man-made treatments (i.e. chemotherapy). This conflicts with her Rastafari teachings; as she begins to question her beliefs and struggles to tell her soul mate what’s happening to her.

Short Film: ASTRAL by Adriana Fanore

Astral is a fashion short film depicting the Black woman as a gifted and cursed being, while showing the relation between her and Ancient Egyptian teachings. Astral shows Black women in a stride of elegance, strength and uniqueness. The film highlights black women setting wavelengths in fashion and art through the costumes, styling and dialogue.

Short Film: The Ballad of Olive Morris (2021) by Alex Kayode-Kay

The Ballad Of Olive Morris is a short film based on real life events that took place in the South London neighbourhood of Brixton in 1969. 17 year old Olive Morris gets violently caught up in an incident of police brutality as she intervenes to help a Nigerian diplomat being wrongly arrested for stealing his own car.

UK Premiere: My People are Rising (2017) by Rafael Flores

In an era of stark racial injustice, Aaron Dixon dedicated his life to revolution, founding the Seattle chapter of the Black Panther Party in 1968 at age nineteen. In “My People Are Rising”, he traces the course of his own radicalization, and that of a generation. Through his eyes, we witness the courage and commitment of the young men and women who rose up in rebellion, risking their lives in the name of freedom. “My People are Rising” is an unforgettable tale of their triumphs and tragedies, and the enduring legacy of Black Power.

The United States government attempted to institutionally dismantle the Black Panther Party and was complicit in the assassination of several Black Panther leaders. In the midst of the chaos, Seattle Black Panther Captain, Aaron Dixon, fought hard to preserve his own life while trying to establish a community movement in a region where white politics dominates even today. Once called upon by Huey Newton to return to Oakland to protect the headquarters of the party, Dixon learned lifelong lessons that came to be essential in organising political groups outside of California.

‘My People Are Rising’ is a documentary based on the autobiography of a 19 year old Seattle Black Panther captain named Aaron Dixon. The film traces his politicisation and journey to Oakland as he fights alongside a generation of young people frustrated with injustice. Through his eyes we witness: the early forming of the party, the COINTEL PRO operation, the election of the first Black mayor of Oakland, the rise of the first female leader of the party, and the fall of Huey Newton as tried to run Dixon out of the party. ‘My People are Rising’ is an unforgettable tale of their triumphs and tragedies, and the enduring legacy of Black Power.

North London Premiere: African Redemption: The Life and Legacy of Marcus Garvey (2021) by Roy Anderson

The charismatic Caribbean hero and Pan Africanist Marcus Mosiah Garvey is regarded globally as one of the world’s foremost 20th-century civil-rights leaders. Filmed in Jamaica, Ghana, Canada, USA, UK and Central America, this film about his life blends live-action and stunning photographs with no-holds-barred interviews and conversations with world-renowned leaders, scholars, and personalities. Multiple Emmy award-winning actor Keith David narrates, along with contributors including Louis Gossett Jr, Danny Glover and reggae artists Sean Paul and David Hinds.