Pimento and Hot Pepper – The Mento Story

Rick Elgood | Feature | 59 mins | 2016 | Jamaica | English | PG 13

Originally, in Jamaican music, there was Mento. It was, not only the name of a musical style and a type of band, but also a song form, a rhythm, and a dance. And yet for a century, Mento music and its performers have hidden in plain sight. This documentary explores the origins of Mento and where it is today.

Mento’s socially aware and often bawdy lyrics spoke to the lives of the people of the countryside and downtown, which didn’t square with the sensibilities of uptown Kingston. A “polished” version of Mento was marketed (to capitalize on the popularity of its Trinidadian cousin — caypso) as Jamaican “calypso”, but it could not compete with emerging musical forms like Ska. While Mento became a symbol of cultural identity in the years after Jamaican independence in 1962, it was overshadowed by Reggae’s international superstars.

Short Film Presentation

3 Cloves Of Garlic

Naomi Abiola and David Omwange | Short | 19 mins | 2016 | Canada | English | PG

Hatshepsut migrates to Canada, bringing her three children with her. She is an Orisha Practitioner who still lives her life seeking guidance from her Ancestors. While their mother still insists on continuing to practice the ways of the Orishas, in Canada, her children, particularly her son, no longer wish to carry around the three cloves of garlic she places in their bags for protection. However, with encouragement from his eldest sister, he chooses not to tempt the ancestors and does as their mother requires, with amazing results.

Sorf Hair

Shari Petti | Short | 24 mins | 2017 | Trinidad and Tobago | English | PG

A short documentary examining how “natural hair” is perceived and treated in Trinidad and Tobago and by extension, across the Caribbean.