Sunday, January 20, 2008

Photos from Bahamas International Film Festival

Filmmakers Mari, Marisa, Andrea

Red Carpet Photo Ops

Actors CharlizeTheron, Darryl Hannah, Sir Sean Connery & Filmmaker Stuart Townsend

Filmmakers: Andrea Leland, David Mueller, Lynn Salt

Bahamas International Film Festival

Jamesie on the big screen!

The Bahamas International Film Festival took place on Dec. 6-13th, 2007. This was a wonderful film festival for filmmakers. The people who run the festival are very professional and take very good care of the filmmakers. Our plane tickets were paid for and we were housed at the Atlantis resort on Paradise Island in Nassau. We arrived on Thursday and taken to a filmmakers retreat at a lovely private club. Unfortunately it was raining very hard so beaching it and swimming was out the question, making for better eating and meeting other filmmakers. The next day the film screenings began and in the evening there was a most terrific party at Nobu restaurant. Sir Sean Connery is a sponsor of the festival and a friend of Darryl Hannah, who was honored at the festival the following evening. More films, more photos, more fun….all weekend.

The Jamesie film was presented on Monday night at the British Colonial Hilton in the town of Nassau. The evening was sponsored by Fed Ex. They invited their clients to a pre screening social hour followed by the screening of the Jamesie film. The film was very well received and local Bahamian audience LOVED the film. I believe the film touches a nerve with Caribbean people, reminding them of a simpler time where outside cultural influences did not have such a strong impact on their lives and when music was very much a reflection of their life experience.

The film was reviewed by Elliot Kotek from Moving Pictures Magazine. Here is the link to his review:

I spent a few days beyond the weekend at the festival, talking with some local musicians and tradition bearers who would like to see me make a film about the music of the Bahamas known as Rake & Scrape. Their music is similar to Scratch Music with a Bahamian twist. I am intrigued at the prospect so stay tuned to find out where this idea develops!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Bay Street Film Festival Photos

Here they are, the filmmakers at the Bay Street Film Festival held in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada! A fun bunch of talented folks!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Jamesie doc on the go!

The Jamesie doc has traveled a bit this past summer. In August, it was screened at the Globians Film Festival in Potsdam, Germany. The response was very positive, in fact the local public radio station announcer voted "Jamesie" his favorite film in the festival. I was unable to attend this festival.

Last weekend I did travel to Thunder Bay, Ontario in Canada for the Bay Street Film Festival....way up there in the North country. The photo is of me and Australian filmmaker, Liam Ward, in front of Kekabecka Falls outside Thunder Bay.

It was very interesting to see this film about a Caribbean tradition bearer up in Canada. During the screening itself, I stood in the back of the auditorium thinking this audience, made up of many Finland descendants, would have no way of relating to this film. I was pleasantly surprised by the very positive response. Many in the audience applauded my work, saying it was so very important to document the elders in this culture before they pass on. They enjoyed the music, Jamesie and the film itself.

Through the eyes of the audience, I came to see that this story has universal value. Just before my film was screened, there was a lovely film about some elderly folks in Northern Michigan. The folks both in the film and many in the audience are first and second generation Finns, and speak Finnish, sing Finnish songs, eat the traditional foods etc. Their story was not unlike Jamesie's, just set in a colder climate with different points of reference. The point being, I could appreciate their culture, they could appreciate the culture I presented on the Caribbean.

On other notes, Cruzan Rum is now using Jamesie's music on their website: The music is from the CD I produced entitled: JAMESIE AND THE ALL STARS, LIVE AT THE CHICAGO WORLD MUSIC FESTIVAL. This CD is available on our Jamesie website. Jamesie was very pleased with this turn of events!

More film festivals to come in the Caribbean this winter, so stay tuned!

Monday, July 2, 2007

Interview on You Tube

While I was at the Santa Cruz Film Festival in April, I was interviewed on camera. A selection of the interview is on You Tube. The Jamesie trailer is on the same You Tube.

Click on the link below to see the interview:

Thursday, June 28, 2007

More festivals!

Jamesie, King of Scratch is traveling this summer to Germany! The film will be part of the Globians World and Culture Documentary Film Festival held in Potsdam, Germany. The festival takes place August 11 - 19th. They have a wonderful line up of films and I am proud to have the Jamesie film a part of this festival. Check out their photos on flickr:
Sorry I won't be able to make it to Germany for this festival. I will try and make the film festival in Turks and Caico's October 16 -21st. Jamesie, King of Scratch is in this festival and it is in the Caribbean, one of my favorite places in the world!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Another enthusiastic viewer....

"The King of Scratch" is a fascinating, poignant, sensitive and timely
look at an artist who, in his own inimitable style, knows how to project a
"class act" with symbols and exquisite timing! I see the Leland "auteur"
style coming through more and more -- filmic aspects you were developing in
the earlier works are much more defined here: your focus on the minute and
commonplace (like chickens alive and roasted) to draw attention to a "big
star" in his own land and beyond.

I LOVE the fact that you avoided what I consider the cardinal sin of
documentaries: the voiceover of the filmmaker. You aptly created many moods
and paid homage to the particulars of culture without having to say a word
about them. You let the musicians and others do the speaking, and thus
were able to capture both culture change and culture continuity.

The music took center-stage throughout, and although the DVD is allegedly
about Jamesie, I could really see that it's about everybody. A project
like this cannot be successful without a remarkable team effort, and some of
the shots you were able to capture made me wonder repeatedly how you were
able to gain that level of trust. The bedroom shots in particular are

Thanks for sharing this remarkable man and his music, Andrea!

Eileen Moore Quinn