Kim Johnson takes us on an unlikely path into music. In his talk he explores the subtleties of the one of the worlds most motivating and inspiring movements. His insights challenge our common conceptions of musical practice and its performance.
An enormous poster of the movie “Casablanca” looms over a desk as film producers Kim Johnson and Jean Michel Gilbert speak, via Skype, from Port of Spain in Trinidad and Tobago. The poster does not suggest any particular passion for Humphrey Bogart. Rather, it is a sly reference to the history of the steel pan, also known as the steel drum, the instrument invented on the island of Trinidad, and the subject of a 2014 film produced by Gilbert and Johnson.
According to them, the steel pan bands of the 1940s and 1950s took their names from popular movies of the day. “Casablanca was one of the greatest early bands,” says Johnson, a native Trinidadian and a leading scholar of the history of steel pan music.
That music is the subject of “PAN! Our Music Odyssey,” a docudrama they produced with Barthélémy Fougea. The film will screen June 14 at the AFI Silver Theatre as part of the 2015 DC Caribbean FilmFest, running June 12-14.
Directed by Jérôme Guiot and Thierry Teston, it’s no cookie-cutter documentary. “It’s a very peculiar hybrid movie,” Johnson admits, referring to the film’s blend of historical fiction, talking-head interviews and reality-TV-style chronicling of a contemporary steel band contest.
The fictional narrative evokes the history and prehistory of steel pan, focusing particularly on the period during and after World War II, when Trinidadians began creating percussion instruments from the metal drums that were used to store oil and other liquids on U.S. military bases.
Read the full article at the Washington Post.
The Brooklyn Museum is hosting the CaribBEING’s Heritage Film Series produced by Shelley Worrell as part of New York’s observation of Caribbean Heritage Month. On closing night, on Sunday, June 28 2015, the critically claimed musical documentary, PAN! Our Music Odyssey will make its grand premiere, at 2 pm.
This poignant film which I first wrote about when it was still in production, had captivated me before I even saw it. Now, I am so pleased to say, it has been sweeping film festivals around the world and gaining the favorable attention of critics and audiences alike with its inspirational true story of revolutionary artistic genius birthed in poverty and revolt against the system. Fittingly enough, the Brooklyn Museum is also exhibiting the artwork of the punk, hip hop, graffiti poet Jean-Michel Basquiat and I cannot imagine any better ambiance for PAN!’s premiere than the backdrop of his artistic genius which was also birthed in poverty and revolt against the system.
Read the full article at the Huffington Post.
The groundbreaking locally produced film Pan! Our Music Odyssey has been held over for another week at MovieTowne Port of Spain because of the enthusiastic response from the public.
“Excellent,” “brilliant,” “brought tears to my eyes,” “made me proud as a Trini,” “should be in all schools,” were some of the comments heard at screenings at which the audience burst into applause.
From November 12 to 18, local movie goers can catch two daily screenings of the film at Movie Towne Port of Spain at 12.40 p.m. and 2.45 p.m.
Groups wishing to see the film in HD 5.1 can also book screenings with Digicel IMAX. (more…)
We’re just a few short days away from Pan! Our Music Odyssey’s national opening at Movie Towne, Cinemas 8, Empire Cinema and Digicel IMAX.
Starting on Wednesday November 5th local cinema goers will have just one week in Trinidad and Tobago to see this ground-breaking new film, which was shot entirely in Trinidad with a cast and crew of over 400 people. (more…)
Pan! Our Music Odyssey brings together in docu-drama form, a fictional account of the birth of the steelpan seventy years ago, with a present day story of how musicians come from all over the world to participate in the annual Panorama competition in Trinidad. (more…)
We are pleased to announce that Pan! Our Music Odyssey will be opening at cinemas across the country on November 5th, 2014. You can see Pan! Our Music Odyssey at Cinemas 8, Movie Towne and at Digicel IMAX Port of Spain. (more…)
Pan! Our Music Odyssey – the definitive steel pan movie – will open in cinemas across Trinidad and Tobago on November 5, 2014.
The eagerly anticipated new docu-drama that tells the story of the national instrument, the steel pan, premiered to a packed audience at Globe Cinema on September 16th at the opening of the 9th Annual Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival. The 80 minute film is based on the fictional story of Goldteeth in the early fifties in Port of Spain. Pan! Our Music Odyssey was filmed in Trinidad with a cast of more than 400 actors and extras. (more…)
Meet one of our producers, Parisian Barthélémy Fougea. He has been a Producer, Executive producer and Production director on more than thirty documentary films and docudramas for television and cinema. (more…)
After raising nearly $14000 USD on popular crowdfunding site Indiegogo the producers and team behind Pan! Our Music Odyssey were able to create a new trailer and more importantly screen the film for the first time in France.
The screening of the French version was highly successful with a full house and standing ovation.
The party after with the steelband was a blast and we have now got France television involved with us to help spread the pan movement globally.
A great achievement which will enable us to properly finish the English version of the film.
We would like to say a special thank you to all of those who have contributed, without your support this would not have been the amazing journey it has been!!
THANK YOU!!!!!! (more…)