Reggae On The Silver Screen: Vote For Your Favourite Film

A Reggae Silver Screen Classic. Photo: Portobello Recollection

As promised last time, here is the second instalment of this week’s Roots of Reggae ‘double blog special’. To paraphrase Alexander Armstrong from the quiz show Pointless, now things are going to get even more exciting as we head into part two.

UnLtd offer only limited support for Roots of Reggae

Before I go any further I figure it’s probably best that I get some bad news out of the way.Unfortunately, I was unsuccessful in the funding bid I made to the social entrepreneurship charity UnLtd. Having successfully staged December’s launch event I had asked UnLtd for support to help me further develop and establish Roots of Reggae in 2012.

Had I been successful, the funding would have helped meet the costs of putting on three more social events this year similar to December’s launch event. I had also planned to use the money to set up Roots of Reggae workshops, where local Reggae legends could share their skills and life experience with others.

As with any application you make, very often the feedback you receive is not as detailed as you would like it to be. Nonetheless, from their letter it seems clear that UnLtd really liked the concept of Roots of Reggae and felt there was a real passion behind it. They did however question the extent to which it is addresses a social need (does Roots of Reggae make a direct contribution to tackling social problems) and how sustainable the project would be (i.e. would Roots of Reggae be able to stand on its own two feet or would it keep needing additional grant funding).

While I am very disappointed that my funding application has not been successful I do at least appreciate them taking the time to give feedback. I suspect the sheer number of grant applications they receive means that they can only fund projects which very closely match their funding criteria. I accept that I need to do some more thinking around project sustainability but am disappointed they could not see the social need for Roots of Reggae. Although the project is positive and fun and doesn’t present itself as ‘worthy’ it nonetheless makes an important contribution to community togetherness and provides an opportunity for older people to socialise.

Moving forward, I will continue to look for funding opportunities to help develop Roots of Reggae. In the meantime, though, I am keen to crack on with Roots of Reggae by organising some events which don’t need lots of extra funding. All of which seamlessly leads me on to my next topic…

Reggae On The Silver Screen

What would Zoolander Do? Photo: Smeerch

After the recent setback I felt a little like Ben Stiller in Zoolander:

Maury Ballstein: What do we do when we fall off the horse?
Derek Zoolander: [thoughtfully looking up and mouthing the words silently] … fall off the horse…
Maury Ballstein: [looking to supply finish] … we… get back on!
Derek Zoolander: Sorry, Maury. I’m not a gymnast.

However, having watched the film more times than is probably healthy I knew I had to follow the advice of Zoolander’s Manager, Maury Ballstein, and get back on the horse. Not being a gymnast, my only response to this is to crack on with making the next Roots of Reggae a reality.

Given the support the Ritzy cinema in Brixton has given Roots of Reggae, I thought I would make cinema the theme of the next event and arrange to hold a film screening. I’m currently speaking to the cinema about the different options for doing this but right now it looks more likely that we hold the screening Upstairs in the bar rather than in an actual cinema screen, simply because I’m not sure we’d get a big enough audience to justify the booking.

Would be up for seeing Reggae on the big screen? Naturally, I’d look to combine a film with a set or two of music to make it more of an occasion. Let me know what you think and do get in touch with any suggestions you have for films we should show.

Vote for your favourite Reggae film

I thought it would be fun to run a little online poll to find out what people would like to see  at a future Roots of Reggae film night.

You might want to see the British Reggae classic Babylon. Or perhaps it’s The Harder They Come, the film that introduced Reggae and Jimmy Cliff to a global audience? Or perhaps we should go back a little further an explore the Roots of Reggae with the excellent recent documentary, Rocksteady: The Roots of Reggae?

Give us your suggestions and we will do our best to show the most popular choice at our next Roots of Reggae event.


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