THE 2021 EDITION of the National Independence Festival of Creative Arts (NIFCA) takes on a new and exciting look with the majority of content on NIFCA Channel www.nifcaonline.com which will be launched Monday, November 15, at 7:45 p.m.
The National Cultural Foundation (NCF) is extremely pleased to offer this 100 per cent Bajan content as the ‘Season of Excellence Continues’.
Speaking during the recent media launch, Chief Cultural Officer Andrea Wells said: “We will be presenting to the Barbadian public a bubbling pot of activities celebrating our past NIFCA heritage and showcasing a current crop of talent. The cultural officers have worked tirelessly to ensure that there is a festival this year, albeit a digital one.” Here is a synopsis of NIFCA activities.
Since the inception of the Film & Video category in NIFCA 2001, it has shown steady growth in entries. The NCF will showcase the NIFCA Film & Video gold award winners of the past three decades. These events will not only provide an opportunity for older products to be showcased to new audiences, but they will also provide comfortable conditions for patrons. The drive-in screenings will be held on Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 November in the NCF car park. Each event will begin at 5 p.m. and will feature two hours of screenings of shorts and full-length features. Sound will be provided through FM transmission to vehicles. Refreshments will be on sale. COVID-19 protocols will be in full effect. Book a vehicle pass on www.ticketlinkz.com.
Three NCF-produced docudramas will be broadcast during the NIFCA schedule. Cultural icons Enid Maxwell, culinary arts; Kamau Brathwaite, literary arts, and Ivan Payne visual arts will be featured.
Reminisce, a musical mini-documentary with some of your favourite performers over the years. This series will allow viewers the opportunity to hear from the performers about winning performances. This five-part musical production hosted by Cheyne Jones features some of our major NIFCA musical awardees: Dr The Most Honourable Anthony “Gabby” Carter and Kenaz “Bit-Bit” Walker, Israel Lovell Foundation Junior Drummers, Combermere School Steel Orchestra, Pan Revolution, The Coleridge & Parry School Band, and more.
Bajan Song Book is a musical production documenting the 55 most popular songs over Barbados’ 55 years of Independence, as voted by the public. It also shines a spotlight on some of the island’s most promising young talent such as Jeliah Boyce, Janisa Alleyne, Reniece Bonnett and Darren Watson paired with special features from experienced stalwarts such as Adrian Clarke, Natalee and Andre Woodvine. The 16-member band is led by John Roett. A feeling of patriotism and nostalgia is guaranteed.
2021: What a Year. Writers submitted poems, essays and short stories outlining their experiences in a year often described as unprecedented. The submissions covered a range of topics including COVID-19, Hurricane Elsa, La Soufrière and lockdowns. These literary works of art will soon be featured on an NCF page where members of the public can weigh in and choose their favourite submissions. Those selected will be featured in an anthology chronicling this period in Barbadian history.
Things Seen and Unseen, a digital photo, book will tell the story of the eruption of the La Soufrière volcano and its impact on Barbados and St Vincent. This book will feature some of our local photographers who were able to capture the event and some of our top NIFCA award-winning writers to share their literary responses to each image.
Ashes to Ashes is a radio drama that focuses on a Barbadian family grappling with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the eruption of the La Soufrière volcano. These devastating events hold a magnifying glass to the cracks that were already there and expose several family secrets. Listeners will be able to get all “the tea” from Aunt Marg, a feisty grandmother who makes it her business to know everyone’s business. The drama was written and directed by Paula Harper-Grant and features Teila Williams, Shameka Walters, Neil Waithe, Jherad Alleyne, Janine White and Natasha Charlamagne-Catwell.
A virtual four-part series, Cooking the Enid Maxwell Way, will highlight winners of this prestigious award. Maxwell played a pivotal role in the Barbados culinary and tourism landscape. One of the top prizes in the NIFCA culinary arts is the Enid Maxwell Award.
Mystery Basket Cook-Off highlights the talents of our young semi-professional chefs between the ages of 18 and 25. The competition has knock-out rounds, semi-finals and then a nail-biting final. The winner of the competition will win a cash prize of $2 000 giving them bragging rights of the 2021 Master Basket Chef.
Instagram Challenge: “Dah Pulling” is for our community chefs, looking for something exciting and innovative to do and share from their personal kitchen. All they have to do is cook, post it online with the required hashtags. Dah Pulling is hosted by influencer Asher ‘Dynamo’ Murrell.
The City Scape Mural Project – Four murals will be unveiled in each town: Speightstown, Holetown, Oistins and Bridgetown. Lines from the National Anthem will be featured on the murals. These murals will serve as live visual activity and creative stimulation intended to bring a sense of joy and national pride.
The Visual Arts Catalogue – This collaborative effort with lead designer Jeena Chatrani and Corrie Scott will highlight a final selection of the visual arts and photography of some 35 Barbadian artists featuring 55 pieces which are very significant to these current and very important celebrations.
Visual Arts Virtual Exhibition is a collaborative project between the NCF and the National Art Gallery Committee. This exhibition will feature select works from the National Collection of Barbados to showcase to the Barbadian public in a virtual exhibition format. The work has been going through a period of selection by Curator Katherine Kennedy and designed by Alexei Charles.
Mastery of Movement – The Gene Carson Journey honours our local dance icon in an exciting presentation which includes a selection of his choreographies. Gene has been an avid contributor to NIFCA throughout the years and the local dance community is eager and excited to honour him. Groups such as Dancin’ Africa, Pearls Dance Academy, Louise Woodvine Dance Academy, Psalms 150, Pinelands Creative Workshop, Dance Strides Barbados, Barbados Dance Theatre, and Barbados Community College are involved. The tribute is co-produced by Dr John Hunte artistic director of BDT where Gene’s dance journey started and is directed by Ahlena Vaughan who was also a student of Gene.
NIFCA Rewind series will feature interviews with past NIFCA theatre awardees, including some of Barbados’ most well-known theatre practitioners. Among them, Sonia Williams, Kenneth ‘Jack’ Lewis, Adrian Green and Lord Zenn will speak about the role the festival has played in their development. The show will also see some of the island’s most prolific actors and spoken word poets at a Live Improv Showcase hosted by Keoma “RhyMinister” Mallett. We get to ‘virtually’ follow artistes including StonedwithCupid, Gibzzy Dan and Cyndi Celeste backstage and peep in on their process. The likes of comedians Janine White and Angelo Lascelles will respond in real time to stimulus supplied by a live audience.