Summer Caravan III: The Refugee All Stars
Another evening of good vibes in the summer in NYC. I made it to the Summerstage Performance of the Refugee All Stars, a six-member, multi-piece reggae and highlife band that was formed out of the refugee camps during the years of civil war in Sierra Leone and have now returned home. Summerstage also screened The Refugee All Stars, a documentary about the Refugee All Stars by two talented filmmakers, Zachary Niles and Chris Velan. The great lawn was packed with people - large groups, families with kids, couples - of just about every color and shade. I met up with a few friends from Filmaid. FilmAid is helping to uplift, educate and entertain refugee communities throughout the world through the power of film. Elisabeth Silkes, FilmAid's Executive Director, who'd made an appearance at Human Rights Watch's screening the night before, told me that the crowd had been packed at Walter Reade as well.
The story of the All Stars is compelling, their music infectious. The band has toured from San Francisco to Japan. Music documentaries are increasly popular. So why can't the film get distribution either in the U.S. or Europe? If anyone has any ideas or comments, please share.SXSW All Star Refugees African Band
You like? Buy their music. The Refugee All Stars' official album is available on the film's website. http://refugeeallstars.org/v3/index.html