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Tales of Papa Bois and The Unseen feature at festival opening night

Tales of mythical forest protector Papa Bois and creepy horror short film The Unseen were some of the highlights of the opening night of the third annual Film and Folklore Festival.

The festival, which has gone fully digital with Digicel, aired its opening night on YouTube and the Digicel PlayGo app.

The event began with media personality Thaddy Boom in "Thaddy's Tales", a series of clips presented throughout the presentation where he speaks about childhood past times, namely "toting" (carrying) water, visiting the neighbourhood parlour, bathing by a standpipe with blue soap, and kite making. Boom's big persona fills the screen making for both fun and nostalgic vignettes. There are also clips of him in costume as Papa Bois.

Continuing on the nostalgic trend theatre icon Penelope Spencer then featured in a video where she played games with children including cricket, marbles, hopscotch, and jump rope, and chatted about the importance of these childhood activities.

Author, Actress and Storyteller - Penelope Spencer

Later in the programme, Spencer shared a tale of the origin of Papa Bois utilising her conversational and exuberant storytelling style set to rhythmic drumming. In the engaging tale, a young Papa Bois struggles to save a tree during a hurricane and battles a group of greedy hunters using his special powers.

Festival manager Donelle Wills also features and gives an overview of the festival.

"This is an interactive, immersive, events-based festival where we tell our stories through film, spoken word, music, and so many other forms of entertainment." She noted the festival will be sharing tales from all over the world.

Tishanna Williams plays Andrea in the short film The Unseen

"They may be funny, spooky, romantic, but I can guarantee you, they are fun."

Tishanna Williams plays Andrea in the short film The Unseen

Wills also showed off her storytelling talents and shared the thoroughly entertaining tale of "how the monkey stop walk on two legs" which included an appearance by Papa Bois. He certainly gets around.

Opening night viewers were treated to the horror short film The Unseen which was written and directed by Dominic Koo. The film centres on a photographer named Jacob (Jovon Browne, who starred in the 2017 local crime thriller Pendulum) who mysteriously loses his sight while taking photos in the forest. A doctor (Keron Francis) does not know what is wrong with him but he has support from his wife Andrea (Tishanna Williams). As Jacob struggles with his blindness he is haunted by a strange entity.

The Unseen's truly disturbing visuals, unsettling music, and solid performances all combine for a terrific short film that begs to be seen.

After the film, it was time for some food and music. There was a feature on the calabash: the history of it, how it is prepared, and its use as a food dish and for bathing. The dishes shown here looked mouth-watering.

This was followed up by a performance of the song El Paso by Los Amigos de Lopinot and cocoa dancing at Mariposa Café in Lopinot.

If you missed the opening night or want to watch it again you can check it out on the Digicel PlayGo app or via the festival's events page.

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