Documentary coming on Miss Lou

BY HOWARD CAMPBELL Observer senior writer

Monday, August 06, 2012

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WITH Jamaica at the peak of its 50th anniversary celebrations, it is a time for hailing heroes. For Jamaica-born, Canada-reared film-maker Ian Sun, they do not come greater than Louise Bennett-Coverley.

Sun (whose given name is Ian Farquharson) is in Jamaica doing research for Miss Lou Say So, a documentary on the legendary folklorist who died in 2006.

For the last 30 years, the 45-year-old Sun has lived in Toronto, the Canadian city Miss Lou and her husband Eric Coverley, called home for 20 years.

He told the Jamaica Observer that he has approached some of Jamaica's most famous personalities to interpret Miss Lou's work.

The list includes Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, poet Mutabaruka, actress Sheryl Lee Ralph, dancehall star Beenie Man and American rapper Busta Rhymes, whose parents are Jamaican.

They would 'perform' Anancy and Big Boy stories, as well as standard Miss Lou songs like Long Time Gal, Hosannah, Ring Ding, Chi Chi Bud and Walk Good.

"The premise is that we will be re-telling Miss Lou's stories and songs. I want to tell Jamaican stories and she is the greatest Jamaican storyteller," Sun said.

He added that the film is his tribute to "a true Jamaican icon".

Louise Bennett was born in Kingston in 1919. She is a giant
of Caribbean literature, writing countless poems, songs and programmes that championed a Jamaican identity in the years leading to the country's independence from Britain in 1962.

Born in St Mary and raised in Kingston, Sun says he met Miss Lou in the late 1970s when he was an audience member for Ring Ding, the variety show she hosted from 1968 to 1980 on the Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation.

While in third form at Calabar High School, Sun moved
to Toronto where he attended York University, majoring in
political science.

He describes himself as a largely self-taught film-maker whose resumé includes several music videos by Canadian pop artistes and documentaries.

His most recent project, Two Worlds, is a documentary on the achievements of Jamaican-Canadians such as businessmen Michael Lee-Chin and Raymond Chang, Winter Olympian Shelly-Ann Brown and the three Subban brothers, who have excelled at ice hockey.

Two Worlds will be aired today by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.




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