Queens College Guyana Alumni Assoc. New York to host film night on June 15

Some members of the Queens College Guyana Alumni Association, New York are pictured with Tony Singh, extreme right, during a past Thanksgiving meal distribution at Singh’s Calvary’s Mission Food Pantry in Queens.
Photo by Tangerine Clarke

The Queens College of Guyana Alumni Association-New York, has announced the eagerly awaited annual Night of Film, in collaboration with Third Horizon Films, set for the Jamaica Performing Arts Center (JPAC) in Queens.

The return of the festival will be held on Saturday, June 15, to celebrate its seventh year. According to the organization, the critically acclaimed festival will showcase an expertly curated selection of five live-action and documentary short films from the Guyanese and Caribbean diaspora.

“June is Caribbean-American Heritage Month, and we are especially excited that our 2024 Night of Film coincides with this nationwide celebration of our uniquely diverse history and culture,” said John Campbell, president of QCAANY.

“We are also deeply grateful to our partners at Third Horizon Films, whose extensive catalogue of original filmography enables us to increase the visibility of short films, filmmakers and actors with roots in Guyana and the wider Caribbean region and bring our community together in this signature celebration of our arts and culture,” said Campbell.

“This year’s lineup will feature works by Directors Joseph Douglas Elmhirst of Jamaica, Samuel Suffren of Haiti, Raqueebah Zaman and Rae Wiltshire of Guyana and Hew Locke of Guyana / United Kingdom.”

“The marquee event begins at 3 p.m. with a cocktail reception and will include a panel discussion with filmmakers after the screenings. Tickets are $40 each and must be purchased in advance,” he noted.

The lineup for this year’s Caribbean Heritage Night of Film will include:

Burnt Milk (Jamaica / United States)

Burnt Milk centers around a monologue by Una (voiced by Tamara Lawrance), an isolated Jamaican woman in London. As she takes a moment of solace to make burnt milk, she is flooded with spiritual imagery that takes her home.

The film is directed by Joseph Douglas Elmhirst, a British-Jamaican filmmaker based in New York. His work centers around characters coming into their own power and exploring complex themes such as misogyny and religion.


Like Sisters Separated at Birth is an experimental film and retrospective travelogue that explores the intersection of identity, intergenerational and neoteric trauma, and serial migration, vis-à-vis a visibly Muslim Indo-Guyanese American woman. Composed of five chapters, the film is concurrently informed by the notion of interconnectedness between peoples of the Global South and their diaspora.

The film is directed by Raqeebah Zaman, a filmmaker and visual artist born in Guyana and raised primarily in Little Guyana, Queens, New York. She received a BFA in film and a BA in cinema studies from the University of Central Florida.

AGWE (Haiti)

Myrlande lives in a seaside village in Haiti. Six months pregnant, she awaits news of her husband, who left on a boat for the United States in search of a better life for his family. The film is directed by Samuel Suffren, a Haitian filmmaker and producer who heads an independent production company in Haiti that makes fiction films and documentaries. He is currently working on a trilogy of which AGWE is the first film in the series.

THE PROCESSION (Guyana / United Kingdom)

The world is on the move. From the acclaimed contemporary Guyanese-British Artist Hew Locke, The Procession brings the viewer face-to-face with 140 individual sculptures, representing a procession of adults, children, and horses.

Each figure carries the weight of their historical and cultural past, from global financial and violent colonial control, as evidenced in the embellishments on their clothes and banners, alongside commanding images that capture some of the colonial architecture of Locke’s childhood spent in Guyana. The installation recently opened to enthusiastic reviews in Boston, MA, and will remain on view there until the fall.

Hew Locke comes from a Guyanese family of artists and is an alumnus of Queen’s College, where his father was also the Art Master. He resides in the United Kingdom and his work has been displayed at exhibitions around the world. Last year, he was awarded an OBE (Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) for Services to Art in the 2023 King’s Birthday Honors list.


Returning this year by popular demand, Eating Papaw by the Seashore is a coming-of-age film about two queer Guyanese boys who are navigating their feelings in a homophobic society. Since premiering at the New Beginnings Film Festival in Guyana 18 months ago, the film has been widely acclaimed by audiences in the Caribbean and North America — including last year’s Night of Film screening in New York.

In an opinion published by the Guyana Stabroek News, Director Rae Wiltshire noted that making this film “has created possibilities to imagine a future where Guyanese people can tell stories that are universal while maintaining a type of indigeneity that is specific to their home. Our stories don’t have to be those of the outsider with their camera looking in. We should be capable of crafting our own stories. Our imagination can be boundless; it is just the foundation that is needed to keep our houses up.”

The Jamaica Performing Arts Center is located at 153-10 Jamaica Avenue in Jamaica, Queens. The venue is easily accessible by all forms of private and public transportation including MTA trains and buses, as well as the Long Island Railroad (LIRR). Patrons are strongly encouraged to purchase their tickets in advance at https://buytickets.at/queenscollegealumniassociationny.

Third Horizon is a Caribbean filmmaking collective whose films center the stories of the Caribbean and its ever-expanding diaspora. Their work has been screened and awarded at some of the world’s leading film festivals such as Sundance, Berlinale, BlackStar, and the Toronto International Film Festival, as well as on platforms such as National Geographic and The Atlantic.

The Queen’s College of Guyana Alumni Association-New York (QCAANY) is a 501 (c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to upholding the tradition of excellence at the College and expanding the range of educational, artistic, athletic, and creative opportunity available to current and future students.

For more information, email nychapter@qcaany.org, and connect with QCAANY on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/qcguyanaalumny.