Flight of FantasySunday, March 24, 2019
Flight screenwriter Kia Moses is still pinching herself a full week after her first movie, nominated in seven categories of the Black Women Film Network (BWFN), copped three awards, notably Best Screenplay, Audience Award and Best in Festival (the overall prize for the entire festival, winning a cash prize and a meeting with HBO).
It was no fluke based on the subsequent accolades: “Flight was not only a quality made movie but it touched my soul and made me take the emotional journey with the little boy,” shared Larry Cooper, board member and executive director BWFN Summit 2019. There would be more from Cooper: “The judges loved everything about the movie from the story line to the visuals.”
Flight came first out of 104 film entries! A week later Flight won 'Best Short Film' and the 'People's Choice' awards in the Nouveaux Regards Film Festival in Guadeloupe.
— Flight has now also been officially selected for the International PanAfrican Film Festival in Cannes April 17 to April 21, 2019 at the Espace Miramar in Cannes (35 Rue Pasteur, 06400 Cannes)
“As a young film-maker I want to tell 'positively imaginative stories' coming out of Jamaica. Ones that show sides we haven't seen before. Stories that move us and hopefully even spark change. Ones that show sides we haven't seen before and take us through a rollercoaster of emotions, the way life does, having you laugh one moment, cry the next, then laugh again...” Kia Moses
Moses, who left Campion College after fifth form for Immaculate High School, subsequently studied at The School of Visual Arts (SVA) New York where she graduated in the top two earning The Visual Arts Rhodes Family Award for Outstanding Achievement in Advertising in 2007. She ventured across The Pond and further honed her skills in retail (advertising) at ASAO as an image editor and then as a creative at McCann Erickson. Eight years later she was back home and in 2015 co-founded TCP Those Creative People with a focus on advertising. Her partners included Jordan Moses now her brother-in-law, Marcus Gayle and latest recruit Lindsey Lodenquai.
But we digress. Flight tells the story of Kemar, an inner-city youth from Kingston, Jamaica, whose dream is to fly to the moon. His is a story of punching above one's weight, something Jamaicans are known to do, from Bob Marley to Usain Bolt. Kemar dreams of flying to the moon, and co-director Moses tells SO how “magical realism is used to visualise childlike imagination and how the two unlikely worlds of his inner-city community and the moon overlap”.
Films that are birthed in Jamaica inevitably spotlight poverty, violence and very little redemption. “It was important,” said Moses, “to tell a different story to our children and to the rest of the world. Yes, there are many criminals in Jamaica, but there are also many dreamers. Even the criminals were once children with dreams, standing at that crossroads between boyhood and manhood. Right and wrong. Imagination and reality. Flight is set at that crossroads. It was created not only to inspire inner city youth in Jamaica but also their parents and communities. To show them the power and responsibility they have in protecting these youth at that crucial crossroads moment. The difference it can make when someone makes them feel it is good to keep being a child and helps them use their emotions and pain to fuel their dreams instead of violence and crime.”
The 'dream big' theme that results in success is intricately woven through the journey of the father Clive, who epitomises the rock-solid alpha male of few words, few emotions and who often leaves the emotional support to the mothers. Many fathers are absent all together in inner-city communities; this makes Clive's transformation that much more impactful and inspiring.
Indeed, the three young 'uns in Flight are all inner-city residents and this is their first film. It is the stuff that dreams are made of and sits perfectly in the narrative of the film: dreams do come true! “Watching them watch themselves on the big screen,” explained Moses, “made this film already a success in our eyes, as we had front- row seats to three lives being changed forever. Their parents cannot stop thanking us for the positive impact it has made on their children's lives. I have remained in touch with them and plan on continuing to do all I can to support their dreams and help them continue to shoot for the stars.”
There's naught else left for us to say, really, save perhaps echo Moses's sentiments that “the beauty is not necessarily in achieving the dream — but in simply having one”.