Harcourt Fuller, Ph.D.
Dr. Fuller giving a post-screening lecture during the Akwantu screening at the African Studies Association Conference in Philadelphia, 2012.
Professor Harcourt Fuller is the Educational Outreach Director for Roy T. Anderson's award winning documentary-film on the Jamaican Maroons - Akwantu: The Journey (ATJ). Both Fuller and Anderson are descendants of the Maroons, who were rebel slaves of West African origin who defeated the mighty British military and formed autonomous communities in the rugged and remote interiors of Jamaica in the early to mid-18th century. The descendants of these communities still maintain their proud heritage today. Akwantu was filmed in Jamaica, Ghana, Canada and the United States over the course of three years. The Jamaican Ministry of Youth and Culture designated Akwantu: The Journey as a JAMAICA 50 ENDORSED FILM to help celebrate the Caribbean island’s 50th Anniversary of Independence in 2012.
Since it was launched in early 2012, we have screened Akwantu at film festivals, cinemas, universities and other institutions in Los Angeles, New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Charleston, Birmingham, London, Amsterdam, Dakar, Accra, Toronto, and other cities. Our World Premiere screening took place in June 2012 in Jamaica.
In July 2012, the film won the Special Jury Prize for Best Feature Documentary at the 7th Annual Belize International Film Festival. In October 2012, Akwantu was screened at Boston University as part of the 50th Anniversary of Independence for Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago, which included a panel discussion by scholars from Harvard University and Wellesley College. This groundbreaking film also screened in Amsterdam in October 2012 as an Official selection of the Africa in the Picture International Film Festival. In November 2012, the West African Research Association (WARA) sponsored a special screening of Akwantu at the largest African Studies Conference in the world, held in Philadelphia. It had its West Coast Premiere as an Official Selection of the Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles, CA.
On February 15, 2013, during African/Black History Month, Akwantu had its African premier screening at the Institute of African Studies (IAS) at the University of Ghana, Legon. This screening was part of the 50th Anniversary commemorations of the IAS. On February 22, 2013 our film was honored to participate in another event in Accra, Ghana at the Du Bois Centre for Pan African Culture, that marked the launch of the 50th anniversary of the passing of the great Pan-Africanist, Dr. W.E.B. Du Bois. Akwantu was also screened at the West African Research Center on February 26, 2013 in Dakar, Senegal. August 2013 also marked an important milestone for the film, as Akwantu was selected for screenings to commemorate Slavery Remembrance Day at several venues, including at the International Slavery Museum in Liverpool, UK (August 23) and the United Nations headquarters in New York City (August 28). Dr. Fuller wrote a Discussion Guide for the film, which is available as a free download on the film's website - www.akwantuthemovie.com.