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Development   /  Lauren Rose Beck

Havana Meets Kingston

Ocean Apart, United in Song


Impact areas



  • DIRECTOR Lauren Rose Beck

  • PRODUCER Rick Mereki



On a clear day, Cuba and Jamaica can see each other across the Caribbean Sea. Despite being two of the most influential musical nations in the world, channels deeper than water have kept them apart. In Cuba, travel outside of the country is nearly impossible. In Jamaica, the dream of performing internationally is reserved for top-tier musicians. So, when word of a groundbreaking collaborative music project, led by Australian Reggae and Dancehall producer Mista Savona, spreads across the Caribbean - hopeful artists from both countries flock to the studio vying for a spot on the album. They are joined by a diverse ensemble of legendary musicians, from Grammy award- winning Jamaican duo Sly and Robbie to members of the Buena Vista Social Club.

From the seed of an idea to a critically-acclaimed album and epic world tour, which culminates in a performance at the career-defining Royal Albert Hall, Havana Meets Kingston follows these artists as they push musical, personal, political and geographical boundaries. What starts with the quest of uniting two cultures, to create a ‘new sound’ - culminates in a story about the most human thing of all - the desire to have your voice heard.

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0% funded
  • $150,000.00

  • $0.00

  • January 2023

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Issue Summary

A short summary of the issue the documentary is addressing

Long before the pandemic struck, artists around the world have faced unimaginable obstacles in the creation, promotion and celebration of their art. From limited access to finances, political censorship, institutional gatekeepers excluding or exploiting them, to the constant fear of plagiarism crippling their practice, this film will shed light on the incredible hurdles artists must overcome in order to have their voices heard. By celebrating the many musicians and dancers featured in this project, and by paying tribute to their unique cultural practice, this film will not only afford greater appreciation of diverse work, but will inspire a new generation of individuals and organisations to engage in cross-cultural and interdisciplinary collaboration.


What is the impact vision statement of the documentary?

By celebrating the achievements of a diverse group of interdisciplinary artists through a dynamic, uplifting film, audiences will gain a greater appreciation of culturally and linguistically diverse work. They will also increase awareness of the immense hurdles that artists have overcome in order to share their work globally. Both individuals and institutions will be inspired to seek out their own cross-cultural collaborations and support those who are already blazing the trail.


What outcomes does the project hope to achieve from making this documentary?

Stimulate conversation around cross-culture and interdisciplinary collaboration.
Question personal and community barriers to artistic expression.

Inspire individuals and groups to engage in cross-cultural exchanges.
Arts organisations and funding bodies to promote and seek cross-cultural and interdisciplinary collaborations.

Deepen appreciation for the hurdles faced by artists.
Improved respect for cultural traditions.


How will this documentary achieve its outcomes?

Outcomes will be achieved through streamed and community screenings of the film, and through targeted social media strategies from the filmmaking team, impact partners and artists themselves to engage with and direct people to reach out to and participate in collaborative art practice.


How will partnerships with this project help inform the project development?

We are thrilled to be working together with some of Cuba and Jamaica's most legendary musicians to create this project.

Audience Engagement and Social Impact

What actions does this project hope for its viewers after seeing this film?

Following the film screening, we will urge viewers to:

Engage with the project's social media page to stay up-to-date with upcoming events and get involved with the conversation around cross-cultural exchange.

Seek their own collaborative projects or seek to support aspiring and existing collaborative projects.

Measurement and Evaluation

What is the projects indicators for success?

We will be measuring the success of the program through a percentage increase in social media engagement data, the number of attendees at public screenings and events, the number of views on SVOD platforms and audience reviews and comments.

Alongside these quantitative measurements we will also ensure we are collecting qualitative data through interviews with attendees, public and focus group screenings.