KISMIF Conference

Don Letts

Don Letts_ edit

Don Letts is another figure very well known by the most of us. We are pleased to announce his presence at KISMIF Conference, not only to speak, as keynote speaker, about his rich experience, but also to perform as DJ.

Don Letts’ reputation has been firmly established in both the film and music world by a substantial body of work from the late 70’s through the 80’s, 90’s and well into the millennium. His work has been exhibited in The Kitchen N.Y.C, The Institute of Contemporary Art, The N.F.T in London and was honored at Brooklyn’s BAM festival and The Milan Film festival.  In March 2003, he won a Grammy for his documentary Westway To The World. In 2004, his film One Love was also premiered at Cannes. And in 2005, his film PUNK: Attitude won best the documentary prize at the Melbourne Film Festival and London’s Raindance.

He came to notoriety in the late 70’s as the DJ that single handedly turned a whole generation of punks onto reggae. It was whilst as a dj at the first punk club ‘The Roxy’ in 1977, that Don adopted the punk D.I.Y ethic and begun to make his first film The Punk Rock Movie. Shot on Super-8mm it is the only documentary on the U.K punk scene with Sex Pistols, The Clash and many others. This led to a period directing over 300 music videos for an eclectic mix of diverse artists, including Bob Marley, The Pretenders, Musical Youth, Ratt, Elvis Costello, Freeze, Big Audio Dynamite, Public Image, The Jungle Brothers, S’ Express, Black Grape, The Pogues, Beenie Man, Deep Forest, Apache Indian, The Jungle Brothers, Eddie Grant, Sly and Robbie and all The Clash videos. He then moved into documentary work covering the likes of Gil Scot-Heron, The Jam, Sun Ra, George Clinton and most recently Paul McCartney. Dancehall Queen (co-directed by Rick Elgood) shot in location in Jamaica 1997 was his first feature film.

Nowadays, besides his work on films/ documentaries, Don Letts continues to D.J nationally and internationally playing strictly old and new school dub reggae, and has also a weekly show on BBC 6 Music (Culture Clash Radio). He has also presented several radio documentaries for BBC radio.

Source: adapted from the text written by Don Letts,!bio/k7rnb


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