Private Project


This film traces the steps of a Kuwaiti multimedia artist and social entrepreneur, Zahed Sultan, who's grassroots approach to work in social causes and music are the inspiration for a recording project that takes him to uncharted territory - Jamaica. The film reveals Zahed’s approach to re-imagining the folk music traditions of Kuwait and his journey to discover the roots to Jamaica's musical and societal heritage – with a cast of characters he meets along the way who help him realize the unlikely bridges that exist between two seemingly disparate cultures – ties that remind us of our shared struggles as people and our ability to empower ourselves in a rapidly changing world.

  • Zahed Sultan
  • Jackson Allers
  • Zahed Sultan
  • Jackson Allers
  • Michael Cooper
    Key Cast
  • Courtney John
    Key Cast
  • Andrew Bruce
    Key Cast
  • Tandra Jhagroo
    Key Cast
  • Iset Sankofa
    Key Cast
  • Mathew McCarthy
    Key Cast
  • Roslyn Ellison
    Key Cast
  • Odessa Chambers
    Key Cast
  • Nomaddz
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Television
  • Genres:
    Music, Culture, Society, Documentary
  • Runtime:
    45 minutes 16 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    January 3, 2018
  • Production Budget:
    30,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
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  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Zahed Sultan, Jackson Allers

Zahed is an award-winning multimedia artist, culture producer, and social entrepreneur of Kuwaiti-Indian heritage based in London. His work seeks to further the idea of community through social impact programs and collaborative arts & culture projects. His works have been licensed for television, film and music compilations and he has received attention for his audio, visual and dance performances which have been presented internationally.

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Director Statement

The intention I had for this film was to discover the cultural linkages between the Arabian Gulf and the Caribbean - specifically the socially conscious music coming from Jamaica. The crux of the story is the unearthing of those linkages - which in pre-production – revealed themselves organically through my own grassroots approach towards research, musical discovery and public engagement.

My work in the Arab world has brought me into contact with an incredible array of cultural
producers, all growing local and regional followings in a variety of creative mediums. Through such
engagements, two trends began to emerge in my work. One was my growing interest in
folk music traditions coming from the Arabian Gulf and the other was my own proclivity for wanting to incorporate other (foreign) traditions into it. For this project in particular, the strong social messaging contained in the music from Jamaica - social messaging that resonated with my own grass -roots approach to use creative production as a vehicle to affect social change.

As a multimedia artist and social entrepreneur, it became obvious to me that both the Arab world and Jamaica shared something powerful between them – music as a vehicle for messaging. And so, my intention for this film was to explore the roots of the powerful musical traditions of Jamaica as told through my own exploration of them.

Archival material as well as my own music served as the foundations for a journey to Kingston, Jamaica where I spent time exploring the musical roots to its highly rich pre and post-independence social movements and cultural heritage. Relying on local social activists and aspiring artists, they guided me and participated in the recording of a body of work that sought to celebrate a one-of-a-kind cross-cultural exchange at the Tuff Gong Studio in Kingston, Jamaica - the legendary recording home of Bob Marley (and family).

In the end, I hope to for this film to showcase the cultural similarities shared by a myriad of people and bring to light the fundamental connections we share as citizens in a globalized world.