By Len Chan: The Reel Fun Film Festival in Calgary was the North American host of the 20th Anniversary celebration of the 1993 Disney Movie “Cool Runnings”.
During the 1988 Calgary Olympics, much to the surprise of many, a bobsled team from Jamaica was one of the participants. As Jamaica is known for its tropical beaches, summer sports and its many track stars, the appearance of a bobsled team resulted in worldwide media attention. The original Jamaican bobsled team members were Devon Harris, Dudley Stokes, Michael White, Samuel Clayton and Chris Stokes.
Arriving in Calgary without a bobsled and never having been on a bobsled track, one can imagine what was going through their minds, but like any sport one has to start somewhere and this was the time. Being underdogs, the team captured the imagination of fans worldwide and even after crashing came right back and continued improving. This in turn led to the Disney Movie “Cool Runnings” with the late John Candy. The movie, filmed in Calgary in 1993, was popular in the city and worldwide and remains a family favourite to this day. On February 2nd The Reel Fun Film Festival held a Fundraiser at Olympic Plaza and a public screening Feb. 3 at the Plaza Theatre. Making the 20th Anniversary even more exciting was the appearance of two of the actors Doug E Doug (Sanka) and Leon Robinson (Derice Bannock) and Devon Harris who was one of the original team members.
Following the screening was a Q&A segment during which many in the audience related how the movie had impacted their lives. Today Devon Harris is a Motivational Speaker out of New York City. Doug E Doug (whose father is from Jamaica) and Leon Robinson continue to act.
Also attending the film was Leah Lacroix, 1988 Luge Committee Executive Secretary, member of the National Team and CTV Broadcast host for the Luge events at the 1988 Olympics.
The Reel Fun Film Festival under the direction of Cathy Mckee is geared towards Family entertainment. www.reelfunfilmfest.com