Caribbean Cinema

Caribbean cinema is heating up. Meet the moviemakers and the scene stealers. Find out which breakout hits are coming to a screen near you.

St. Maarten Feature Antillean Green Card to get Regional Screening in Landmark Broadcasting Deal

Antillean Green Card posterPHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten – Antillean Green Card, a feature film by Peter Sagnia of St. Maarten will make its regional debut as part of a new landmark television deal between CaribbeanTales Worldwide Distribution and the Caribbean Broadcasting Union.

Dr. Keith Nurse, Chair of CaribbeanTales Worldwide Distribution, this week announced the launch of a ground-breaking region-wide broadcasting initiative to screen Caribbean content on local television stations. The project was created and brokered by CaribbeanTales in partnership with the Caribbean Broadcasting Union, under the leadership of its Secretary General, Patrick Cozier.

The first project of the initiative – called CaribbeanTales Movie Nights – will debut on CNMG in Trinidad and Tobago on November 9th. Participating stations include TV6 in Trinidad, CBC in Barbados, and TVJ in Jamaica, with other regional stations expected to sign on in the coming weeks. Dr Nurse said: “This deal with CBU represents a paradigm shift in relations between Caribbean broadcasters and content producers, in that it proposes for the first time a potentially viable model for the sustainable economic development of the regional audiovisual and broadcasting industries.”

“We are delighted to put this new arrangement into place as it will bring important local and regional works directly into easy access of Caribbean audiences, as well as give necessary exposure to emerging creative talents.” added Mr Patrick Cozier, CBU’s Secretary General The first project of this initiative – called “CaribbeanTales Movie Night” – will feature 26×90-minute weekly films, including some of the best productions of recent years, and will debut on CNMG in Trinidad and Tobago, on November 9th at Xpm.

Paul Richards, General Manager of CNMG, said: “CNMG and CTV are extremely pleased to be associated with the Caribbean Tales series of Caribbean films. We see the association as win win situation for CTV and CNMG as state media. Our support for and investment in indigenous content from Trinidad and Tobago and Caribbean film makers is part of our stated mandate for the development of our Trinidad and Tobago and Caribbean film industry.. “

rain posterThe first season’s opening film is Bahamian filmmaker Maria Govan’s award-winning 2008 movie RAIN, that had its international premiere at the renowned Toronto International Film Festival, before being screened on Showtime in the US to some 21 million viewers. “CaribbeanTales continues to lead the way in creating sustainable opportunities for filmmakers, and I am honored to have RAIN open this important initiative to bring Caribbean films to television screens across the region” said Maria Govan.

Other films to be screened include: Wk 2: Antillean Green Card, by St Maarten based producer Peter Sagnia Wk 3: Devotion by Barbados-born, Canadian-based film-maker Dawn Williams; and Wk 4: Hit for Six, by Barbadian/Trinidadian filmmaker Alison Saunders. The full schedule of the 26 films will be posted in the coming weeks.

Antillean Green Card is the story of Charlene Walker, a young woman who fled Holland from her abusive husband to seek refuge in St. Maarten. An anxious Charlene is unaware that the law has changed for Holland citizens since the island obtained country status, and she finds herself stranded at the airport. The chief immigration officer is torn between the new law and whether to help this woman he doesn’t even know.

About the Director: 

Peter Sagnai has been involved in the Creative Arts industry for over 20 years. He is also a professional keyboardist and has travelled to various countries where he has assisted in playing for renowned international artists. Within the arena of film, he has produced several films such as Antillean Green Card, Sour Grapes, Lalit and Deepak, Mixed Blessings and Consumed.

Filmmaker Launches Campaign to Fund “iD: My Dominica Story”

Youtube_1106A young filmmaker is on a quest to discover his father’s homeland in “iD: My Dominica Story” and he is seeking funders to help make it a reality.

Richard Etienne, an independent filmmaker who runs Maven Pictures UK has launched an idiegogo crowdfunding campaign to raise 5,000 pounds to make a 45-minute factual documentary about his father’s homeland.

Richard Etienne's father.
Richard Etienne’s father.

Invest Dominica and LIAT, the Caribbean airline have come on board as promotional partners, however funds are needed to purchase some equipment and to cover on the ground costs of producing the film.

“With your money, we want to add as much production value and quality as possible. We are going to be using a variety of top-end equipment and the end result should be one of professional standard. A great deal of the money will go towards film equipment and transportation because in order to make a film about Dominica, we’ll need to see lots of Dominica and the mountainous terrain deserves to be tackled in order to show you guys the true beauty of Dominica,” the filmmaker says online.

Richard’s father passed away from cancer at the age of 51 before he could really learn more about his homeland of Dominica. It is his desire to learn more about the country and the people who helped to shape the man he knew as his dad. He recounts the following memory on his blog:

“2001. Late evening, somewhere in London:

[me watching TV] “ah man, this is terrible!”

[dad sitting at his bureau with back to TV] “What’s wrong son?”

“There’s nothing good on TV.”

“Okay…so why don’t you just make the type of telly YOU want to watch”

That was my dad. All about the common sense.

Fast forward 5 years and I bought myself a video camera and never looked back. Problem was, by the time I made my first film, cancer had already called time on my dad’s 51 years of existence and there was so much about his fascinating life before my birth I had yet to learn.

The Story

iD‘ will showcase Dominica’s history and beauty through my personal journey of self-discovery, as I visit my fathers’ birthplace for the very first time to commemorate the 10th anniversary of his passing. My hope is that the documentary will educate and inspire young people to do something similar, whilst maintaining a cross-generational appeal.

As well as delving into my family history, I will explore the island’s natural landscape and social history; our team aim to have contributions from Dominican sports stars, musicians, historians and politicians. This film will discover the REAL Dominica and the people who create the culture of this beautiful island as I go about putting a small, uncelebrated country, firmly on the map.”

Gifts of 1000 pounds and more will gets you Associated Producer credits on the film, which is expected to be completed by October 2014. Review the full list of offers on their indiegogo page for the iD – My Dominica Story film.

Apply for The CaribbeanTales Incubator Program

The renowned CaribbeanTales Incubator Program, now in its 4th year, was launched in 2010, with the aim of bringing together filmmakers from the Caribbean and its Diaspora, within the context of an international Marketplace setting.

The 3-day incubator program takes place during the Toronto International Film Festival, and takes the form of intensive participatory workshops and sessions that explore craft and market practice from a Caribbean Diaspora perspective, and is led by leading Caribbean and Canadian film practitioners.

The Incubator aims to: Continue reading

Antiguan film now in TIFF Reference Library

TORONTO, Canada – The Antiguan & Barbudan feature film, “The Sweetest Mango” is now a part of the TIFF Bell Lightbox Film Reference Library in Toronto, Canada.  The Film Reference Library maintains the world’s largest resource of English-language Canadian film and film-related materials as well as a wide range of local, national and international film resources. It is a growing resource for fans and filmmakers and the destination for the study and appreciation of film and is devoted to the preservation of Canada’s cinematic history. Continue reading