Filmmakers

A new breed of film directors is emerging around the Caribbean. Here you can find inspiring tales and ideas for taking your script to the big screen.

The Skin wows Toronto audiences

On the red carpet (L-R) actor Peter Williams, Bernice Moore Pinnell, producer Mitzi Allen, director Howard Allen, Gordon Pinnell at the Toronto premiere of The Skin. (Photo by Howard Queeley)

ST. JOHN’S, Antigua – Amazing, Excellent and “Well Told” are some of the descriptive words coming out of Toronto after last Friday’s screening of the thriller The Skin by HAMAFilms Antigua.

The Skin was one of the most anticipated films at this year’s CaribbeanTales Toronto Film Showcase 2011. The red carpet premiere was co-hosted by the Consulate General of Antigua and Barbuda in Toronto Janil Greenaway and in attendance were members of the Caribbean community diplomatic corps, the Antigua and Barbuda Association along with actor Peter Williams and Jazz vocalist Charmain Bailey who wrote and performed the movie’s theme song “The Wrath”. Continue reading

Antiguan film “The Skin” premiering this Friday in Toronto

ST. JOHN’S, Antigua – The Skin, a supernatural thriller starring Carl Bradshaw, Aisha Ralph, Brent Simon, Peter Williams and Jeff Stewart will make its North American debut this Friday at the CaribbeanTales Toronto Film Showcase.
The Antigua & Barbuda Consulate is co-hosting the red carpet reception and premiere of the homegrown feature film made by Howard & Mitzi Allen of HAMAFilms Antigua on Friday, September 16th at Harbourfront Centre at 6 p.m. The screening follows at 7:30 with a talkback session with the filmmakers immediately after. Continue reading

Montserrat loves Caribbean thriller The Skin

(l to r) Nerissa Golden of goldenmedia Montserrat, Chief Minister Reuben T. Meade and Executive Producer of The Skin, Mitzi Allen at the Montserrat Cultural Centre on Friday, July 8, 2011.

LITTLE BAY, Montserrat – Movie lovers on Montserrat got a rare treat this past weekend, when they were able to watch The Skin, a Caribbean thriller from HAMAFilms Antigua at The Montserrat Cultural Centre.

Since the evacuation of Plymouth, Montserrat has not had a full-fledged cinema, however the duo behind The Skin Howard and Mitzi Allen have made it their business to bring their new movie projects to the island. Continue reading

Carl Bradshaw to lead star-studded HAMA Premiere of ‘The Skin’

ST. JOHN’S, Antigua – Movie fans will have an opportunity to meet the stars of the highly anticipated HAMA movie ‘The Skin’, which premiere’s on Thursday, June 02 at the Deluxe Cinema in St. John’s. The stellar cast will be led by Carl Bradshaw, the veteran Jamaican actor, who is starring in his first Antiguan produced film.

Bradshaw is one of the original cast members of the iconic ‘The Harder They Come’ and one of Jamaica’s most prolific actors appearing in such regional and international hits as ‘The Mighty Quinn’ opposite Denzel Washington and the highly acclaimed ‘Dancehall Queen’. However, his role in the ‘The Skin’ will be a departure from his more familiar roles as it is the first time that he is playing a Mystic and Howard Allen, writer and director of ‘The Skin’, states that: “Carl Bradshaw delivers a stunning performance that is compelling and very real.”

Bradshaw will be joined by fellow cast members Aisha Ralph and Brent Simon at the premiere as well as the film’s writer and director, Howard Allen, executive producer, Mitzi Allen and the rest of the cast, crew, strategic partners, government officials, local celebrities, family and friends. Special media guests include Shelley James, an award-winning Canadian producer and journalist who will be covering the event for The Toronto Star’s “Sway” Magazine which reaches an audience of 1.5 million in the Toronto area and Lisa Wickham’s E-Zone, the Caribbean’s number one entertainment programme.

“We are really excited about E-Zone being here and want to thank the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority and the A&B Ministry of Tourism for partnering with us and hosting the presenters and crew not only for the premiere but also taking them to the film’s locations in Antigua and Barbuda,” explains Mitzi Allen. The E-Zone crew will be staying at Villas at Sunset Lane. Hawksbill Resort and Sugar Ridge Resort and Spa are among the hotels hosting guests for the premiere.

Allen also added that Bradshaw will be staying at the Jolly Beach Hotel and Spa and has opted to spend a week in Antigua: “He wants to go to the public showing and meet local film goers to get a real feel of the Antiguan movie going experience.”

Strategic partner Quin Farara, the island’s premier supplier of fine wines and spirits, will provide a premium bar at the cocktail starting at 6pm.

The evening’s Master of Ceremony will be David Stewart, a former radio and television news reporter and program director, who also had a three-decade career in higher education. He worked for radio and television stations in New York State and retired from Cornell University in 2000, after serving in various capacities. His relationship with HAMA began when he literally stumbled upon the Premiere of the couple’s second movie ‘No Seed’ and it led to several collaborations with his alma mater Ithaca College of which he is a Trustee.

Fans will have an opportunity to see ‘The Skin’ at an advanced showing starting at 9pm, straight after the premiere.

‘The Skin’ is a supernatural thriller about a young couple played by Aisha Ralph and Brent Simon who encounter strange occurrences after they find and sell an ancient artefact.

View the movie trailer, behind the scenes footage The Skin’s production diary at http://theskinahamafilm.wordpress.com.

Actress Dionne Audain shares her passion for Montserrat and acting at YES Caribbean

LITTLE BAY, Montserrat – Whether it was the improv acting class or as a member of a high-level panel on Montserrat’s redevelopment, there was no doubt about Actress Dionne Audain’s love for her homeland and her belief that she made the right move six years ago to leave corporate America and pursue acting.

Audain returned to Montserrat after a 20-year absence to be the keynote speaker at YES Caribbean, a conference for entrepreneurs and persons preparing for a career shift, which was held May 25 -28, 2011 at the Montserrat Cultural Centre.

She joined other Caribbeanpreneurs including dancer and life coach Susan Barnes, career development expert Dr. Anita Davis-DeFoe, designers Kaishah Peters and Luigi Moxam, and conference host Nerissa Golden for a packed four-day conference which was life changing for many that attended.

The actress was part of the Public Sector Forum for Senior Government Managers on Wednesday, May 25, along with His Excellency the Governor Adrian Davis, Reverend Florence Daley and entrepreneur and author Nerissa Golden. Presentations centered around “Being the best you in preparation for Montserrat’s Redevelopment.”

Audain told the senior officials that she did not view herself as having competition but approached every audition and opportunity as if she was the best person for the job. “I don’t believe in competition. If I am going in thinking about others in the race then I’ve already defeated myself,” the actress declared.

She shared five steps to presenting your best self and to outsmart the competition. These were: believing in yourself by visualizing where you want to be; planning to succeed; speaking with confidence; knowing the role you want to play and preparing for it; and looking the part and being believable.

Dionne has been receiving a slate of roles in both film and television. These include 2010’s hit Salt starring Angelina Jolie, television series Law and Order and HBO’s The Wire.

Along with the many seminars and workshops that Dionne participated in while on island, she had the opportunity to visit with friends and family and also to visit the Montserrat Volcano Observatory. The MVO provides a safe vantage point to view the Soufriere Hills Volcano which devastated the island almost 16 years ago. The short historical video on the early days of the crisis until now proved to be quite emotional for the actress.

“It gives you a window into what people must have been feeling during that time,” she said as she wiped away tears. “To see the places that I remember all gone is difficult to comprehend. But this is why I want to use my work to tell people about Montserrat. The island is still here and we are making a new life. I want to be a part of that.”

“We spoke each day at the conference about reinventing yourself and Montserrat is living this,” said YES Caribbean host Nerissa Golden. “As a nation we must find ways to get our nationals abroad involved in our reinvention. Dionne can become an ambassador for Montserrat as she travels and on screen. We need more of our nationals in the Diaspora to find ways they can use their careers to celebrate Montserrat and keep us at the forefront across the globe.”

Now that she has returned after a lengthy absence, Audain has no plans to stay away that long again. “I’m going to find a way to be back here before year’s end and certainly more regularly. This is home and I want to support the redevelopment process as much as I can.”

Photos from YES Caribbean can be found on the event website at www.yes.trulycaribbean.net.

YES Caribbean was sponsored by Cool & Smooth Antigua, the HYPE programme in the Ministry of Youth Affairs, Office of the Deputy Governor, the Montserrat Tourist Board, LIME, the Office of the Chief Minister, ZJB Radio Montserrat, the Bank of Montserrat and goldenmedia Montserrat.

Actress Dionne Audain speaking at the Public Sector Forum held during YES Caribbean on Montserrat May 25-28, 2011. Also in photo are His Excellency Adrian Davis (left) and Rev. Florence Daley (right).

Montserratian-born actress Dionne Audain wears local crocheted earrings she purchased at YES Caribbean. The conference offered the opportunity for entrepreneurs to network and showcase their products.

YES Caribbean conference host Nerissa Golden and Actress Dionne Audain.