LIFE IS NOT A FAIRY-TALE: Images from Chrissy and (below) Just Another Friday.
As awards season in Hollywood draws to a close, Caribbean filmmakers seem intent on seizing the spotlight and making their presence felt. The diligent team behind New Caribbean Cinema continues to push its latest project, Ring Di Alarm, on the North-American film-festival circuit, earning plaudits and stellar print and word-of-mouth reviews along the way – most recently at the Pan-African festival in Miami.
Chris Browne’s award-winning Ghett’a Life recently picked up a lucrative US distribution deal and is set to debut on Video-On-Demand and Blockbuster DVD not too long from now. More recently, the Antiguan horror thriller The Skin, with a cast including legendary actor Carl Bradshaw, made its long-awaited debut to a warm reception in the States.
Those successes have certainly set the stage for the arrival of two buzzworthy new movies scheduled to debut in Jamaica next month before heading overseas. First up is Chrissy, an inspirational coming-of-age tale centred on a 10-year-old schoolgirl grappling with bullies, poverty and discrimination.
Helmed by Jamaican filmmaker Marcia Weekes and co-starring Barbadian actor Marc Fingall, it’s the latest release by Step by Step Productions, the creative house behind the popular Hush trilogy. “The involvement of Jamaicans, Barbadians, and Guyanese among the production crew,” notes executive producer David Weekes, “is evidence of the quality of work which the region can produce. Chrissy will warm the hearts of many and even move some to tears.”
The local Christian community, too, is demonstrating its versatility with the upcoming release of Just Another Friday, being touted as Jamaica’s first gospel film. “[It’s] a story about family, conflict, tragedy and redemption,” explains author/playwright Judith Falloon-Reid, who is co-producing and co-directing the film with husband and veteran television producer Michael Brown. “The themes are current and will take moviegoers through the conflicts between a husband and wife, their Christian teenager, her worldly brother and their visiting relatives.”
Chrissy is set for a red-carpet premiere at Liguanea’s Palace Cineplex on March 5, while Just Another Friday (co-starring Lubert Levy and A.J. Brown) premieres in Kingston on Thursday, March 21 at the Red Bones Blues Café and in Montego Bay on March 22 at the Fairfield Theatre.