St. John’s, Antigua – Cinematographer Steven Torriano Berry arrived on island Saturday as HAMA Films gets ready to start shooting their new film “The Skin” next month.
Berry, whose middle name is taken from the character played by Jack Palance in the 1953 film Arrowhead, hails from Kansas City and is an accomplished scholar and award-winning filmmaker. He graduated with an M.F.A. (Master of Fine Arts) from UCLA film school in 1985, and an Associate Professor at Howard University teaching courses in television, film production and script writing.
The Cinematographer has directed a number of film and video shorts, and his first feature-length film, Embalmer (1996), which he also edited as a short film, was a finalist in Showtime’s Black Filmmaker’s Showcase. He created and was Executive Producer of the Black Independent Showcase, a television series featuring independent and student film projects; The Black Beyond, an anthology series of horror shorts; the half-hour television movies The Light and When It’s Your Turn; and Black Visions Silver Screen, a showcase for Howard University student filmmakers. He produced Belize’s first TV drama series, “No Matta Wat” – the first Belizean dramatic television series which aired in November 2005 and can now be seen on HAMA TV.
Berry is also co-author of the cinema book, The 50 Most Influential Black Films: A Celebration of African American Talent (2001), and has written two novels, Tears (1991) and The Honeyman’s Son (2002).
While in Antigua, the cinematographer will be meeting with Director Howard Allen to discuss the details of the production, meet the cast, and revisit the locations he first saw in March as well as the more recent ones that are being considered. He will also be touring the island getting the kind of beauty shots he says “will add to the look and feel of the film.”
“Professor Berry loves to fish,” the film’s Producer Mitzi Allen intimates, “so I’m excited that his visit coincides with the Antigua and Barbuda Sport Fishing Tournament. He actually brought his fishing rod with him, so it’s just a matter of ‘hooking’ him up with the organizers of the Tournament so to speak. That would make Professor Berry very happy!”
About The Skin
The Skin is HAMA’s fourth film project. It stars renowned Jamaican Film/Television Actor and Folk Hero, Carl Bradshaw (The Harder They Come, The Mighty Quinn, Dancehall Queen, Third World Cop), Scottish
Actor Jeff Stewart, best known for his long-running TV series in England The Bill; and Jamaican-Canadian Actor Peter Williams (A Winter Tale, Stargate SG-1, Catwoman and Chronicles of Riddick).
HAMAFilms is recognized as the first indigenous filmmakers in the Eastern Caribbean. The Sweetest Mango, a romantic comedy, was followed by No Seed and Diablesse. The Sweetest Mango continues to enjoy special screenings in North America with its most recent invitation to the Caribbean Tales Film Festival slated for July 9-12 in Toronto. No Seed was recently screened on the regional Caribbean cable channel Caribvision which reaches an audience of 280 million people via DIRECTV. HAMA also owns an independent cable channel HAMA TV which broadcasts locally on Karib Cable Channel 78.
The Skin has the full support of the Ministry of Tourism which HAMA feels will help raise the profile of Antigua and Barbuda in film circles around the world when the film is submitted to the Sundance Film Festival, Cannes, the London Film Festival, and Toronto Film Festival, among others.
Antigua and Barbuda’s unique historical and cultural landmarks will be showcased, and the natural landscape, beaches and daily life and lifestyles of its people will be an important part of the story itself.
A crew of four film students from Howard University will arrive on island shortly. They will join with local interns who aspire to be filmmakers and work alongside Professor Berry on the production of the film. HAMA hopes that the collaboration will lead to the growth and development of the art form in Antigua and Barbuda.
A complete listing of Professor Berry’s film and television credits can be found by simply doing a search of his name on Google, the Howard University website, or the free online encyclopedia www.wikipedia.org.
To find out more about The Skin, and for a behind-the-scenes look at the production, follow the internet blog which is updated daily at www.theskinahamafilm.wordpress.com.