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.
“Montserrat has always been a special place for us, we spent our honeymoon here 19 years ago and Howard has Montserratian roots,” explained Mitzi Allen, who is the Executive Producer on film. “We have always screened our films here, right after the Antigua & Barbuda release.”
It was “great to see a feature length film with Caribbean themes. Great filming, good actors, fun suspense,” said moviegoer Pamela Holley.
The Skin tells the tale of a young couple who unleash the terror of a soucayant after finding and selling an ancient artifact. The movie was filmed on location in Antigua & Barbuda and featured a star cast including Jamaican film icon Carl Bradshaw, Jeff Steward from the UK show The Bill and Peter Williams of Stargate SG-1 and A Winter Tale.
Chief Minister, the Hon. Reuben T. Meade attended the first screening on Friday night and remarked to the directors that he was pleased to see this level of work coming out of the Caribbean and more specifically the Eastern Caribbean. “It shows we can produce films of an international quality,” he said.
Other callers on the Saturday morning radio talk show remarked that the visual and audio effects had them jumping out of their seats.
“I was afraid to go home alone after watching it,” one young woman said. “It was enjoyable and really wonderful to be at the centre watching a Caribbean movie.”
“Showing The Skin in Montserrat surpassed our expectations in every way, from the facilities for the screening to the overwhelmingly positive response from the audience,” added Mitzi. “It is a great way to start a Caribbean tour.”
The couple is preparing to take this their fourth project to several upcoming Caribbean film festivals as well as to North America later this year.
Writer and director Howard Allen said “Sharing the film with the Montserratian audience was wonderful experience, their positive response is very encouraging and we would love to do it again soon.”
You can view the film’s trailer and read The Skin Diaries about the production on http://theskinahamafilm.wordpress.com.