Independent Caribbean Film Producers

Dominica’s cultural officials come out to support Antiguan thriller

Alwin Bully playwright/actor and cultural icon, Mitzi Allen Film/TV Producer, Howard Allen Writer/Director, Anita Bully Dominica Film Commissioner.

ROSEAU, DOMINICA – An audience of movie lovers, cultural and government officials came out last Friday, May 11 to watch supernatural thriller The Skin at the Arawak Cultural Centre in Dominica.

The screening of The Skin, the fourth feature from HAMAFilms Antigua, was organised by the Discover Dominica Authority and the Dominica Film Commission.

Film Commissioner Anita Bully noted that “it was a lovely evening with a very appreciative crowd. What was fascinating for me is we don’t normally look at the Caribbean as a place where we tell those kinds of stories (thrillers) in movies. It was a change to see the folklore, something that we can all identify with, presented in that manner.”

After the screening there was a Question and Answer session with Writer/Director Howard Allen and his wife Mitzi Allen, who was the film’s Executive Producer. “The screening was a hit,” she said. “The story of the soucouyant, which is a part of the Dominican folklore and storytelling tradition, really resonated with the audience.”

In attendance were Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Justina Charles; O.A.S Representative Michael Bejos; Assistant Secretary to the Minister of Education Marcella Powell; Chief Cultural Officer, Raymond Lawrence; CEO of Discover Dominica Authority, Colin Piper; and a representative of the Cuban Council.

“Howard, who credits his Dominican friendships with first planting the idea for the story said “being in Dominica for the screening of The Skin was nostalgic for me as it brought back memories of my childhood when I was told stories about Dominica and was first introduced to the Soucouyant. I’m really happy that the Dominican audience enjoyed the film and to see the folklore is still very much alive.”

Members of the audience added to the Q&A discussion by telling their own soucouyant stories. The HAMA team also disclosed the process of making the film, how the project came about and their hope for distribution of the movie on DVD before the end of the year.

The Skin is a mix of humour, horror and action against the beautiful backdrop of Antigua & Barbuda. It stars Jamaican actors Carl Bradshaw as Vision and Peter Williams as Detective Morgan and introduces Antiguans Brent Simon and Aisha Ralph who lit up the screen as the young couple who experience strange occurrences after unearthing an ancient vase.

The Skin will now head to the DC Caribbean Film Festival and which will be held at the American Film Institute Silver Theatre in Washington, June 1st to 3rd, 2012.

You can catch behind the scene videos of their tour, photos from the production and read about the making of The Skin on the HAMAFilms Antigua Facebook page. Watch the movie trailer, see the behind the scenes video and read about the making of The Skin on http://theskinahamafilm.wordpress.com.

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