ST. JOHN’S, Antigua – Participants at the first Beyond the Screen held on Antigua August 14 to 17, 2013 said the experience was motivating and life changing and several actors and writers are already working to ensure the momentum continues now that the event has ended.
Aspiring screenwriters, filmmakers and actors came from across the island and as far away as Grenada and Barbados for the four-day event which featured veteran filmmakers Neema Barnette and Reed McCants. The workshops and other activities which included The Reading Room and An Evening with Neema were all a part of Beyond the Screen, which was presented this year by the Antigua & Barbuda Literary Festival and co-hosted by HAMAFilms and goldenmedia.
Aisha Ralph and Brent Simon (See top photo), who were the lead actors in the HAMAFilms movie The Skin, both had high praises for the event which provided the opportunity to develop their craft. Simon noted at the end of the Acting for Film workshop on Day Two that the techniques learned from trainers Actor Reed McCants and Director Neema Barnette were invaluable and that he would be pursuing the recommendation that a local actors group be formed to connect with other local actors to support each other and help to grow the industry.
Tammi Browne-Bannister, a writer based in Barbados called the workshops “intense but comprehensive.” She also plans to create an online group to connect the theatre and film community to apply the tools given in the sessions. She thanked the organisers for hosting the event and noted on Facebook “I didn’t realize how big our dreams could get if we just applied ourselves. Beyond the Screen was such an inspirational and motivational push for me. I hope the other participants got out of it as much as I did.”
Workshop host Mitzi Allen of HAMAFilms said she was pleased to see the various activities come together to create such positive and rewarding experiences for the organisers, participants and sponsors. She was thankful to Emmy Award-winning director Barnette and her husband McCants who conducted the main sessions along with local film director Howard Allen. Allen gave special mention of the kind support of Townhouse Furniture who sponsored the Digital Filmmaking workshop which also allowed for six participants to attend free of charge.
Beyond the Screen was sponsored by the Antigua & Barbuda International Literary Festival, Carib World Travel, City View Hotel, Townhouse Furnishings and the Antigua & Barbuda Tourism Authority.
To find out more about Beyond the Screen and other upcoming events visit www.trulycaribbean.net/events .