LONDON, England -- Days before hundreds of millions of people around the world witness the outstanding skills of the Caribbean's athletes, a documentary about the spirit of region's people will be unveiled in London.
"Built To Last", produced by the Barbadian production company Studio Caribe, follows the amazing Caribbean men and women competing in a range of Olympic, Paralympic and non-Olympic sports whose stories of success defy the odds stacked against them.
The documentary screens ahead of the highly anticipated track sprints this weekend at the London Summer Olympic Games. It was commissioned by the Caribbean Export Development Agency as part of the London Engage Initiative to help take Caribbean excellence to the world.
British-Barbadian director Sanna Allsopp takes a regional approach to the documentary, sharing perspectives from across the Spanish-, French- and English-speaking Caribbean.
Film clips feature talent from Cuba and the Dominican Republic to Haiti, Guyana, Barbados, Jamaica, Grenada, and Trinidad and Tobago.
"Built To Last" recounts the story of how Caribbean athletes have progressed to become household names in the fields of athletics, boxing, football, martial arts, swimming and cycling.
"What is it about this region that produces so many incredible sportsmen and women?" Allsopp asks. In seeking answers, the documentary takes viewers on a journey across eight different Caribbean countries.
It features interviews with musician Wyclef Jean, Professor George Lamming, and athletes Asafa Powell, Shelly-Ann Fraser, Yohan Blake and Jehue Gordon, and Pamela Coke-Hamilton of the Caribbean Export Development Agency.
"For me, the shoot was a life-changing experience. We traveled to eight countries in a month, and we met the most incredible people. The Caribbean will to succeed despite the odds was very much evident," said Allsopp.
One of the most moving aspects of the shoot, she recounted, was in Haiti. "It is such a beautiful country with so much potential, and we were very moved by the stories of the athletes we met."
The first official showing of the film will take place at the British Film Institute this Friday, August 3. The film will begin screening around the Caribbean from September.