PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad — Movie lovers in Trinidad will be able to experience The Skin by HAMAFilms Antigua this Friday during the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival, arguably now one of the region’s largest festivals of its kind.
The state of emergency in Trinidad and Tobago may have caused organizers to reshuffle the schedule to allow for more daytime screenings ahead of the curfew but that hasn’t deterred filmmakers Howard and Mitzi Allen of HAMAFilms from participating.
"As one of the largest film festivals in the Caribbean we see it as the perfect place to showcase our work,” says the executive producer of the The Skin. “The Sweetest Mango showed at the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival in 2006. It was their second film festival and we are happy to be back with our latest project.”
The Skin is in good company with other amazing selections on the festival schedule such as the Jamaican films, Better Mus Come and Ghett’a Life, The Best of Animae Caribe out of Trinidad, Fire In Babylon, and Calypso Rose: Lioness in the Jungle.
Writer and director of The Skin, Howard Allen, said, "Filmmaking as an art form is growing rapidly throughout the region and Trinidad is one of the pioneers we are proud to be included in this year’s selection of the best of Caribbean films."
The Skin was one of the most anticipated films at this year’s CaribbeanTales Toronto Film Showcase 2011 and garnered rave reviews from those in attendance. It is scheduled for an encore screening at the Underground Cinema in Toronto on October 9.
A movie review written by Elizabeth Abbott has already made its way to the popular Huffingtonpost.com, in which she says The Skin will make audiences want to jump out of theirs.
“The Skin’s special effects are as sophisticated and otherworldly as the dialogue is simple and matter-of-fact. This is a triumph (among many) in a film produced for the stupendously low dollar figure of US$100,000,” Abbott writes. “The characters were ably acted by emerging Antiguan actors (Aisha Ralph as Lisa, Brent Simon as Michael) and renowned Jamaican actors Carl Bradshaw (Vision) and Peter Williams (Detective Morgan). Antiguan dancer and choreographer Veron Stoute Humphreys, who made a sensational acting debut as the soucayant, deserves special mention.”
“I wanted,” director Howard Allen explained, “to tell the story of Caribbean folklore and history as simply as possible, without recrimination and retribution.”
“The post-screening outpouring of applause and congratulations from audience members, men and women who jumped up and declared their pride in his achievements, were proof of his success. By juxtaposing a narrative that was a combination of thriller and supernatural drama, Allen has developed a confident, laconic cinematic style that speaks volumes to his passion and commitment.”
“The Skin was amazing. Mitzi and Howard you both deserve an award,” said Camille Selvon Abrahams of Animae Caribe, Trinidad. “Horror, humour a mixture of Caribbean accents based in beautiful Antigua. This film should be seen by all Caribbean filmmakers. This genre has never been explored by Caribbean film makers so successfully.”
Actor Peter Williams, who plays the lecherous Detective Morgan in the film, got the chance to see the completed project in Toronto. “I waited a long time to see this movie and it was well worth the wait. I’m proud to have helped prepare Brent and Aisha for their star turns. Howard got the best out of them. This is a Caribbean film with a captivating storyline, consistent pacing, plenty laughs (both humorous and nervous) and performances to be proud of.”
The Skin will be shown at the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival, Friday September 30 at 2pm at Movietowne. It is also scheduled to be at the International Black Film Festival in Nashville, Tennessee on October 6 and in New York this November.
You can catch behind the scene videos of their tour, photos from the premiere 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