Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Tales from Paradise

The BLACKstream blog at is home to news and up-to-date information about the projects of the National Black Programming Consortium, and all things of the African Diaspora. 

Recently, for the BLACKstream, I interviewed four filmmakers who represent emerging voices and views of Caribbean filmmakers featured on National Black Public Consortiuum’s AfroPOP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange.

With projects that touch on themes of immigration, female matriarchy, untraditional black male, and questions of the futures of Caribbean youth, this season the program explored a whole new world, and unearthed unexpected stories from paradise that are funny, thoughtful, harrowing and bittersweet. 

Once you read the story, be sure to check out the film, and join the conversation.

A Modern Day Middle Passage 
Bodies washed ashore on white sand beaches. Immigrants’ corpses littering the shores of paradise. These are images Bahamian Filmmaker Kareem Mortimer recalls of his youth, (Read the full story here.)

Auntie from Barbados: Women and the Caribbean International Family
Lisa Harewood is a socially motivated artist whose short film, “Auntie,” invites contemplation of Caribbean life, immigration, extended matriarchal families and those left behind. Her debut effort as a writer and director, Harewood’s film is the result of a last- minute decision to enter the Commonwealth Foundation’s development scheme. More than a lark, Harewood said she had a mere 40 hours to teach herself screenwriting after her initial pitch won a coveted spot in the festival, (Read the full story here.)

Vivre: A Young Boy’s Flight of Reality
Six may just be filmmaker Maharaki’s magic number. That’s how many years it has taken the native of Barbados to bring her award-winning screenplay, “Vivre” — which means “to Live” in English — to the silver screen. During the time, Barbados-based, Maharaki continued working, developing freelance projects throughout the Caribbean, including directing music videos, advertisements and short TV formats. Regularly involved assisting overseas productions, Maharaki’s projects have led her to work with music stars such as Rihanna and Shontelle, (Read the full story here.)

A Small Life with Grand Visions
Mariel Brown’s short, Small Man tells the story of John Ambrose Kenwyn Rawlins, an ordinary man of modest means with a gift for making extraordinary, creative objects. With a skill that went largely unrecognized — outside his immediate family and friends — in his lifetime, Rawlins had the ability to imagine entire worlds, orchestrating scenes which afforded him a universe of freedom that eluded him in his real, day-to-day life, (Read the full story here.)