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Reel Trini kicks off with Lovelace movie
Reel Trini, a new rendezvous for local film aficionados, focusing primarily on indigenous cinema, kicks off at Trevor’s Edge in St Augustine, on Thursday at 4 pm, with a screening of director Asha Lovelace’s Joebell & America.
Lovelace will be on hand to discuss her film with the audience. Set in the lush Lopinot valley, Joebell & America captures the “enduring strength and beauty of the rural landscape, while the music maintains the contemporary beat of the story. The film succinctly captures not just vivid images of rural T&T, but cultural vignettes of life in the country, whether in its depiction of a seedy wappie room or the sharply Trini humour.”
Lovelace is also the film’s co-writer and producer. It is co-written by her father, internationally acclaimed novelist, Earl Lovelace, author of the original story by the same name. His sons Walt and Che were responsible for cinematography/ editing, and production design/art direction, respectively.
The film’s score includes tracks by 3Canal, Ataklan, and rapso legend and icon Lancelot Layne. Brian Green, of Carnival Messiah renown, plays Joebell, a young man from the country village of Cunaripo, filled with big dreams, fancying himself a Yankee, and believing his destiny is to live in America. Playing opposite Green, as the love of his life, Alicia, is Gabrielle Gellineau. The cast includes Eunice Alleyne, Errol “Blood” Roberts and Grace Maharaj. Eddie “Guna” Yearwood as the Mighty Licks turns in a nimble performance, complete with savvy extempore kaiso.
The first indigenous feature by a Trinbagonian woman, the film tells a poignant tale of love, ambition and self-discovery. The self-confident gambler Joebell, in an attempt to escape the drudgery of life in T&T, schemes to find his way to the promise and fantasy of America. Prepared to leave everything behind, including his newly found romance with the village beauty Joebell, he sets out on a hair-brained plan to reach his final destination, with each step of his journey revealing truths about himself and his island. Based on a true story, Joebell & America also features cameo appearances by the real life character and by Earl Lovelace himself.
Since its release, Joebell & America has been screened at film festivals regionally and internationally to enthusiastic audiences, including The Pan African Film Festival, in Cannes and Los Angeles; Black Harvest, Chicago; Images of Black Women, Tricycle Theater, London; FEMI, Guadeloupe, winning the award for Best International Narrative Feature at the Women’s International Film Festival, Miami Florida, 2008. The film continues to garner international acclaim. Reel Trini, an initiative of local filmmaker Yao Ramesar, who developed a framework in the 1980s that catered for a Citizens’ Cinema and Moving Image, so that filmmakers could work with and screen in local communities.
"I ran a series of free film workshops in union halls in the late eighties and the interaction was sweet,” says Ramesar.
"With the range of opportunities growing steadily, the possibility of a sustainable cinema environment and culture in T&T is now a real option.”
Reel Trini will continue in October with more screenings of local films. For more info, call 744-4956 or