Roger Alexis can be considered the next big thing in the local film industry, after proving himself with his first movie, I'm Santana. The popular puppet short film series of the same name became an instant Internet sensation two years ago, appealing to viewers across the globe. And now, Alexis, the voice behind the main puppet, Santana and the mastermind behind the movie, has taken it up a couple notches and by the looks of it, he's hit the jackpot. Last Wednesday evening, media and fans got the chance to view the highly-anticipated premiere at Caribbean Cinemas 8, Trincity Mall, Trincity. Three earlier screenings of the movie that day were sold out. From the time the show began, laughter erupted from members of the audience, who were clearly familiar with all the characters, as they shouted out things like: "Buh what happen to Narine. He real dottish eh?"and "Ogosh, Patsy yuh bad girl!"
The storyline is creative and comedic and is centred around the film's main characters, Santana, Janice, Kizzy, Raj, Narine, Pasty, Sokdeo, Miss Milly and the not so spiritual, Pastor Stewart. In the 73 minute feature film, Santana is forced to take a long look at himself as heartache causes him to realise what and who he had lost. The same could be said for "loud mouth" Patsy, known for abusing her husband, Narine, who sported a black eye throughout the movie. And when it came to Pastor Stewart, well, let's just say that the words "you can run but you can't hide" proved true in his case. The movie is not recommended for children though, due to some obscene language, Trini style.
Up close and personal
Before the movie launch, Santana along with his fellow puppets and real life models created a stir when they made their grand entrance, pulling up in the theatre's carpark at about 6.50 pm, in a black limousine. Curious onlookers and fans whipped out their camera phones as they seized the rare opportunity to meet the popular characters up close and personal. Alexis, the owner of Lexo TV, the production company behind the movie, said he began shooting the film seven months ago and was "totally overwhelmed" by all the support and positive feedback. He told the T&T Guardian that while he and his cast had many sleepless nights working on the movie, they were happy to see the fruits of their labour.
"You'll always dream and expect some sort of success and if you are humble enough, it will happen," he said."I want to thank all the fans for supporting us, supporting something local and I'll try my best to keep entertaining them in years to come. They made it what it is." UWI film student Karissa Narine, who was present to take in the premiere, said Alexis has now paved the way for upcoming local film makers to take their crafts to a higher level. "He's setting the foundation for the rest of us, she said. "This to me is history making." So, will there be an I'm Santana part 2? "Yes, most definitely," Alexis said. "There will be a part seven if they'll allow me!"
• Catch I'm Santana The Movie now at Caribbean Cinemas 8, I MAX, Port-of-Spain and National Cinema, San Fernando.
The I'm Santana Cast includes
• Narine - Kevin Macurine
• Patsy - Avis Holder
• Janice - Karyssa Babwah
• Pastor Stewart - Gyasi Gonzales
• Miss Milly - Gyasi Gonzales
• Sokdeo-Ryan Steeple
• Kizzy -Arlene Williams
• Raj - Gyron Quan