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T&T CGI movie to make big-screen debut at Film Festival

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The 2014 edition of the T&T Film Festival next month is showcasing 25 short films from locals among 68 regional and international selections. One of the most anticipated local shorts is the fantasy offering Noka: Keeper of Worlds by US-based special effects whiz Shaun Escayg. It stars a handful of T&T heavyweights, including Conrad Parris as an enigmatic Midnight Robber-like figure called Midnight and Cecilia Salazar as the scheming, gossipy Lola, who might also be occult. 

But the biggest stars of the film are the computer-generated winged monsters that one night invade the bedroom of the film’s main character Gabriel, a young American boy who may be suffering from schizophrenia, or may have powers beyond the understanding of this world. The scene is unlike anything seen before in T&T filmmaking. “The idea of Noka is a stranger in a strange land; the American’s the stranger in Trinidad, so it gives that sense of fear, anticipation, uncertainty about these people, with their accents,” Escayg told the Sunday Guardian last year while working on the film. He’d already had another well-received short, the total live action FISH, under his belt.

Of the other characters in Noka, he said: “There’s the protective, very kind churchgoer woman who really wants the best interest of the kid. Then there’s the evil aunt who just wants to buy the estate, tear it down and build some condos. There’s a colourful cast—all Trinidadian and all relatives of this American kid.”

Escayg released the 23-minute film online earlier this year and drew praise-filled comments on Vimeo from other respected T&T filmmakers. “An inspiration!” wrote Christopher Guinness. 
“I love it! I will pay to see this at the movies,” wrote Roger Alexis. “Thumbs up man!” The Film Festival runs from September 16-30. The Sunday Arts Section will be looking at other local festival films until then.e



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