Written by: JIS Productions Ltd
On Monday, August 29th, 2022, JIS Productions Ltd. along with its collaborators hosted the red-carpet gala and premiere of the short film I Dream of Calypso at the Central Bank Auditorium. The event was the culmination of many months of hard work by the team and was met with delight by audiences. I Dream of Calypso tells the story of a young girl who dreams of singing calypso but must get the approval of her religious parents who are pastors in order to do so. Set in the 1990’s, this comedy aims to bring back the nostalgia of times past as we celebrate Trinidad & Tobago’s rich, diverse culture along with our nation’s 60th Diamond Jubilee Independence Anniversary this year.
The I Dream of Calypso journey started back in 2021 when writer Solange Plaza took part in the FilmTT Script to Screen Workshop: Short Pitch Competition where her script won the second-place prize after many rounds of judging. Director Joash Alexander, of Genesis Media Productions and Producer Victoria Gour-Votor, of Inomedia Productions quickly came on board the project, recognizing the valuable contribution of the story to Trinidad and Tobago. “What inspired me to be involved in the film was first off it was a young person, secondly its culture, … Trinidad and Tobago’s culture being showcased” said Director Joash of his connection to the film. It is his second time directing and also the second collaboration between this team who came together in 2019 to produce the short entitled The Good Mother which highlights the issue of domestic violence in T&T.
Film star, young Cayla Allen
The film stars young Cayla Allen, a multi-talented singer who won the Sacred Heart Girls R.C. School Calypso Competitions from 2019 to 2021 and also placed in the finals of the 2020 TUCO Junior Calypso Competition. Cast alongside her are 107.1 radio host and inaugural Groovy Soca Monarch winner, Michelle Sylvester, as well as seasoned gospelypsonian, Sean Daniel, all making their film debuts. As part of his behind-the-scenes interview also screened at the event, Sean Daniel remarked, “I realized I Dream of Calypso might be exactly what I would want to say to the next generation so that we don’t lose the craft of singing calypso”. This film promises to make an impact on the younger generations as it encapsulates a slice of life in Trinidad and Tobago.
Rishi K Gallion & Michelle Sylvester
The film’s premiere, in keeping with the theme of 90’s lifestyle in Trinidad and Tobago, featured a vintage display by the Brij Maharaj Auto and Heritage Museum as well as samples of local delicacies offered by Tropical Hand TT, Fairy Dust, and the Lopinot Tourism Association. Guests were serenaded by the national instrument played by Tiajuana Hernandez upon entry to the red carpet and treated to a slew of performances including youth performers such as pannist Hezekiah Brathwaite and dancer Aaliyah Scott. The young lead, Cayla Allen brought the audience to life with the performance of her “No Man is an Island” calypso while former Digicel Rising Star Israel Ulerie and singer Deelouris Darrabaie added to the local flavor.
The event was hosted by radio personality, Wendell Bompart, who kept the audience entertained as they walked down memory lane recalling memorable local ads and ending with a 90’s style fashion show. Guests were also treated to giveaways courtesy Bermudez, Toppers n Things, Bhol Designs, Pretty Business Studios, and Inomedia Productions. In attendance were FilmTT Chairman, Ms Dionne McNicol Stephenson, and WESN Managing Director, Daren Lee Sing who both delivered remarks at the auspicious occasion.
Radio Personality, Wendell Bompart
Also, in attendance was veteran calypsonian Mr. Llewellyn Mac Intosh with his daughter, former National Calypso Queen Heather Mac Intosh, who made a cameo appearance in the film alongside former National Calypso Monarch, Karene Asche. The affair was well managed in partnership with the team from Seabrax Creative Concepts with help from Events2GoInTT and Ms. Ghenere Heerah in addition to support from venue sponsor Central Bank Auditorium. Members of the National Scouts Association and the Girl Guides Association of Trinidad and Tobago were also on hand to greet guests.
Members of the public can view the film on WESN- Content Capital during the month of September as we continue to celebrate our 60th Independence Anniversary. I Dream of Calypso was made possible through the support of many including FilmTT, WESN, NLCB, Inomedia Productions, Genesis Media Productions, Heaven Sent Productions, Massy Foundation, NGC and a host of other companies as well as individuals.
Contact information: Solange Plaza (868) 272 7885
Music video: https://www.instagram.com/p/Ch8ChNcs-kg/
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