The cast of A Caribbean Dream. (GP)
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Since its world premiere at the Barbados film festival in January 2017, A Caribbean Dream, written and directed by Barbadian Shakirah Bourne, has gone to receive a handful of awards including Best Feature at the London Independent Film Festival and Best International at Charlotte Black Film Festival.
The idea to take Shakespeare and reimagine him in beautiful tropical grounds in Barbados with a 75 per cent Barbadian crew and cast was that of London based Producer Melissa Simmonds. Simmonds has been coming to Barbados for over 25 years and in recent years had a theatre company called The Gale Theatre of Barbados and London, which united talent from both countries.
A Caribbean Dream is a continuation of that company’s polices; taking British classics and creating something positive between the two countries; uniting talent in front and behind the camera and therefore providing plays and films for a wide, varied and diverse audience.
Once Simmonds had approached Bourne with ideas for adaptation and cast in mind, she then approached Executive Producers Christian Roberts and Keith Morris and Producer Lynette Eastmond. The film was shot using British acclaimed DOP Robin Whenary and lighting team from Barbados including Roger Moore and Kirk Dawson.
“Considering most of us were in first time positions, we have achieved so much but this is a dream come true for me to see the Barbadian talent on an international platform” said Simmonds.
“I am not sure I would have switched from theatre if I had known what film entailed; its been a very humbling experience but its great to see veteran Barbadian actor Patrick Michael Foster as mischievous Puck on the big screen and young Bajan’s like Jherad Alleyne and Keshia Pope switch skills so naturally from theatre to camera was great. I hope other casting directors pick up on theirs and the Barbadian actors talent in general. There is a pool of talent in Barbados for them to cast from," she said.
Bourne, Simmonds and Eastmond also hope A Caribbean Dream will help to establish Barbados as a filming destination and encourage others to invest in the islands story tellers and other film makers. All three ladies have ideas they are pursuing but all are waiting to see how sales do on this first.
Part of the continued success of the film was when they were selected at the East End Film Festival and then secured signing to respected distribution company Verve Pictures UK and having Andrew Woodyatt as an associate producer.
A Caribbean Dream opens in the UK Cinemas from November 10 and is downloadable on iTunes, Skystore, Virgin, Amazon and Google. .
The soundtrack of superb Barbadian artists is also available on iTunes.
“A refreshingly modern, diverse and sprightly take on this classic tale”
(East End Film Festival.)
"A delicious modern day retelling of an old favourite, with an irresistible Caribbean twist." (Trinidad Guardian.)