Blog Archives

New! Tanya Stephens: Get A Life Video & Ghett’a Life Trailer

Reggae soulstress Tanya Stephens has dropped the video for ‘Get a Life’. The song is listed on the soundtrack for the upcoming Jamaican film ‘Ghett’a Life’. Check out the video below:

GHETT’A LIFE is an “against the odds” action drama set in a politically turbulent inner city community of Kingston. Derrick, a determined inner city teenager realizes his dream of becoming a champion boxer despite a country, community and family conflicted by divisive political system.

Check out the movie trailer for the film below:

– @JozBiz

Rumored Bond Girl Naomie Harris Trades Blockbusters for ‘First Grader’

Naomie Harris at the Keep a Child Alive Black Ball 2011 at Camden Roundhouse. (June 15, 2011)

*Naomie Harris, currently rumored to be considered as the next Bond girl, says she prefers working on small films because big movies make her feel like a ”very small cog in a big wheel.”

The actress has starred in a string of blockbuster films, including “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” and “Miami Vice.” She’s also confirmed recently she’s in talks for the next 007 flick “Bond 23.”

But the English actress says she finds intimate sets like her current film “The First Grader” more rewarding. (See trailer below.)

“I’d done the big Hollywood thing and it was great, but it’s such a different experience working on a big movie. You feel like a very small cog in a big wheel, whereas when you do a small movie, you’re a small band,” she tells WENN. “There were nine of us who went out of England to Kenya to do ‘The First Grader.’ So you feel really included, you feel like a family. You feel you can contribute to the script. In all areas, you’re hands on.”

Jane (Naomie Harris) and Maruge (Oliver Litondo) in “The First Grader”

“The First Grader” tells the true story of the oldest primary school student in Kenya.

In a small, remote mountain top primary school in the Kenyan bush, hundreds of children are jostling for a chance for the free education newly promised by the Kenyan government. One new applicant causes astonishment when he knocks on the door of the school.  He is Maruge (Oliver Litondo), an old Mau Mau veteran in his eighties, who is desperate to learn to read at this late stage of his life.  He fought for the liberation of his country and now feels he must have the chance of an education so long denied – even if it means sitting in a classroom alongside six-year-olds.

Naomie plays his teacher, Jane.


Caribbean Artists Among the World’s Best, Says Tourism Chief

NEW YORK – The head of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) declared his organization supports the arts because Caribbean artists are among the best in the world.

Hugh Riley, the CTO’s Secretary General, applauded the work of CaribbeanTales Worldwide Distribution, producers of last weekend’s New York Film Showcase, for profiling the talent of the Caribbean and preserving the region’s story-telling culture.

Addressing the opening of the CaribbeanTales New York Film Showcase last Saturday in Brooklyn, Riley explained his organization supports the cultural industries because Caribbean’s artistes, writers and filmmakers are among the most skilled story tellers in the world.

“At CTO we focus a great deal of our time, energy and attention on marketing the Caribbean as the world’s premier warm weather tourism destination … we do it for the social and economic benefit of the people of the Caribbean – (however) to truly benefit our citizens we need to understand their stories and to tell them with power, persuasion and passion,” asserted Riley.

The tourism chief contended that in today’s era of social media and cutting edge telecommunications “if you really want to move from conversation to persuasion, if you truly want to move both the mind and the heart, no medium can match the immersive experience we get when we sit in the dark (with) our mind and body relaxed and (we are) focused on a film.”

At the Spike Lee Screening Room at Long Island University’s Brooklyn Campus, patrons viewed a number of Caribbean-produced trailers and shorts, along with feature films “Calypso Dreams,” arguably the best film ever made about calypso, and the riveting documentary “Fire in Babylon”, the inspiring story of how a West Indies cricket side triumphed over its colonial masters.

Joking that not all Caribbean films involved pirates, Riley described the well-attended showcase, a fitting closing act for Caribbean Week in New York. It was, he continued, “a chance to give expression to our values as Caribbean people and tell the stories that we too often forget.”

The showcase included a keynote address by Caribbean-American Mark Walton, The Africa Channel’s executive vice president of sponsorship and corporate development, panel discussions featuring rising Caribbean filmmakers and a live interview with the Mighty Sparrow conducted by Trinidadian scholar and author Dr. Elizabeth Nunez.

Hugh Riley of the Caribbean Tourism Organization addresses patrons at the CaribbeanTales New York Film Showcase in Brooklyn.

CTWD, a member of the BIM Ventures family of entrepreneurs, has hosted two film festivals in Barbados, another in Canada, produced training workshops for filmmakers, and now has more than 60 films in its catalog.

The Caribbean Tales New York Film Showcase was supported by The Africa Channel, Barbados Tourism Authority, Bay Gardens Resorts (Saint Lucia), Brammer’s Subway of Brooklyn, Bullzii Marketing, Caribbean Cookbook by Rita G. Springer, Caribbean Lifestyle TV, Caribbean Tourism Organization, the Consulate General of Barbados in New York, Caribbean International Network (CIN TV), Cockspur Rum, Creatively Speaking, cynergy spa, Distribution Specialist Michelle Materre, Falco Ink, Funsation4 Media, Great Huts Resort (Jamaica), OCEAN Style Magazine, Spanish Court Hotel (Jamaica), Third World Newsreel, Tribeca Film, and ZYNC TV.

Author: CaribbeanTales Worldwide Distribution

Cathy SitaRam: Is Featured Artist at Philadelphia Film Festival

Cathy SitaRam from St. Croix has been selected as the featured artist at the Urban Suburban Film Festival, June 24-26 in Philadelphia, Penn.  She will showcase her winning commercials and documentary films.  George Blackmon, the festival’s co-founder, praised SitaRam’s work saying, “After viewing several of Cathy’s films, I am convinced we are witnessing the maturation of a legendary filmmaker.”
She will be hosting the U.S. premiere of “The Heritage and Architecture of Saint Croix: A CHANT Walking Tour” at the Urban Suburban Film Festival. The film is the culmination of two years of work and represents a small part of the story of St. Croix.  CHANT is committed to preserving and promoting the heritage and natural resources of St. Croix.  Executive director of Crucian Heritage and Nature Tourism Frandelle Gerard is quoted as saying, “Working with Cathy Mae SitaRam has been inspiring and rewarding. Her attention to detail is evident in the quality of our film.  Cathy worked with our limited budget to create a film that will become a part of St. Croix’s historical record.”
Cathy SitaRam has received numerous past awards and recognition for her work in the film industry. On May 2, the filmmaker was recognized in four categories at the 2011 ADDY Awards, an event sponsored by the American Advertising Federation of the U.S. Virgin Islands.  The ADDY competition is annually the world’s largest and most comprehensive advertising competition.  Representing the creative imaginations of the innovative age, the ADDYs recognize all forms of creative advertising talent.
With her multi-faceted abilities as a writer, film director, producer and editor on display, SitaRam won gold for her TV Program Design of “The Heritage and Architecture of St. Croix: A CHANT Walking Tour,” a 24-minute documentary DVD that she not only directed but edited as well.  For the :60 TV awards, Cathy carried away the Silver ADDY for writing, producing, directing and editing “Indy Living,” a TV commercial for the Virgin Islands Association for Independent Living.  Her third award was a Public Service TV Silver ADDY, for the Department of Human Services of the V.I. Government “ARRA Compliance,” written, directed and edited by Cathy.
Her work with another entrant, MLB Creative, also earned a Silver ADDY Award in the Multi-Media Consumer Campaign category for “June Jumbie Jackpot” – V.I. Lottery TV spot. Terri Brown of MLB Creative complimented her creative drive and said, “Cathy provided the magic for the spot. She patiently watched the clouds and waited for her shots…until the next day! Nothing keeps Cathy from getting her shot!”
Last year, she earned three Gold Addys including the coveted Excellence in Television Award.
She recently directed Scotiabank’s U.S. Virgin Islands commercial campaign. The “Just Ask” mortgage campaign started running early this year and will be eligible for award entry next year.  Scotiabank’s Senior Marketing Manager Andrew Kresch is proud of the spot.  “In my opinion it’s the best creative commercial currentl in the Virgin Islands.  Mortgage applications have more than doubled what we had hoped for.”
She graduated the University of Maryland with a distinction as a President’s Scholar.  Born in Trinidad and raised in the Virgin Islands, she’s also worked in front of the camera as a news anchor and an on-air host for BET. For more information and to view some of her work, or reach her team | Our 6 Favorite Bad*ss Latinas (on Screen)