“Femme”, the local cinematic premiere of three short films about women that were released last year under the auspices of CineGuyana and the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry, was a grand Red Carpet event at the Avinash Theatres on Wednesday evening last.
Among the special guests were Prime Minister Samuel Hinds, Speaker of the National Assembly Raphael Trotman and members of the Diplomatic Community.
Paparazzi lined the Red Carpet entrance–the path of the main hallway to the theatre doors—along which the special invitees were escorted by ushers. The premiere started ceremonially with the National Anthem followed by speeches.
Both Prime Minister Sam Hinds and Malcolm Panday, on behalf of the Avinash Theatre Complex, urged those involved to make Guyana’s film industry into the ‘Hollywood of the Caribbean’. Hinds recalled that the fledgling local production company was formally established in 2011 under the President’s Endowment Project and produced eight films. The films have been viewed at film festivals in 13 countries including the United States, United Kingdom, Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados.
Dr Paloma Mohamed who serves as Executive Director of CineGuyana also spoke.
Mistress of Ceremonies Tivia Collins introduced the individual screenings and the premiere ended with a cocktail reception in the courtyard of the Avinash Theatre Complex.
The films were:
To the Night: starring Sonia Yarde, written by Mosa Telford, directed by Kojo McPherson and produced by Richard Pitman and Dr Paloma Mohamed. To the Night is a sensitive drama centred on a mother (played by Sonia Yarde) who struggles to raise her two children. In an effort to support them financially she turns to prostitution which rattles her children’s lives. The running time was 22 minutes.
Ruth: Written and directed by Errol Chan and produced by Charmaine Blackman and Dr Paloma Mohamed. Ruth (Shanaza Lowe) focuses on the thug life of a young, desperate woman growing up on the streets, who constantly robs people to make ends meet which led to her arrest, imprisonment and subsequent change of lifestyle. She later falls in love with a man who knows nothing of her background, but her past life haunts her. This film’s running time was 13 minutes.
Choices: Written and produced by Smolana Varwyk, it is directed by Mike James with Dr Paloma Mohamed as executive producer. Choices is a film based on a true story. Domestic violence plagues the home of a young couple; the newly wed wife is constantly abused and finds herself trapped until she breaks out of her bondage with the help of her friend. This film’s running time was 17 minutes.
The event was sponsored by the University of Guyana and the Centre for Communication Studies, German’s Restaurant, Courts, the Theatre Guild of Guyana, the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Digicel.
Meanwhile, CineGuyana’s 2011 films will be shown at Avinash Theatres on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 15:00 hrs to 17:15 hrs respectively. Some films are for Adults only. Admission is $800 per adult and $500 per child.