Posted by: lisaparavisini | May 14, 2014

Interview with Barbadian singer-songwriter Shontelle


This interview by Ryan Gilkes appeared in Barbados Today. Our thanks to Peter Jordens for bringing this item to our attention.

Barbados and the other islands of the Caribbean are rich with tremendous talent that is just waiting to be discovered and it is not this writer that is saying this.

It is our very own Shontelle, and she should know. She has had her fair spell, writing for some of the big names in the industry – the Kelly Clarkesons and the Cee Lo Greens.

“What I have found from my experience in the industry is that they tend to think that you have a lot more value if you have something to deliver other than your pretty face, hot body and just singing.
– Shontelle

“The Caribbean has so much more to offer than we have been able to show, there is talent not just in the level of artiste, but we have musicians . . . .Miles Robertson [has been] playing for Adele. There is, of course, Rihanna. We’re not just singing but we’re writing songs for other artistes as well.

“I could go down the list of people that have made it from Alison to Rupee, Edwin who have taken our music beyond Barbados, even Red Plastic Bag. Ragga Ragga was huge. You couldn’t go to an NBA game and not hear that song . . . It seems that right now like reggae and island music is so popular. “I think it is time right now. Island people running things, from Nicki Minaj and Sean Kingston and Rihanna all the way right back to Beres Hammond,” she told Bajan Vibes while relaxing at home recently for the Digicel Reggae Festival.

Twenty-eight-year old Shontelle’s story should be well known by now. She released her debut album Shontelligence in November 2008 and dropped her second album, No Gravity two years later in September 2010. Her singles T-Shirt, and Impossible, also reached the Billboard charts.

But with her success, is she getting accustomed to all the attention?

“It depends on where I am. In Barbados people are really cool, you don’t really get too much issues. I love seeing everybody but other places it can get a little crazy at times. My craziest experience is like people [are] jumping on you, people throwing underwear on stage at me or like crazy old men stalking you when you come out of the radio station.

“All kinds of weird stuff, but it is fun. It is just good to know that people love you that much and that something that you are doing means something to them and connects with them and it’s fun. I enjoy it to the max,” she quipped with a smile, though quick to point out that it was not all fun and ease.

“In the music and entertainment business, there are lots of sleepless nights and it is tiresome. It takes a lot of time just to get a bit of success but the whole thing in it for me is being able to meet people and just share a message and just connect with people. That is where I get my joy from . . . It doesn’t matter how many nights of touring or how many nights I’m in the studio not getting any sleep, I would rather do this than anything but it is tough.”

On the production and song writing side of things for this hometown girl, she considers her talents a blessing, Billboard successes and all.

“It is a beautiful thing to be able to create what everyone hears and what influences their lives so I really think there is so much value in the production and the writers. Honestly without the writers and the producers the singers really have nothing to give the people. I love it and I am going to do it for as long as I can.”

For the original report go to

Posted by: ivetteromero | May 13, 2014

Plan to Boost Chocolate Production on Barbados


The University of the West Indies-Cave Hill, Barbados, just signed a memorandum of understanding which is expected to boost chocolate production in the Caribbean.

The UWI’s pro-vice chancellor and principal Sir Hilary Beckles and Eric Reid, CEO of Maryland, United States chocolate-maker SPAGnVOLA Chocolatier signed the MOU at the university’s Cave Hill Campus this morning. The MOU paves the way for training of chocolate-makers from the Caribbean and elsewhere and for the establishment of a chocolate-making factory in Barbados.

The project falls under the umbrella of the university’s Centre for Food Security and Entrepreneurship.

For full article, see

Image above from

FlamingoIn the Bahamas, pioneers in the health care profession, national security leaders, social and civic revolutionaries and luminaries in the legal practice and judiciary are among The 40 Most Outstanding Alumni of The College of The Bahamas, who will be honored on June 14, 2014 at the institution’s inaugural Flamingo Ball. Here are excerpts, with a link to the full article below:

The 40 COB graduates personify the legacy of leadership being commemorated in The College’s 40th year of existence. [. . .] More than 12,000 alumni of The College of The Bahamas have gone on to pioneer innovations in the public and private sector, make trailblazing contributions to the development of the architectural, medical and business sectors and bring prestige to the institution. This spirit of excellence is what is being celebrated.

“When you look at this list of outstanding alumni, it reads like a veritable who’s who of up and coming Bahamian leaders.  It’s very impressive”, says Vice President of Advancement, Dr. Ian Strachan, AA ’88, Chair of The College’s 40th Anniversary Planning Committee.

The alumni honourees were selected in 16 categories: arts & culture; business; civic & social engagement; education; entrepreneurship; environmental advocacy & stewardship; media; law enforcement; public sector management; religion; sports; tourism & hospitality; legal practice & the judiciary; medicine and allied health; science, engineering, technology and architecture; and politics.

[. . .] Oncologist Dr. Wesley Francis, AA ’93, one of the 40 Most Outstanding Alumni was honoured to have been selected.

“I honestly don’t think of myself as one of the top 40. I am humbled. I am a pretty basic guy; I go to work, I work hard and take the lessons learned from my time at COB and build on it and here I am today,” he says.

Managing Editor of the Nassau Guardian Candia Dames, AA ’95, was also humbled by the honour being bestowed by her alma mater. [. . .]

For full article, see

Posted by: ivetteromero | May 13, 2014

France Expands Trade Credit Program in Cuba


Continuing French efforts to revive trade and investment ties with Cuba, the two governments amended on May 6 in Havana a short-term credit line agreement backed by French export guarantee agency Coface.

The new credit line extends a previous one through November 2015. Guaranteeing Cuban purchases of up to euro 90 million ($125 million) a year, the credit aims to benefit particularly French food and agricultural commodity exporters, a French foreign affairs ministry press release said.

French agricultural and food sales to Cuba plummeted more than a decade ago, after Coface canceled a $175 million credit line following a Cuban default in 2002, and due to rising competition from U.S. exporters.

The agreement was signed by Fleur Pellerin, Secretary of State for Foreign Trade and Investment, Tourism Promotion and French Nationals Abroad, and Foreign Trade and Investment Minister Rodrigo Malmierca. At the signing ceremony, Pellerin announced that a French business delegation focusing on export opportunities will travel to Cuba “soon.”

Pellerin said she encourages French businesses to invest in the Mariel Special Development Zone (ZEDM) going up west of Havana, and that France is interested in a fast development of its presence in the ZEDM. Pellerin also heads the French delegation at the FITCuba tourism fair in Havana this week; France is the fair’s guest of honor this year.

“A lot of cooperation is possible in this sphere,” she said at the fair, according to Cuban media. “We can contribute in terms of training, hotel and catering business, gastronomy and management.”

Finally, according to a French foreign ministry press release, she is paying “particular attention” to Cuba’s health sector. [. . .]

For full article, see

Posted by: ivetteromero | May 13, 2014

Dancehall, Reggae Queens go to New York 


According to SKN Vibes, an all-star cast of seven of Jamaica’s female dancehall and reggae singers will be performing on May 24, 2014, at the Amazura stage in Jamaica, Queens, in New York. The evening has been dubbed “Invasion of the Queens” and it will feature Queen Ifrica [shown above], Etana, Spice, Sister Carol, Junie Ranks, Sister “Muma” Nancy, and Lady Ann. 

Veteran concert promoter Donald Wright says that “The event will deliver an entertaining blend of culture, laced with old school dancehall and today’s rocking hits.”

Queen Ifrica, Etana and Sister Carol the cultural crusaders are known for their biting social commentaries as they champion the cause of the voiceless through their many songs. Daddy Don’t Touch Me There, Roots, Wrong Address and Down In The Ghetto are testament to their musical messages.

[. . .] Providing music for the night will be the Invasion Band and Nature Force Sound while hosting duties will be handled by Reggae Top 10 and Video Alley’s Suzie Q.

For full article, see

Posted by: lisaparavisini | May 13, 2014

Ada Balcacer: One-Armed Genius at PAMM


This article by Carlos Suarez de Jesus appeared in The Miami News Times.

Ada Balcacer’s decades-long journey to Pérez Art Museum Miami has been fraught with challenges and inspired by the twisted social, political, and economic currents that have shaped Caribbean history.

“It was like the mouse that blows on your skin before biting you.”
On a recent weekday at PAMM, the youthful-looking and energetic 83-year-old, dressed in a black pantsuit and a white shirt, trots from exhibition hall to bayfront gallery faster than most 30-year-olds. She animatedly contrasts young and old artists’ work before pausing to describe the Baca, a mythical figure in the Dominican Republic, where she was born and spent most of her life. It can grant success to the person it possesses, she says. Or it can inflict tragedy if its demands are ignored.

“When I was a kid growing up, if they found someone in my country bleeding from a stab wound or dead,” Balcacer explains, “people would say Baca gored him… The Baca is our Minotaur… part of our rich oral tradition.”

Location Info

Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM)

1103 Biscayne Blvd.
Miami, FL 33132 Category: Museums Region: Downtown/Overtown
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“Caribbean: Crossroads of the World”: Through August 17 at Pérez Art Museum Miami, 1103 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-375-3000; Tuesday through Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Admission costs $12 for adults and $8 for seniors, students with ID, and youths 7 to 18 years old. Children 6 and younger get in free.

She quickly moves to another room, where her 1969 oil-on-canvas Cabeza de Baca hangs. Part of the series Baca Overthrowing the Myth, it depicts the eerie creature against a bright-blue background that looks as if it were recently painted. “My work is part of my identity and my heritage,” she says.

Balcacer’s work is showcased in a new exhibit at PAMM that museum­goers can see for free during May — ­Miami Museum Month. Situated within several sprawling galleries in the museum, “Caribbean: Crossroads of the World” boasts a striking selection of 180 works spanning two centuries, from the Haitian Revolution to the present.

On view is a wide range of media, from paintings and sculptures to photographs, installations, films, and videos — some rarely displayed publicly — that presents an engaging study of Caribbean culture.

The show debuted in New York in 2012. For its Miami iteration, guest curator Elvis Fuentes added 50 works. There are greats such as Camille Pissarro and Wifredo Lam, as well as contemporary talent such as Allora & Calzadilla.

Balcacer, one of the oldest living artists participating in the show, was born in 1930 in San Juan de la Maguana and grew up during the brutal dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo.

It is estimated that his tyrannical rule was responsible for the deaths of more than 50,000 people, including close to 30,000 during the infamous “Parsley Massacre” in 1937 when Trujillo ordered the execution of Haitians living in the borderlands with Haiti.

At the time, her grandfather, Catedral de los Santos, worked as the overseer of a rambling agricultural estate where Balcacer spent much of her childhood. She developed a love for botany, science, and folklore. “The land was so beautiful and vast,” she recalls.

But her early dreams of pursuing a career in medicine crumbled when she was thrown off a horse and shattered her arm. Doctors had to amputate it after it developed gangrene. She was only a teenager.

“I am one of two one-armed painters in Latin American art history,” Balcacer mentions. “The other one was José Clemente Orozco, the Mexican muralist. I’ve never felt different and have been painting for the past 64 years ever since my goals changed.”

In 1951, she graduated from the National School of Fine Arts in Santo Domingo, where Oscar de la Renta was her classmate. “He was really talented and gorgeous,” Balcacer recalls of the now-legendary fashion designer. “Even then he had this radiant smile that was unforgettable and seductive.”

Soon, however, she began to feel that Trujillo was strangling the nation’s culture.

“He was a megalomaniac, and like other dictators of his period, culture became a reflection of his power,” she says. “It was like the mouse that blows on your skin before biting you.”

The stifling environment led Balcacer to move to New York City in 1951 soon after graduation. At the age of 21, she landed in the Big Apple at the height of abstract expressionism. The city’s nightlife was becoming swept up in the Afro-Caribbean rhythms of the Mambo Kings era.

She began taking art classes and buying stretchers for her canvases in the Bowery. Once, she ran into Jackson Pollock. “I’ll never forget what he said to a group of people gathered at the frame shop,” she recollects. “He said it was important to create work guided by an intellectual concept and to continue experimenting always.”

Balcacer returned home in 1961 shortly after Trujillo was assassinated. She joined the group Nueva Imagen (New Image) in 1972 and became interested in the aesthetic possibilities of light and color. She also began creating increasingly abstract compositions.

Later, she chaired the school of drawing in the architecture department of the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo. “I belong to that group of artists that doesn’t only make work, but also thinks and talks about art continually,” the dynamic octogenarian says.

When she turned 70, the artist decided it was time to explore fresh horizons in South Florida, so she relocated to Miami, a city she had often visited. Soon, she opened a modest gallery in Wynwood during a time of life when her peers were largely retired or gone.

Her Abro Gallery enjoyed a four-year run until folding in 2012. It showcased the work of local talent, including her compatriot Máximo Caminero, who made international headlines earlier this year after smashing a vase that was part of a show at PAMM highlighting the dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei.

But she hasn’t given up on the art world. “We artists are the great explorers of life,” she says, “and you can experience that in this exhibit.”

For the original report go to

Posted by: lisaparavisini | May 13, 2014

Mosquito-borne virus spreads rapidly in Haiti, officials say


A mosquito-borne virus — that was detected for the first time in Haiti last week — has quickly spread throughout the Caribbean nation, a health official said Tuesday, according to the Associated Press.

Some 1,529 cases of the chikungunya virus have been confirmed, said Ronald Singer, a spokesman for Haiti’s health ministry. The bulk of the cases, about 900 of them, were found in the west department, where the capital of Port-au-Prince is located. Another 300 cases were confirmed in northwestern Haiti.

The new numbers seem to represent a startling jump over the past week. The health ministry said last Tuesday that lab results confirmed a mere 14 cases.

Since then, Port-au-Prince has been abuzz with people complaining about a sudden and debilitating illness that’s been referred to as “the fever.”

The symptoms of chikungunya include not just a sharp fever but also headache, full-body rash and joint pain. The illness is rarely fatal but recovery usually takes about a week. Some people experience joint pain for months to years.

The illness, which is most commonly found in Asia and Africa, was first detected in the Caribbean in December on tiny St. Martin.

It was the first time that local transmission of chikungunya had been reported in the Americas. Since then, it has spread to nearly a dozen other islands and French Guiana.

Its arrival in Haiti was expected. In neighboring Dominican Republic, authorities have confirmed at least 150 to 200 cases.

There is no vaccine for chikungunya and it is spread by the pervasive Aedes aegypti mosquito, which also transmits dengue fever in the region.

Posted by: lisaparavisini | May 13, 2014

London Guardian’s review: The Poetry of Derek Walcott


This selection of Walcott’s poetry, edited by Glyn Maxwell, is a reminder of the celebratory texture of the Nobel laureate’s work, FIona Sampson writes in her review for The Guardian.

At more than 600 pages, this new selection from 15 collections over 65 years of Derek Walcott’s poetry is clearly no taster. But then Walcott is a generous writer in every sense. The expansive, celebratory texture of his verse is instantly recognisable. It moves with ease between city and country, between “the snow still falling in white words on Eighth Street” and the way “Sunshine […] stirs the splayed shadows of the hills like moths”.

This vivid engagement with the sensory world doesn’t desert Walcott even in elegy, of which the later books include an increasing amount. In “For Oliver Jackman”, in White Egrets: “They’re practising calypsos, / they’re putting up and pulling down tents, vendors are slicing / the heads of coconuts around the Savannah, men /are leaning on, then leaping into pirogues.” Poets have long pointed out that life continues in the face of death: WH Auden in “Musée des Beaux Arts” among them. But few capture that life in such full and affirming detail.

Much of this detail draws on the landscape and life of Walcott’s native St Lucia. In his mature style, which begins to emerge in 1965’s “The Castaway”, descriptions are built up phrase by phrase. The chime of end rhymes creates a sense not of crescendo but of accumulation. In “The Tarpon”, for example, “Bronze, with a brass-green mold, the scales / age like a corselet of coins, / a net of tarnished silver joins / the back’s deep-sea blue to the tail’s / wedged tapering Y.” The poem’s contrastingly utilitarian title and, crucially, its allusion to European history and culture (that “corselet”), are other key elements in this mature paradigm.

The effect of this kind of writing is painterly: not surprisingly, since the poet trained as an artist. He reminds us of this in 2000’s Tiepolo’s Hound, an astonishing quest for artistic identity and integrity that follows the remembered image of a dog “exact in its lucency” from “the Metropolitan’s / marble authority” to “Antillean Sundays”. The aesthetic is also frankly vegetal, with some of the brutal abundance of the natural world, “light on the beetle’s armour // and the toad’s too-late presages”. In Walcott’s own words, it is a “West Indian Gothic”. It is also a portrait of splendour in which, as his eponymous retelling of the arrival of the Bounty mutineers tells us, “the bounty returns each daybreak”.

The splendour creates readerly delight, of course. But it also dignifies rural life. It is only since 2008, after all, that the majority of the world’s population has lived in cities. In celebrating his native island, Walcott, whose first collection of 25 Poems appeared in 1949, celebrates all lives lived far from metropolitan centres of influence. We discover how deliberate, indeed strategic, this celebration is in the periodic comparisons poems such as The Prodigal make between European high art and the poet’s own “unimportantly beautiful” village. Though he chooses formal and grammatical structures other than the folk oral tradition, and rarely writes in dialect, this poet is neither apolitical nor colonial apologist.

Walcott the Nobel laureate is a world citizen, who claims the world for himself and for Gros Islet, the home he never stops writing to and from. The Arkansas Testament and Tiepolo’s Hound stage a rich interplay of cultural dialogue between equals. The mature Walcott sometimes appears to deprecate his source materials. “Our myths are ignorance, theirs are literature” is the conclusion of “White Magic”, but this line is accusation, not assent. Elsewhere, Tiepolo’s Hound ends: “I think of reeking fish and a black dog”. Yet such understatement is the mark of cultural confidence.

The poet has come a long way since the early poems, such as “A City’s Death By Fire”, in which the influence of such European contemporaries as Dylan Thomas was strikingly apparent. But then, he has been writing for a long time. This compendious book covers 65 years of poetry. Working my way through it on a recent long-haul flight, I was struck by its recurrent image vocabulary. This is the imaginative territory laid down by every major poet. Here, it includes both the quotidian and the unexpected: verandahs, Minotaurs, watercolours and the changing Caribbean sky.

A poet of Walcott’s stature needs no introduction, either from me or from Glyn Maxwell, his former student and the editor of this volume. But perhaps the volume itself does. This is not a Collected Poems. It includes no new material: no juvenilia, no uncollected pieces, not even a bibliography. Existing admirers are likely to have all these poems and more on their bookshelves already, in the form of the 1984 Collected and complete individual collections – not to mention the verse-epic Omeros, which Maxwell surprisingly omits altogether. (Did he simply feel that to extract from it would be wrong? The book offers us no clue.)

Walcott’s is a major body of work – in every sense. Not only does he write often long-lined, frequently baroque poems, but his use of book-length sequences means that themes can be explored at exhaustive length. A true Collected would surely run to a boxed set. Selected by the author, this good‑looking volume might have offered us something definitive, a canon within a canon. As it is, with no introduction to tell us about the project, and the extent to which he was involved, it risks seeming little more than an occasion to remind us what an astonishing poet Walcott is. But then, astonishing he is.

For the original report go to

Posted by: lisaparavisini | May 13, 2014

Urban art in Santurce, Puerto Rico


A post by Peter Jordens.

As Ángel L. Carrión Maymí writes for The Postcolonialist, Santurce is an area that boasts a varied cultural and artistic scene. Formerly known as San Mateo de Cangrejos and a municipality in its own right, it is now a barrio of San Juan, the capital city of Puerto Rico. If one decides to venture out to explore the area, a rich diversity of cultural offerings including museums, concerts, theaters, and cinemas among other alternatives await. It should come as no surprise, then, that various initiatives have been proposed to officially designate Santurce as an art district. The first thing that will draw the attention of passersby is the overwhelming variety of public art almost everywhere one looks. Sculptures, murals, and graffiti all rise defiantly in and between common spaces, countering the abandonment and decay to which a good part of what once was one of the most important commercial hubs in Puerto Rico has fallen.

Economic activity began to decline in the area with the advent of the first shopping malls during the sixties and seventies. Most people started to prefer to do their shopping in indoor spaces with air conditioning instead of walking in the city. The heart of economic activity moved from Santurce to the Hato Rey area, forcing many small businesses to close. By the eighties and nineties, Santurce had noticeably deteriorated.


In recent years there have been some efforts to revive the area, concentrating mostly on the zone near Ponce de León Avenue, one of the main arteries of San Juan. These efforts have assumed various forms, from the development of housing, infrastructure and commercial projects to various outdoor activities designed to draw large crowds. However, in many cases the actual result has been the displacement of entire communities, giving way to the gentrification of the areas that these efforts seek to positively impact.

Partly as a response to this outcome, initiatives have arisen from the artistic community to counteract both the abandonment of Santurce and the appropriation of the area’s future by interests whose aims may not align with the vision of strengthening the community. These public art initiatives are key in the efforts to revitalize Santurce. Although these efforts do not necessarily originate within the Santurce community, they do enjoy its support and collaboration.

Two of the most salient examples are the urban art festivals Los Muros Hablan [The Walls Speak] and Santurce Es Ley [Santurce Is Law]. Both festivals are directly responsible for the proliferation of murals in Santurce’s public places and have managed to create ripples beyond Puerto Rico. Both festivals feature as their main attraction the creation of murals by local and international artists on the walls of abandoned or deteriorated buildings and also include music, theatrical performances, food kiosks, and, in the case of Los Muros Hablan, discussion panels. World-renowned artists have come to create murals for these festivals, leaving their works for all to see on the walls of buildings throughout the area.

Santurce Es Ley got its start as the idea of artist Alexis Busquet, owner of the gallery Clandestino 787, as his contribution to the revival of Santurce. In 2013 the festival celebrated its fourth edition with great success, incorporating Puerto Rican artists along with artists that hailed from countries such as the United States, the Dominican Republic, Peru, Portugal, and Ukraine. But what is truly genius about Santurce es Ley is that it was held in one of the most ignored streets in all of Santurce, Cerra Street, thus becoming a real force for change in the community. Residents of the area welcomed the festival, inspiring them to continue their efforts to try and improve the neighborhood’s quality of life, which in its heyday occupied a prominent place in Puerto Rico’s music industry as a record production center.


Los Muros Hablan is a particularly successful case. Its goal is similar to Santurce Es Ley, but differs from it in that there is now an iteration of the festival in El Barrio in New York. The New York version of the festival is organized jointly by La Respuesta (a cultural space on Fernández Juncos Avenue in Santurce where different alternative artistic and indie currents converge) and El Museo del Barrio in New York, with support from the local city government. Like its Puerto Rican counterpart, Los Muros Hablan: New York seeks to unite local and Latin American artists in order to rescue abandoned and deteriorated public spaces. Beyond merely being a festival, Los Muros Hablan is a manifestation of a reality that Puerto Rico is currently undergoing: the massive emigration of Puerto Ricans from the island, particularly to the United States. […]

It is not by chance that public art projects have proven to be such effective vehicles by which to build bridges between the island and the diaspora. At a time in which Puerto Rican communities are threatened by fragmentation, both at the micro and macro levels, by economic forces, public art is a powerful means by which to preserve and affirm bonds of cultural identity and social solidarity, of reclaiming the city’s public spaces and to humanize them, restoring their function as meeting places, reference points, or simply to break with the bleakness of the urban landscape. The urban planner Edwin R. Quiles expresses it the following way:

“Puerto Rico has a great deficit of public spaces. Faced with a lack of options it is up to the people, to citizen groups, to find answers to their own needs and create their own spaces. Only by daring to take action, to reclaim territories, will this become possible; only solidarity, common agreements and collective action will allow communities to sustain and improve themselves. It has already been said, cities are made many different ways, sometimes with, sometimes without permission, but always with creativity.”

The complete, original article is at

Of related interest: “Santurce – the ‘Williamsburg’ of Puerto Rico,” byRafael López Ramos, in: Catalyst Review,

Posted by: lisaparavisini | May 13, 2014

CaFA Film Nights: Male directors, female leads


A post by Peter Jordens.

CaFA Film Nights: Male directors, female leads

Friday May 23, 2014, 7:30 pm

Nicholas Variety, 570 Fulton Street, Brooklyn, New York 11217

Three short films will be screened:

To the Night

by Kojo McPherson

Guyana, 2013

22 minutes


To the Night explores themes related to the life of a sex worker in Guyana. It is the story of a single mother’s financial and moral struggles to provide for her family. Upon realizing that sex work is threatening to tear her family apart, Camille attempts to find a new line of work, coming face-to-face with, perhaps, a harsher set of economic realities.


by Kareem Mortimer

Bahamas, 2013

15 minutes

Drama, action

A twenty-year-old Haitian woman, Sandrine and her thirteen year old brother Etienne are being transported from Haiti to the Bahamas in the hold of a dilapidated wooden vessel filled with several other immigrants in search of a better life. When her brother takes ill, she must use her smarts and strength to avoid him being thrown off the boat and save his life.

Passage has won several awards, including Best Short Film at the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival, Director’s Choice at the Portland Maine Film Festival, and Open Category winner at Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival Grand Bahama.


by Courtney Everette, Demedrius Charles

St. Lucia/USA, 2013

Comedy, drama, family

Broken tells the story of Lisa’s emotional journey as she tries to balance life, love and friendship while working, paying for school in New York City and maintaining a deadbeat husband on the island of St. Lucia.

Reviews at and


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