Dominica: Short Film on Life in Kalinago Territory

One of our readers [thanks, Celia] shared with us this beautiful short film by Pierre Deschamps and Paul Crask. Nom Fwigè is about a day in the life of Israel Joseph, a tree fern mask carver who lives with his wife Victoria and their family in the Kalinago Territory village of Mahaut River, Dominica. The images are accompanied by the music of the late Andy Palacio.

Here is an excerpt of Crask’s article “Shooting Nom Fwijè (Travel Journal, 25 March 2010). “The hamlet of Mahaut River, Kalinago Territory. 7:30am. No sign of Israel or Victoria. We scratched around for a while, taking stock shots of bananas, alleyways, roads, dogs, chickens and dirt. The place had an air of abandonment. Fitting, I thought, because so did we.  [. . .] We were here to make a short film about them. A day in the life. She cooking, he going to the bush to chop down a tree fern and then carve a mask to sell on his roadside stall. It was their life. Time must mean little when things are simplified to an extreme, I ventured. Pierre nodded and looked for more artsy camera angles. We were all just doing our thing.”

Paul Crask is an English freelance writer and editor, Bradt Travel Guides author, underwater videographer, and amateur photographer based in Dominica since 2005. Raised in Lancashire and Yorkshire, he has lived in Germany, Japan, and Dominica (with detours of backpacking trips through East Asia and North America). He is the author of two guide books: Dominica (2008) and Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique (2009). He has written features for magazines and scripts for short films such as Unbeaten Paths and Nom Fwigè.

Pierre Deschamps is a film director, director of photography, editor, and still photographer. He started his career as a production assistant and assistant director in the French television industry. He has also worked in Denmark as a director, D.O.P., and still photographer. Fluent in English, French, and Danish, Deschamps says, “Experience is everything. [. . .] As a passionate image maker I enjoy working on documentaries and portraits as well as commercials and short films.” He has lived and worked in Scandinavia, the Cayman Islands, France, Dominica, and the United States.

See “Nom Fwigè” at

For more information on Paul Crask, see

For more information on Pierre Deschamps

3 thoughts on “Dominica: Short Film on Life in Kalinago Territory

    1. hi, I’m neigeme Glasgow-Maeda director of the Caribbean Film Corner, ( a caribbean film festival based here in London and Paris. I really like this film and would love to have it in this year’s festival. I’m also looking for more films from the Spanish islands and Haiti.

      1. Hello Neigeme,
        Thank you for you comment and your interest. We would of course like to submit Nom Fwigé. We also have another film: Nom Tèw, that you might like as well. Please let us know how to submit (can be viewed on our web site).

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