Film: New Caribbean Cinema Collective’s “Ring Di Alarm”

A new Caribbean film is trying to blaze its own path in London, following in the wake of the trail blazed by Jamaican and other Caribbean athletes at the recently ended 30th Olympiad. Ring Di Alarm, an anthology film created by the collective New Caribbean Cinema, co-founded by Michelle Serieux and Storm Saulter, is slated to have its first theatrical screening at the British Film Institute on September 2, 2012.

Ring Di Alarm comprises seven short films from six directors and aims to be the clarion call signaling the arrival of a new wave of films and filmmakers from the Caribbean. The project was launched in the JAMPRO training room, New Kingston, on Wednesday, August 15, 2012. As NCC co-founders Michelle Serieux and Storm Saulter explained, the film is being used as a tool to garner greater attention for emerging filmmakers from the region.

Gillian Wilkinson McDaniel, Creative Industries Senior Consultant described the New Caribbean Cinema project as representative of the new generation of filmmakers in the region. “JAMPRO believes that this set of short films that is being taken not just to the rest of the Caribbean but to the rest of the world, are the beginning of our telling new stories,” she said congratulating the filmmakers. The producers gave much kudos to JAMPRO for their support of the initiative.

Ring Di Alarm has been in the making since 2010 with two of its earliest pieces Coast and Missed having been screened at different occasions and steadily gathering attention for the project. Indeed, Missed (written and directed by Serieux) was included in the Court Métrage at Cannes 2012.

Serieux and Saulter explained that they fully intend to maximize on the heightened awareness of Brand Jamaica in London subsequent to the Olympics. “The fact that we’re going there on the heels of our athletes dominating , we feel like they softened them up and now we’re gonna finish them off,” laughs Saulter. The film was created with a number of objectives including allowing emerging filmmakers to practice their craft at home, make a dent in the traditional Hollywood dominated film industry and provide an outlet to showcase their creative work. “It’s an ideological coup as well,” Serieux said. “We’re not just going the traditional distribution route. This really is an independent film,” she said. As such they will be trying an array of distribution methods mixing the traditional and the independent.

[. . .] Saulter and Serieux also pointed out that ideally the collective should have input from across the Caribbean, however, of the group, five of the directors are Jamaican and one (Serieux) is St. Lucian. Ring Di Alarm features shorts by Storm Saulter (Watching Him Kissing Her), Michelle Serieux (Missed), Kyle Chin (Sunday), Nile Saulter (Coast and The Young Sea), Joel Burke (My Vote) and Michael ‘Ras Tingle’ Tingling whose Parish Bull was screened on Wednesday morning.

[. . .] Subsequent to its screening at the BFI, Ring Di Alarm will begin making the film festival rounds, starting with the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival. The film is slated to premier in Jamaica at the end of the year.

[Photo above, a still from Michelle Serieux’s Missed.]

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