Friday, February 26, 2021
Home Business Films On Indo-Caribbean Identity, Culture And Heritage

Films On Indo-Caribbean Identity, Culture And Heritage

The Caribbean can create its own film market that can compete with other film markets worldwide

By Dr. Kumar Mahabir

Not many Indian parents in India and the Indian Diaspora are inclined to encourage their children to study the Arts, the Humanities, and Social Sciences. They prefer, instead, to influence their children to study Medicine, Law, and Engineering as a career.

The result is that there are proportionately few visual artists, stage performers, comedians, spoken-word poets, filmmakers, directors, and actors.

A ZOOM public meeting was held recently (10/1/21) on the topic “Films on Indo-Caribbean identity, culture, and heritage.” The Pan-Caribbean meeting was hosted by the Indo-Caribbean Cultural Centre (ICC). It was chaired by Dr. Kirte Algoo of Suriname and moderated by Bindu Deokinath-Maharaj of Trinidad.

Follow NewsGram on Facebook to stay updated.

The following are EXCERPTS of a ZOOM public meeting held recently (10/01/21) on the topic “Films on Indo-Caribbean identity, culture, and heritage.” The Pan-Caribbean meeting was hosted by the Indo-Caribbean Cultural Centre (ICC). It was chaired by Dr. Kirtie Algoe of Suriname and moderated by Bindu Deokinath -Maharaj of Trinidad.

The speakers were DR. PERRY POLAR (Trinidad), a film co-producer and project coordinator at The Caribbean Network for Urban and Land Management (CNULM); IVAN TAI-APIN (Suriname), the director, a screenplay writer, and producer of the film Wiren, featured on Netflix, and now in the race for an Oscar Academy Award; and MAHADEO SHIVRAJ (Guyana), an actor, director, and producer of plays and films; appearing in American mainstream television shows and cinematic movies.

The highlight of the meeting was the screening of the trailer Wiren directed and co-produced by part-Indian/Hindustani, Tai-Apin. The main character is Wiren Jagessar who portrays the real-life story of the deaf-mute Wiren Meghoe of Suriname. Wiren’s mother is played by Kavita Ramphal.

PERRY POLAR said:

films
DR. PERRY POLAR (Trinidad), a film co-producer and project coordinator at The Caribbean Network for Urban and Land Management.

The film Ganga Dhaara: Sacred Spaces documents the origins and survival of the Ganga dhaara festival, a one-day Hindu pilgrimage at the Marianne River along the north coast of Trinidad, which began 27 years ago.

It is also a biography of its founder Ravindradath Maharaj, also known as Raviji. The film was co-produced by me, Dr. Perry Polar, and Dr. Sharda Mahabir, with contributions by Dr. Kumar Mahabir who conceived the idea.

The first part of the documentary notes that Ganga dhaara was inspired by Ganga Dussehra, a Hindu festival in India which commemorates the descent of the Ganges River from the Heavens to Earth.

One scene of the documentary describes a defining action that speaks to Raviji’s character. He noted that the Orisha organization, Ile Eko Sango Osun Mil’Osa (IESOM), also had a river festival. He invited them to take part in the Ganga dhaara festival and they continue to participate to this day.

Importantly, his trepidation that the Hindus would not accept the presence of an Orisha group at the Ganga dharra festival never materialized. This relationship allowed for a greater understanding of each other’s religious practice and some parallels in how each religion engages with sacred spaces were noted in the film.

The last part of the documentary sees Raviji speaking about being steadfast in having multiple identities (Hindu, Indian, Trini) in a multicultural society.

IVAN TAI-APIN  said:

films
IVAN TAI-APIN (Suriname), the director, screenplay writer, and producer of the film Wiren.

I would like to thank Dr. Mahabir and the ICC (Indo-Caribbean Cultural Centre) for making me a part of the virtual public meeting entitled “Films on Indo-Caribbean identity, culture, and heritage.”.

This public meeting has introduced me to other filmmakers and people who want to help develop the Caribbean film industry. I think there should be more cooperation between Caribbean countries in the entertainment industry. In this way, we can create a world that can receive structured knowledge and financial support from governments, international organizations, and the business sector.

The Caribbean can then create its own film market that can compete with other film markets worldwide.

MAHADEO SHIVRAJ said:

films
MAHADEO SHIVRAJ (Guyana), an actor, director, and producer of plays and films.

My entry into filmmaking was not because I wanted to make films, but more because I wanted to act in films since I was a kid, but the opportunity in Guyana was absent.

The dream of seeing a budding film industry in Guyana when I left high school was absent. The ambition of making a career in film acting was nowhere in sight.

Filmmaking opportunities in Guyana occurred about three and four times by the time I was 53 years old. After waiting that long for something to happen and getting older, I decided to do it myself.

ALSO READ: The Impact Of Chinese, Hispanic & Haitian Migrants On Trinidad, Guyana And Suriname

After producing these films, I had a bigger problem. Where do I screen the movies?  Because piracy had caused the closure of all the movie theatres in Guyana. So for my four released films, I did not make a penny on the sale of even one DVD in Guyana, but many many people were making their livelihoods on my sweat, so to speak.

The two governments did nothing to stamp out piracy. They made no attempt to look at the laws on copyright infringement, so piracy is open and free for all.

STAY CONNECTED

19,120FansLike
362FollowersFollow
1,773FollowersFollow

Most Popular

Cyberattacks Per Healthcare Organization Jumped 37 Percent In The Last 12 Months

Cyberattacks on hospitals and healthcare organizations have emerged as a top hacker trend in 2020, as monthly cyberattacks per healthcare organization jumped 37 percent...

Zoom App To Launch Automatic Closed Captioning Feature

Video conferencing app Zoom said it is working towards making "automatic closed captioning" available for all the free account holders to make the service...

B-Town Producers Don’t Have Investment, Talent as OTT Platforms Have: Abhay Deol

Bollywood producers neither have the money nor talent to cater to audiences who want something beyond the popular and the mainstream, claims actor Abhay...

How Delhi Police Reunited a Divyang Person With His Family Based on Just One Word “Hospital”

The Delhi Police reunited a 30-year-old divyang person with his family following a lead based on just one word - Hospital. On the intervening night...

COVID Lockdown Lead To Increase in The Cases of Domestic Violence: Study

While Covid-19 related lockdowns may have decreased the spread of a deadly virus, they appear to have created an environment for increased domestic violence,...

Number Of Digitally Skilled Workers To Grow 9X In India By 2025

The number of workers in India requiring digital skills will need to increase nine times by 2025, and the average worker will need to...

The Union Government Releases New Guidelines For Social Media, OTT

The Union Government on Thursday came up with new stringent guidelines for social media platforms along with a code of ethics for over-the-top (OTT)...

Businesses In India To Implement Robotic Process Automation By 2024

Nearly half of all businesses in India will implement robotic process automation (RPA) by 2024, said an IDC study on Wednesday. The study commissioned...

Recent Comments