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Antiguan films that should be added to your must-see list


The list may not be long, but it is filled with great quality and diverse movies, all from the small island of Antigua and Barbuda.

Whether you want romance, comedy, drama, or any genre in between, these are some films-listed in order of their release-that you must watch!


The Sweetest Mango

“The Sweetest Mango,” 2001, Antigua’s first feature film is a romantic comedy that tells the story of Lovelyanne ‘Luv” Davies, who returns from Canada to Antigua and her struggles to adjust to life on a small island. It follows her professional turmoil and personal drama, including being caught in an unexpected love triangle.

The Sweetest Mango is also the first indigenous film for the Eastern Caribbean. It has become an iconic film that is still being screened after appearing at several film festivals in North America and the Caribbean and made its world- television premiere on Caribvision via DirecTV. It is now archived at the Toronto International Film Festival Bell Lightbox Reference Library. It was directed by Antiguan Howard Allen.

Allen is a film and television director/producer and the founder of HAMA Productions. While his career in television spans more than 30 years, he made his feature film directorial with this film, a romantic comedy based on how he and his wife met and fell in love written by D. Gisele Isaac.

Allen and his wife, Mitzi Allen, started the production house HAMA Productions in 1992. Howard and Mitzi Allen were co-executive producers, and Joanne C. Hillhouse served as associate producer. Mitzi is an award-winning broadcast journalist and film and television producer. She is the managing director of HAMA Inc.

No seed

It is derived from the Antiguan proverb which says “When you play Warri with God, you get no seed.” In this movie, Grace Valentine is a woman struggling to keep her personal and professional life from crumbling while her colleagues conspire against her. It is set on the fictional island of St. Mark and explores the behind-the-scenes nuances of Caribbean politics.

The film also highlights cultural mores, including the game of Warri, which is used metaphorically to underscore the faith of its characters. The political drama was produced by Mitzi and Howard Allen of HAMA films, an Antiguan and Barbuda independent film and television company, in 2002. It premiered at the Royal Antiguan Resort on November 23, 2002. Later the movie was shown in Barbados, Montserrat, St. Marten, Trinidad & Tobago and in the USA.

It was highly praised by Molwyn Joseph, the then Minister of Tourism and Environment of Antigua & Barbuda and now health minister and Knight and received critical acclaim from the Department of Cinema and Photography at Ithaca College (Ithaka, NY).

Diablesse

Diablesse or La Diablesse as it is known in the French territories of the Caribbean is a beautiful woman whose only flaw is that one of her legs is that of a donkey. Diablesse the movie is a humorous take on Caribbean Folklore. This is a whimsical tale of a young man who finds himself trapped in a bizarre wedding ceremony with a she-devil…it becomes a race against time to find him and save him before he says “I do”.

It premiered in 2005 and is just over an hour long. It is the third HAMA film.

Working Girl

Almost 2 hours long, this film was released in 2010, starring Terry-Ann Price, Melissa Mc Leish, Morrison George, Bruce "Supa Dymond" Barthley and Kevin Abbott an all-Caribbean cast from Antigua, Jamaica, Guyana and Dominica. It was written, produced and directed by Nigel Trellis from the twin-island.

In this movie, Lotus White is an underprivileged but intelligent sixteen-year-old student who becomes a schoolgirl by day and a hooker by night after she finds out that her mother has been diagnosed with a terminal illness and has only a few months left to live. Her mother meanwhile, has worked all her life as a prostitute but she is determined that her young daughter should have a good education and a better life.

When she finds out that she is dying she must dedicate all of her waning energy to one last fight to ensure that her lifelong plans for Lotus are not suddenly derailed. The question is whether Lotus will be able to maintain her virtue in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds or will she be unable to escape the vicious cycle of poverty and fall prey to the old adage: "once a whore always a whore"?

The Skin

“THE SKIN,” tells the story of a young married couple, Michael and Lisa. They are about to lose their home when their luck changes dramatically. While on a photoshoot at a historic site, Michael discovers an ancient vase and sells it to an antique dealer. But strange things begin to happen, and they soon discover from a mystic that the relic was not a blessing, but a curse.

The film, which premiered in 2011 in Antigua, has screened at a number of film festivals and screenings, including the Trinidad & Tobago Film Festival, The Pan African Film Festival in LA, the DC Caribbean Film Festival, as well as in the United Kingdom and Canada.

It is the fourth feature film from the Antiguan filmmaking duo, Howard and Mitzi Allen, of HaMa films, and includes in its stars, Jamaican, Carl Bradshaw of “The Harder They Come,” fame, as well as Peter Williams, a noted actor of Caribbean-Canadian heritage, and two Antiguan actors, Veron Stoute and Brent Simon.

Dadli

This is a short film of just over 14 minutes released in 2018. In it Tiquan White, a 13-year-old Antiguan, recounts bits of his daily life in his small village and community. The debut short from cinematographer Shabier Kirchner is an immersive, woozily impressionistic portrait of street life on his home island of Antigua, as seen through the eyes of a young boy.

Shabier Kirchner was born and raised in Antigua and Barbuda travels the world as a cinematographer and was selected as one of the 10 Cinematographers to Watch by Variety (April 2018). His credits include Small Axe, Bull, Only You, Skate Kitchen, Sollers Point and Wendy. He has also worked on commercials and music videos and additionally shoots his own works at home. Dadli (2018) was Shabier’s first work as director/DP.

He was the 2021 winner of the photography and lighting: fiction BAFTA, an award sponsored by the High-end TV Skills Fund

These films can either be found on Studio Anansi or on Youtube.

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