Antiguan film The Skin, produced by Howard and Mitzi Allen of HAMA Productions, will be one of three featured full-length films to be shown at this year’s DC Caribbean Film Festival at the American Film Institute (AFI) Silver Theatre in Washington DC from June 1 to 3.
The DC Caribbean Film Festival has been around for 12 years in the esteemed American Film Institute Silver Theatre.
Mitzi Allen, co-producer of the film said, “to be at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Centre is a very prestigious place to have your film shown … it’s just like getting into Cannes or any other film festival; basically, it has to be a good film.”
Allen further mentioned, “We are excited to be in the DC area because they have a large African-American and Afro-Caribbean community, so our movie will get a lot of exposure being shown in DC.
“The AFI prides itself in showing the best of world cinema so if they didn’t think we were up to scratch we would not get invited,” Allen said as she excitingly expressed how proud she is to have HAMA’s film featured at the festival.
HAMA will be among good company as countries such as the United Kingdom, the USA, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Barbados, Trinidad, Jamaica and Guadeloupe will be showcasing documentaries and short films at the DC Film Festival.
Allen said one documentary she is eager to see is Sing Your Song, a Harry Belafonte documentary produced by his daughter, Gina Belafonte.
The Antigua & Barbuda Literary Festival in collaboration with Carib World Travel will be providing airfare and accommodation for the producer’s trip to Washington.
As Allen explained, “when your film gets selected it’s very important that you’re there for networking and possibly meeting with distributors … while everybody’s excited to get their movies into the larger festival and festivals that are high profile. It’s not just enough that your film is being shown. You have to be there to represent the product … and that’s where it gets very expensive for independent producers like ourselves … If we can’t get there we’ll miss that opportunity.”
Also assisting the producers is Antigua’s Ambassador to the US Deborah Lovell and other persons attached to the Antigua office in DC, who have helped to promote the film. As Allen said, “They have always been talking about HAMA and HAMA’s work in film,” which has helped to build greater awareness of HAMA Productions in the Washington area.
This led to the submission of the film and an invitation to attend the film festival.
This is not the first appearance HAMA will be making at the DC Film Festival.
Its first film, The Sweetest Mango, was also featured at the festival in 2005. However, The Skin is HAMA’s first film to be shown at the AFI theatre.
The Skin has already made appearances in Toronto, Trinidad, Barbados, and Dominica and there are plans taking place to have a showing in New York this summer.