Growing Up Caribbean displays the talents of fourteen phenomenal writers in the region.

Alison Saunders is a Barbadian/Trinidadian filmmaker who's best known for her Cricket film, "Hit For Six."

Growing Up Caribbean is a TV/Film series of fourteen (14) compelling half-hour dramas to be filmed in ten Caribbean islands ranging from Guyana to Jamaica. Written by fourteen Caribbean writers/directors each story depicts what it means to grow up in the Caribbean. This exciting project has received international funding for the Development stage and is looking for further financial investment.

Growing Up Caribbean celebrates the exotic uniqueness of Caribbean cultures through exemplary childhood dramas. Co-producers Penelope Hynam and Beatrice Hallenbarter are the innovators behind the series. With more than 46 years of experience in film and television production between them, they bring a wealth of experience to the rising craft of regional film-making.

Each of the fourteen writers tells a story of a young or adolescent character who goes through a „turning point? in his or her young life. Co-producer Beatrice stated that “the series wants to embrace all the vibrant cultures that enrich the region under the umbrella of the Growing up Caribbean” theme.

  • The Stories:

In her thought provoking drama Schoolboys Antiguan born Writer/Director Melissa Gomez tells the story of three Antiguan teenage boys whose lives will change dramatically after one of their childish jokes.

Alison Saunders is a Barbadian/Trinidadian filmmaker whose story The White Bench depicts the racial tension a 12 year old school girl experiences in her new homeland of Barbados in the early seventies.

Maharaki Marie-Joseph a Director/Writer born in Martinique, but presently living in Barbados, tells the charming story Kanaval Rouve (Carnival Begins) of a shy 12 year old Martiniquan boy who is manipulated into taking his father?s beloved new convertible BMW to a Carnival costume party, with disastrous results.

Born in Guyana, the well-known dramatist and writer Dr. Michael Gilkes’ mystical story Maira and the Jaguar People refers to the tale of twins Maira and her brother Mairun. Set in the rainforest of Guyana an ultimate sacrifice is made, as Mairun saves his sister.

Michael Aubertin from St. Lucia creates the gripping story La Diablesse (She Devil). It is a tale about two half brothers who are pulled together by a supernatural event.

Of Time and Tide by Jamaican born writer Malcolm C. Murray is a moving drama set in a small Jamaican village where Nico, a young boy, finds his courage through a life-threatening event.

Penelope Hynam is from Barbados and the creator of Growing Up Caribbean. With The Man in the Box she writes about a feisty eight year old by the name of Julia who goes where she is forbidden and learns more than she is prepared for.

Jamaican writer A-dZiko Simba’s story, The Importance of Cricket, tells the story of a young boy whose vision is blurred by his love of cricket. When his little sister is put in danger by his carelessness he learns what is more important in life.

Alwin Bully’s story from Dominica, Oseyi and the Masquerades, tells of an eight-year-old by the name of Oseyi who feels pressured to follow his family?s carnival tradition despite his fear of the grotesque Masquerade Masks.

Frances-Anne Solomon’s Flying Lessons, from Trinidad and Tobago, takes us into the secret world of nine-year old Carol in which she escapes her daily torment of verbal and sexual abuse.

Dominica is depicted by Jessica Canham & Timothy Fishleigh in their story Paddle Me Home. A young, indigenous (Kalinago) boy finds a small carved wooden canoe in the ocean and uses the Internet to track down its maker – Karl, an indigenous Canadian artist in his 60s.

Anne-Christine Lantin’s story from Guadeloupe is called Les Inseparables. The life of eight year old Ethan is suddenly turned upside down when he loses his parents in a car crash in Paris. Orphaned, he goes to live with his mother?s family in Guadeloupe.

French-born, Trinidadian-bred writer Jessica Joseph tells the story Know Your Place. It is 1987 and Josephine John is a precocious, observant and cynical eleven year-old girl. She is a master manipulator who strategically looks at how the world works and how to survive in it.

Claude Mancuso represents Haiti with the tale The Angry Boy. Sebastien Bardo is a twelve year old boy who believes his prayer to get himself out of a sticky situation is the reason for the earthquake in Haiti. Things appear to go from bad to worse when he tries to save his uncle and is knocked unconscious.

Funding for the Development/Pre-production stage has been provided by the European Union and Caribbean Export Development Agency. Further funding is being sought for the production, post-production, marketing and distribution from regional and international agencies.

The project is expected to be ready for circulation by spring 2012. The project has sparked much interest globally by attending such events as the Berlin Film Festival, Barbados Best of Caribbean Tales Film Festival earlier this year as well as at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), while participating in the Market Development Program hosted by Caribbean Tales Worldwide Distribution’s (CTWD) and at the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival in September 2010. During a trip to Europe in August Co-producer Beatrice had some very promising meetings with potential co-producers and broadcasters.

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