Breakthrough performances of Antiguan actors lauded at CaribbeanTales Film Festival
The performances of newcomers Aisha Ralph and Brent Simon of Antigua were praised during the Barbados preview of The SKIN, this past weekend.
Ralph and Simon play a young couple who discover an ancient artifact, which changes their lives and unleashes a soucayant in The SKIN, a film written and directed by Howard Allen.
This is the fourth feature project by Howard and his wife, Mitzi Allen of HAMAfilms Antigua. The couple made the bold step to preview the film at the Barbados film festival rather than wait for the scheduled June premiere at home.
“I really liked the feedback from the industry folks. It was honest and constructive. A pre-screening outside of Antigua was the best thing we ever did,” said Mitzi who is the Executive Producer for the film.
The SKIN was the closing feature at the CaribbeanTales Film Festival & Symposium which brought together audiences, industry veterans and newcomers in an informal and highly creative environment to meet, greet, and exchange ideas. The movie received high acclaim from the international filmmakers present.
During the panel review following the screening, Kethiwe Ngcobo, CEO and Producer at Infuzion Media South Africa said “You guys have nailed it! The SKIN is a film that has found its audience. Your first feature film The Sweetest Mango was a hit this just might be an even bigger hit.”
Neema Barnette, an Emmy award winning producer/director and professor at the renowned UCLA School of Film and Television said “They’ve got everything; a love story, action thriller and special effects. What they have is something that will make people flock to the cinema.”
The movie also stars Jamaican film icon Carl Bradshaw, who plays Vision, Jeff Stewart of The Bill and Peter Williams of Stargate SG1 and A Winter Tale.
“The story really worked and it resonated with the audience. They loved Bradshaw as we all do but couldn’t believe that Aisha and Brent weren’t professional actors,” Mitzi added.
Barnette, who directed 80s comedy series The Cosby Show, called Aisha a “strong actress” and expressed surprise that the young actors were newcomers to the industry.
Aisha, a former Miss Universe contender had a small role in No Seed, another HAMAfilms Antigua project. However, this is former model and musician Brent Simon’s first time on the big screen.
Brent said via Facebook that he was thankful to have been given the opportunity to be a part of The SKIN and also appreciated the guidance given by Peter Williams, who plays a police officer in the 90-minute feature.
There is one other preview scheduled for the movie before it goes into cinemas across the region this summer. Howard and Mitzi Allen will be screening The SKIN at the Reggae Film Festival in Jamaica in May.