Short film reveals the truth about Caribbean Tourism
Tanning on beautiful beaches, drinking the finest rum and partying until the sun comes up is what the Caribbean is stereotypically known for. But what about the island’s natives? What is their perspective on visiting tourists? A new short film entitled, The Resort, showcases life in the Caribbean from the worker’s perspective. Written and directed by Jamaican-American filmmaker, Shadae Lamar Smith, The Resort will have its Caribbean premiere at the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival on Thursday September 24th in Port of Spain, Trinidad. Produced by the UCLA School of Theatre, Film and Television in association with Sepia Works and the Tobago House Of Assembly, The Resort is a series of three vignettes that explores the job of a young man who sells sex for a living.
Having directed notable Hollywood actors such as Kristen Wiig (Bridesmaid), Jimmy Kimmel (Jimmy Kimmel Tonight), and Tony Cox (Friday), Shadae Lamar Smith is no stranger to filmmaking. A recent M.F.A. UCLA Film School graduate, Smith leads his cast and crew in an attempt to depart from the normal Hollywood narrative structure and showcase the complex dimensions of life in the Caribbean. It reveals the painful truths of the tourism industry from those who serve visitors everyday. Shot on location in Arnos Vale and Pigeon Point, Tobago, the film is comprised of an all-star team of U.S. and Trinbagonian film professionals. Smith was committed to authentic character portrayals, as he hand picked his lead actors from Trinidad and Tobago, Shea Best, Aleem Marcus Valentine and Cassandra Bonaparte and the U.S., Jessica Digiovanni, Marjuan Canady and Graham Skipper. The film features original music from T&T’s very own Calypso Rose and Kes the band, while the cinematography led by Director of Photography, Dehanza Rogers captures the island’s natural aura, providing a beautiful backdrop throughout the film.
The Resort is sure to turn a few heads, provide humor and surely spark some curiosity about the world of male sex tourism in the Caribbean. “I am not interested in judging or drawing conclusions, but instead provide insight into the lives of people who sacrifice their bodies to make a living,” says director Shadae Lamar Smith. This film is sure to start discussion on this issue in the Caribbean and much of the world.