Trinidadian Film Director Goes To Xplore The World With Her New Documentary: 12 Months


After following a family in transitional housing for one year and having limited resources for production, filmmaker is set to premiere this documentary on generosity

Xplore the World, located in Los Angeles, California, will be hosting the World Premiere of documentary 12 Months at the Santa Monica Public Library (Martin Luther King Jr. Auditorium) on Saturday, Feb. 22nd at 6PM. There will be a Q&A and reception to follow the 60-minute film. The premiere is free and open to all.
"We (the cast and crew) are very excited to premiere this film as it proves we have completed it!" laughs writer/director/producer Charysse Tia Harper. "Not that there was ever a doubt in my mind we could not do it, but it was quite a challenge."

The team started shooting 12 Months in December 2012, a month after Tony Tolbert told Harper that he moved in with his mother and has been renting his three-bedroom home for $1 per month to a family. He explained that he would like to do the process again in 2013 with Felicia Dukes and her four children. Tony asked Harper if she would be interested in documenting the affair. Harper agreed and started pre-production.

As with all independent filmmaking, lack of resources was a big worry for Harper. However, by hosting a successful fundraiser at Silverlake Wine and an Indiegogo campaign, the team was able to secure funds and make contacts to make the film.
"We were all in it together. Felicia or Tony would give me names of people who would sponsor us and the crew would do the same," remarks Harper. "We even had a [director of photography] let us borrow his Canon 5D Mark III for free to film!"

Harper and her team filmed Dukes and her family at various points during their "12 months" in Tolbert's home. In addition, the team traveled to Atlanta to meet the family – the Salwens – who inspired Tolbert. Dukes has now moved out, but Tolbert has continued to rent his home for $1 per month to another family; also a mother with four children.

"Even though this film is not about [the production of the film], the theme still resonates with me because without the generosity of our supporters, we would not have been able to make this documentary."

About Charysse Tia Harper

Charysse Tia HarperThe producer/CEO Xplore the World.  She is Trinidadian-American who resides in Los Angeles. She directed/produced The Other Side of Carnival (2010) that showcases the social and economic impact that Trinidad & Tobago's Carnival has on its society. It has been shown at Caribbean Film Corner in Antigua, London and Berlin, as well as other festivals in the US and UK, where it won "Best International Documentary Short" (ITN Distribution & Media Festival 2011) and "Best Cultural Documentary" (New York International Film Festival 2011).

Her passion is educating through entertainment and helping others. She recently worked on a public service announcement (PSA) for Kids in the Spotlight (Sept. 2012) and directed/produced All Peoples: The Movie (Oct. 2012), an informational video about a charity in South Los Angeles.    She is currently putting the finishing touches onPanomundo a documentary telling the history and influence of steelpan music across the globe. Panomundo will be released Summer 2014.

Photo courtesy of 

For more information on12 Months, visit To contact Director/Producer Charysse Tia Harper, email:

Contributed by:Ursula Barzey, Moxee Marketing
Phone: +44 (0)79 8597 2968 



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