Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 15th 2015 Contents B3
A citizen of the world
Two T&T writers
on Bocas longlist
Behind the Narrow Street,
David Gomez s second novel,
was launched on March 5, at
Nalis in Port-of-Spain. The
launch was hosted by the pub-
lisher, Bamboo Talk Press, an
independent press based in
Trinidad and headed by Paula
In her opening remarks to the
audience, Obé highlighted the
timeframe in which the story is
set. It is rare, she noted, that
fictional accounts of T&T are
rendered during the Second
World War, making Gomez s
novel a necessary addition to
our local literature.
Following a reading from the
novel s first chapter, the author
explained that his original impe-
tus to begin work on the man-
uscript was inspired by Belmont.
"A little over 27 years ago, I
was introduced to the Belmont
area," he said, citing his work
on a BWIA-commissioned com-
mercial centred on the late visual
artist, Boscoe Holder. He cred-
ited Holder s home and studio,
as well as Belmont s winding
streets, as critical components
of the inspiration that led to the
novel s beginning.
Gomez added that his own
journey through the story
changed course many times, and
ultimately he surrendered him-
self to the motivations of his
A historical fiction novel
involving subplots of romance
and suspense, Behind the Nar-
row Street is set in three discrete
time periods: 1834, 1944 and
1994. Throughout all of them,
Gomez described, he wished to
make the inevitability of fate and
personal destiny apparent.
Focusing on the thwarted
romance of an American airman,
Robert, and a young Trinidadian
prostitute, Anna, the novel
explores class and cultural rela-
tionships between foreigners and
locals during the island s "rum
and Coca-Cola" era.
The novel s blurb writer, Patrice
Charles, expressed this authorial
concern in her description of the
work, saying that it "reveals a
simple truth: the present cannot
be fulfilled until the past has been
Gomez, former head and cre-
ative director at McCann Erickson
Caribbean, thanked his publisher
Obe for having the vision and
commitment to back an alterna-
tive representation of T&T history,
one not commonly being told in
popular contemporary fiction.
Obé s press, Bamboo Talk, has
also published She Sex, a prose
and poetry anthology of
Caribbean women s sensual expe-
'Marketing shapes film success'
Queen of Soca's director Kevin Adams wearing a promotional Queen of Soca
T-shirt at Massy Stores, Maraval.
New T&T novel set
in WWII launched
David Gomez, author of Behind the Narrow Street, with publisher Paula
Obé at the book's launch on March 5, at Nalis, Port-of-Spain.
PHOTO: ANDRE ALEXANDER
Visit queenofsocathemovie.com and listen to Slam 100.5FM, the
film's official partner.
When the short film No Soca No
Life premiered during the 2012 T&T
Film Festival, it not only sold out, it
left people calling for more.
"I was vex it was so short," wrote
one person on the film s event page on
"Could have been longer," said anoth-
"Short though," said a third.
It was the only gripe among otherwise
positive feedback on the film, which
follows the trials and tribulations of a
poor young woman who dreams of
being a soca star.
The film was originally written to be
90 minutes long. But 30 minutes was
all director Kevin Adams got funding
for.Audiences can finally look forward
to the feature-length version, to be
called Queen of Soca, before the end
of the year.
Terri Lyons, daughter of Austin, sister
of Fay Ann, and a popular soca singer
in her own right, plays the lead Olivia.
She won best actress in a local film at
the film festival for her performance,
which was her first experience acting.
Adams said he s arranging to get more
soca acts in the cast. He gave a few
names who are interested, but nothing
has been finalised.
In addition, he said, he s going to put
together a soca soundtrack to market
Adams is raising money in a variety
of ways. He s collecting from corporate
sponsors. He is running a raffle. He
plans to have a curry-cue/barbecue.
And he s going to start a Kickstarter
The fund-raising is going to help do
the job of marketing, which is where
locals films tend to fail, he said.
"It s not that we don t want to see
local," he said, knocking down an opin-
ion held by some about T&T cinema
audiences. "It s that local is not mar-
Additional marketing strategies for
Queen of Soca include putting promo-
tional images and information about
the film on the barbecue box so people
can make a direct link between what
they hold in their hand and the film.
A team is going out with Queen of
Soca T-shirts to busy areas of the coun-
try like the Brian Lara Promenade and
"We take pictures and vibes with the
people," Adams explained.
"It s more about letting the people
know we have this film coming up. So
then when the movie comes out, a lot
of people are aware of it and they re
ready to see it. As opposed to how most
[local] movies start: they do everything
quietly, then when the movie is done
they now start their publicity and mar-
keting campaign," he said.
"We wanted to turn it around a little
bit and do things a little earlier to get
Adams, 39, migrated to the US as a
teen and studied filmmaking there
before working in various technical pro-
duction positions: cameraman, pro-
duction assistant and grip among them.
He came back to T&T to make No
Soca No Life, which was financed by
the T&T Film Co. It was his first film.
He s since got involved in other projects
and has been "jumping back and forth"
between the US and T&T but now
spends "80 per cent" of his time here,
Casting for the film will be held
from April 9-18.
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