Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 20th 2014 Contents When Calypso Rose visited West Africa
several years ago, admiring audiences
gave her the name "the Lioness of the
Eventually that name would work its
way into the title of a documentary film
being made at the time about Rose, born
McCartha Lewis in 1940 in Bethel, To-
Entitled Calypso Rose: Lioness of the
Jungle, the documentary, which is 85 min-
utes long, will be screened free of charge
by the trinidad+tobago film festival (ttff)
on Friday 20 June from 7pm, at the Little
Carib Theatre in Woodbrook.
Calypso Rose: Lioness of the Jungle
was released in 2011 and is an intimate
portrait of an extraordinary woman, the
first to win both the Road March and Ca-
lypso Monarch (then known as the Ca-
lypso King) titles.
Now 50 years into her career, Rose has
composed hundreds of songs and
recorded dozens of albums, and been an
inspiration to countless women calypsoni-
ans and soca singers. A number of these
women, like Destra and Denyse Plummer,
are interviewed in Calypso Rose.
Directed by Cameroon-born, Paris-
based filmmaker Pascale Obolo, the film
is a travelogue of sorts, tracking Rose
from Paris, where she is recording an
album, to her native Tobago and Trinidad.
The film then follows Rose to New York,
where she lives, and finally to her ances-
tral homeland, Africa, with which she
maintains a fierce connection.
Along the way we see many facets of
Rose and learn of the great personal
struggles she had to overcome, and come
closer to understanding the woman be-
hind the powerful public persona.
The screening of Calypso Rose is spon-
sored by the Trinidad and Tobago Film
Company (TTFC) as part of the T&T Film
Nights series, and is one of the events in
the first-ever Street Arts Festival (SAF),
being presented by the Trinidad and To-
bago Coalition of Services Industries
(TTCSI) on June 21 and 22.
The Street Arts Festival is an initiative
designed to promote various sectors of
the creative industry, including film, fash-
ion, music and the visual and performing
Now in its ninth year, the ttff is pre-
sented by Flow, and given leading spon-
sorship by bpTT and TTFC. For more
information visit ttfilmfestival.com.
--- See more on Page 14
Friday, June 20, 2014 • Issue 145
Doubles, wining and a Carnival blow out are among the
local cultural references viewers of Grown Girls Getaway
will see when the film premieres in a couple months in
the US. The 90-minute movie is currently being shot en-
tirely in Trinidad and Tobago and stars familiar television
actresses Garcelle Beauvais (Jamie Foxx Show), Essence
Atkins (Smart Guy), Malinda Williams (Soul Food) and
Terri Vaughn (The Steve Harvey Show).
Filming has been taking place in various locations over the
last few weeks among them Santa Cruz, Tobago and Mara-
cas Bay. The script, which was written by Cas Sigers-Bee-
dles, has been adapted to reflect some of what Trinidad and
Tobago has to offer beyond the physical.
Roger Bobb, president of Bobbcat Films is the director of
the movie. Bobb, who was the Executive Vice President of
Tyler Perry Films and produced Tyler Perry movies such as
Diary of a Mad Black Woman, For Coloured Girls, Why Did I
Get Married and Why Did I Get Married Too, among others,
said he initially planned to shoot the movie in another island.
"I knew the producers here, Lisa Wickham and Sherrese
Moise, and they introduced me to the Trinidad and Tobago
Film Company and they told me about their incentive pro-
gramme, their rebate programme. And then when I came
and scouted the location it was how nice everyone was and
their can do attitude. It was just a combination of the rebate
programme, how friendly and nice everyone was, how en-
couraging they were and the incredible location," he said list-
ing his reasons for choosing T&T when we visited the set
on Maracas Bay last Friday.
Bobb said all aspects of the movie, including the Ameri-
can scenes, are being shot here.
"I think this is the first American movie to be shot entirely
in Trinidad," he said, noting that there are a lot of cultural
references that would appeal to the Caribbean Americans.
Bobb, who was born in London to Guyanese parents, said
he feels that he is making a film at home.
Filming wraps on June 21 but Bobb saiod he plans to re-
turn for Carnival. He also intends to promote this destina-
tion as an ideal film location.
"I am committed to making Trinidad the new film capital
of the Caribbean," he said.
Describing the movie as an African American, female,
buddy adventure comedy, Bobb said Grown Girls Getaway
is about four females who take a vacation in Trinidad and
basically all hell breaks loose.
The four American stars have been sharing screen space
alongside local actors such as Andrew Friday, Keron Brooks,
Russell Wilkinson, Renaldo Frederick, Frances De Lancey,
Cecilia Salazar, Michael Cherrie and Penelope Spencer.
"They are really good, they're professional, they are fun, I
have no complaints," said Beauvais, who many still know as
"Fancy" from the Jamie Foxx Show. The actress, who em-
bodies the character Vicky in the movie, has been updating
her fans via Facebook with photos from her time here, said
she did not know what to expect when she first came but
so far the experience has been fantastic.
"Trinidad is gorgeous and the food is yummy," she said, boast-
ing that she's eaten doubles with pepper and is in love with
Chennette. Beauvais, who is also the author of the children
book series "I Am" said Maracas was her favourite spot so far.
Williams, who is best remembered for her role as Bird in
the Soul Food televisions series, also cited Maracas as her
"Every chance I got, every break I got, I was in that water,
it's lovely," she said. In the movie, she plays Camille, a mar-
ried mother of three.
"We keep remarking and talking and sharing about how
wonderful everyone is and how great the whole magical
production has been and the backdrop is this place, it's a
beautiful place, a beautiful country and warm, inviting peo-
ple. Everyone has been so nice to us, our Trinidadian crew
and the actors have been so dedicated and work so hard
and even the people who are not being paid a cheque are so
dedicated to our success," said Atkins.
The Smart Guy actress, who plays the free-spirited Lau-
ren in the movie, said she plans to return for Carnival since
her friend Alphonso Ribeiro, who acted in Fresh Prince of
Bel Air, told her she had to experience it.
Grown Girls Getaway is a co-production between Bobb-
Cat Films and Siger's and Vaughn's Nina Holiday Entertain-
ment. Imagine Media International Limited, headed by Lisa
Wickham is the local production company. Wickham, Valen-
cia Hawkins and Sherrese Moise are also co-producers on
the film. Sheldon Felix, also from Imagine Media Interna-
tional Ltd, is the director of photography for the movie.
The movie has been sponsored by bmobile, Davy Boodoos-
ingh and his companies Rent-A-Amp, O2 Trailers and
Standby Power, Ricky Raghunanan Trailers, Hilton Trinidad ad
Blue Waters. The production has also been supported by the
TTFC, TT Customs Division, TDC, the Airports Authority of
Trinidad and Tobago and the Immigration Division.
Cast of Grown Girls Getaway from left: Garcelle Beauvais,
Malinda Williams, Essence Atkins and Terri Vaughn.
On the set at Maracas Bay.
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