Thu | Jun 29, 2017

Film-maker unite to 'Ring Di Alarm!'

Published:Monday | August 11, 2014 | 8:00 AM
Roger Guenveur Smith plays a man with a secret in 'Missed'. Contributed photos
A young boy (Ivah Wilmot) and his camera search the beach for answers in 'The Young Sea 1'.
Racquel Jones plays a woman on a vengeful path in 'Watching Him Kissing Her'.
Saulter
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Amitabh Sharma, Contributor

It was an experiment - six film-makers, seven stories, a group of gutsy youngsters with fire in their bellies on an island under the sun. The heady concoction brewed Ring Di Alarm!, a film comprising seven short stories by six different directors.

"This is the first body of work from the collective of film-makers," said Storm Saulter, the project's producer. "We wanted to work to create vibrancy in cinema, to foster a movement."

The Jamaican debut screening, for one night only, is set for Wednesday, August 13, at the Carib 5. Tickets are available at Base Kingston in Manor Park.

Ring Di Alarm! is a confluence of creative minds armed with ideas and passion to exhibit their thought processes, weaved in short stories.

"This (Ring Di Alarm!) is all in a day's work," Saulter said. "The extended cast and crew worked for free."

The seven films, shot across Jamaica, were produced between between 2011 and 2012.

"We came together on an understanding that we don't have a big budget, but skilled people on bigger film projects," Saulter said.

MADE INT'L ROUNDS

Ring Di Alarm! has already made the rounds regionally and internationally, having been shown at the British Film Institute, Tribeca Cinemas, World Cinema Amsterdam, the Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles, and the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival.

"Most recently, we showed the film in St Kitts and Nevis, courtesy of the twin island's Ministry of Culture and Tourism," Saulter said.

Ring Di Alarm!, Saulter said, features a diverse cast of actors, from Winston 'Bello' Bell, Karen Harriott and Volier Johnson to Roger Guenveur Smith. Chris Hutchinson, Raquel Jones and Ricardo Orgill, as well as Sheldon Shepherd and Oneil Peart of No-maddz are all in the production.

The project features music by Raging Fyah, Ken Boothe and an original score composed by Seretse Small.

Although the short stories in the suite are independent of each other, there is a connecting, underlying message.

"All the stories are morality tales," Saulter said. "We wanted to highlight and strengthen that element and to give a message."

Directors Joel Burke, Michael 'Ras Tingle' Tingling, Kyle Chin, Nile and Storm Saulter and Michelle Serieux have, through their own diverse styles, came together to Ring Di Alarm!.

"Audiences worldwide have been inspired by our effort," Saulter said. "This is a labour of love."

Given the diversity of the work showcased, Ring Di Alarm!, according to the producers, gives the audience a chance to appreciate the creative thought process and its diversity.

"For us, Ring Di Alarm! represents the burgeoning possibilities even in the most challenging of economic conditions," said Michelle Serieux, one of the producers.

"We want audiences, especially young people, to come out and see this work, be entertained and inspired.

"We want them (the film-makers) to know that with little resources and a lot of dedication, they can set out to achieve their goals, one step at a time."

The project, Saulter says, is a stepping stone towards expanding the footprints of Jamaican and Caribbean film-makers across other shores, and possibly get more such meaningful collaborations to hit the cinemas.

"We want the stories become characters, and people become a part of these films," he said.

In making its Jamaican debut, Ring Di Alarm! is enjoying a homecoming.

"This is the closing of a circle. The film has been shown in festivals all over the world," Saulter said. "It's wrapping up a tour and coming back home."