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‘The Seawall’ film director scouts locations in Guyana

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Guyanese-born Film Director Mason Richards is scouting Guyana’s Kaieteur Falls, the widest single-drop waterfall in the world, as a possible location to shoot the full-length feature of his award-winning film “The Seawall,” to celebrate Guyana’s 50th Independence Golden Jubilee.

Richards said the stunning Madhia, Guyana’s gold coast, with vistas of the amazon and the country’s monumental sea wall — built by Dutch settlers in the 1880s — would also be idyllic as a backdrop for the film.

According to Mason, who is a recipient of Guyana Golden Arrowhead Award of Distinction for Service and Humanitarian, and the 2012 Sony Pictures Diversity Fellowship through Film Independent’s Project: Involve — a diversity initiative that identifies emerging filmmakers — production on “The Seawall” film will begin later this year.

Set in Brooklyn and Guyana, as a modern-day immigration story where the main character journeys back home to Guyana after living abroad for most of his life, the filmmaker said “it’s sort of my story, and I think the story of many immigrants who leave their county in search of a better life somewhere else, but then at some point return home and things become clearer or not.”

“It’s a film about identity — both cultural and personal,” Richards added.

The film project, will coincided with the First Annual Timehri Film festival, scheduled for May as part of the Independence celebration, and presented by Romola Lucas, founding, director of the Caribbean Film Academy (CaFA) of Brooklyn.

Lucas noted that expanding and developing “The Seawall” and choosing to shoot it in Guyana, will inspire up-and-coming filmmakers in Guyana and will confirm the experiences of many Guyanese people and artists alike.

“We have a rich heritage and we are natural storytellers, and except for a few Hollywood blockbusters such as ‘The Pirates of the Caribbean,’ ‘The Shaw Shank Redemption,’ or ‘Jurassic Park’ which were all filmed in the Caribbean, show very little of the countries and minimally focused on the natives, and other stories,” said the film expert.

Emile Upczak, former director of the T&T Film Festival noted that Caribbean cinema is definitely on the rise and could likely become a hot spot for the global industry, adding that ‘provocative, high quality work is already being generated by writers and directors from the region, however, serious government support, including training for artists must be put in place and properly implemented for the industry to thrive.

Senior Vice President of Production at Sony Pictures DeVon Franklin noted that Mason’s work has integrity and creativity, and his own interesting personal story, a combination that made him the right candidate for the Sony Pictures Diversity Fellowship.

The New York and Los Angeles-based filmmaker, whose flick was recently screened to a packed audience at the Havana Film Festival in Cuba, has captivated audiences in London, Toronto, Festival de Cannes Court Mertage in France, and The Trinidad & Tobago Film Festival in Port of Spain.

To learn more, contact Mason Richards, call Maurva Productions – Vidal Woods at 646-935-9513 or assistant@maurvaproductions.com.

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